Google “leggings as pants?” Go ahead, I’ll even help you.

You’ll find an absurd number of articles on this beat-to-death topic devoted to why you should not wear leggings as pants, why you should, when it’s appropriate, how to make it appropriate, and so on and so forth for a ridiculously long time. You’ll also find loads of commenters who believe that “only hot chicks” should wear leggings as pants because fatphobia in fashion is a-okay. Or, with the case of Huffington Post‘s this morning, you get to hear about whether or not straight men think it’s all right–you know, the real people who should be dictating your wardrobe choices.

The men’s opinions ranged from poignant statements like “a little slutty, way too revealing” to flat-out admissions of “The part where the leggings come up to the ass where there’s a little space may be God’s greatest gift to man,” because women’s asses were obviously gifts to men. Of course, one guy felt it necessary to rate: “If the ass is an 8 or better, then I am an enthusiastic proponent.” Then came the ever-patronizing “call me old fashioned, but I’m the kind of guy who likes a little mystery.” Yes, you’re being old-fashioned; no, it’s not in a charming way. It just means you still think women’s bodies are meant to be covered up until you can somehow reveal them a la Sherlock Holmes.

Oh, and the best one: “It’s attractive, and I’m a feminist, but at some basic level I won’t take you seriously as a person.”

Here’s my issue with this: making on things you want to wear based solely on whether or not men will find them attractive is idiotic. Especially when those men are objectifying, rating, mansplaining and speaking condescendingly about what they think your outfits should look like. Don’t we have enough men telling us what not to wear because of what it “says” about our personalities/desires? If a guy won’t take me seriously because of what I’m wearing–provided I’m not wearing some racist, hateful t-shirt or something–then why would I want his admiration anyway?

I wear leggings as pants on occasion (not all the time, because I presently live in a freezing cold hell hole that often requires much thicker clothing). Whether it’s a gym outfit or a shopping outfit or a date outfit, I don’t really care. Oh, somebody can see the outline of my ass? Oh, no! Now they’ll know I have one! THE SECRET IS OUT.

Why do I wear them as pants? Because I don’t always have a long tunic or dress to go over them, nor do I always feel like doing so anyway. I don’t ever wear tights as pants, but that’s primarily because (A) they’re entirely too thin to maintain warmth when worn alone and (B) they tend to rip much easier, and then they wouldn’t be pants so much as a shredded leg scarf.

SUCK MY NEVERENDING GOBSTOPPER, WONKA. MY ASS RULES.

I believe there’s a time and place for most articles of clothing (except these). I wouldn’t pull a Bieber and wear leggings as pants to meet the President, though I wouldn’t wear jeans, hot pants or puka shells to meet the guy, either. But yes, I wear them in public. I don’t care that they don’t look sexy or flattering or pretty, and why should I? I’m wearing them because they’re comfortable. Sure, comfy can be sexy. Half of Victoria’s Secret’s lines are based around that idea. But does it have to be?

Women are often told we can either look sexy or be comfortable, but that is frequently not the real choice. It’s typically between looking sexy with comfort versus looking sexy sans it. We’re expected to look pretty either way, and given about 8 million tips on how to do so (I am admittedly guilty of this on occasion). But what if we don’t feel like looking attractive? As some of the commenters mentioned on this post, women shouldn’t feel obligated to be beautiful. We should feel just fine making choices for ourselves regardless of the opinion of others, no matter what’s sexy or not sexy.

If we feel like wearing leggings, whether it’s out on the town or out for a walk, we shouldn’t feel pressured not to wear what we feel like wearing. If they look “bad,” then so be it; why bother caring when your priority is comfort, anyway? So, to give my final answer on this stupid question: yes, you can wear leggings as pants.