Well, maybe it's not really sexism. I'll let you decide.
I am currently wearing thermal underwear. From neck to ankles, I am all thermal, baby!
From the waist down I'm wearing "Long Janes" under my jeans and my 'O Basics' over-the-knee socks from Sock Dreams. (Which, btw? LOOOVE Sock Dreams socks, have over a dozen pairs, haven't been to the site for a while and OMG the selection is even bigger and I am totally drooling because I LOOOOVE Sock Dreams. Anyway.)
So, the "Long Janes"; obviously, long johns for women. And they're okay. I haven't noticed that my legs are all that much warmer wearing them than they were when I had my Sock Dreams Ribbed Ms, but the Ms do tend to slip and bunch up at the back of my knee, which is awful. (I hate having the back of my knee tickled or touched, so having a bulky wad of fabric there is hellish.) It's not the socks' fault, really; beneath black skinny jeans they don't have much chance.
But the Long Janes are okay. Basically the same warmth but without the bulk. Instead they're very thin--they do have that irritatingly long waist that long john-type pants tend to have, though. I hate those. I'm a bit short-waisted anyway, and there is nothing in the world worse than having the crotch of your tights or leggings hovering around mid-thigh. Seriously, why is the waist-to-crotch section as long as the crotch-to-calf section? I've never understood it.
But they are very thin, yes. And covered with this sort of odd wavy design in the fabric itself; like little tiny airholes. It's okay but I wish the pattern wasn't there. But I will say these are a huge improvement over the thermal underwear my mom used to make me wear when I was little. Because not only did those also have the horrible long crotch, they also had thick bands at the ankles so tight they practically cut off circulation. I remember fighting to get them over my feet, which--despite what my mom and dad said--were not gunboats at all, but very average-sized feet. (They still are, pretty much. I'm a 7 1/2, which while not tiny like my mom's size 5, is not exactly gargantuan. I know; I'm digressing all over the place today aren't I? Sorry.) Does anyone else remember that? The pants had those awful, thich, tight, non-stretchy ankle ciffs, and the shirts had the same around the wrist. I remember having to get my parents to help me take the pants off.
BUT. Here's where the sexism comes in. I also ordered two thermal tops. One a woman's style; the women's tops only come in black and white; they also have a tank top version in black or white. It's the same thin fabric as the pants, with the same wavy pattern, and a scoop neck.
The other is a man's small.
I got this one in charcoal gray (my favorite color). See, the men's thermal shirts, and long johns, come in several colors, not just black or white.
It's thicker, noticeably so.
No swirly pattern. Instead it's a lovely, subtle ribbing.
So you tell me...why do women have to make do with a thinner version, with an odd pattern, that doesn't protect our upper chest? Why do we only get to choose black or white?
Why do men get the thicker, softer, smoother one? In a number of colors; black, white, gray, blue...I think they also had yellow and red.
Do they think women wouldn't want a crew neck? Do they think women automatically want the drippt wave pattern? Why is our shirt not as warm (but just as expensive)? Even the Long Janes are a poud more than the Long Johns, which is silly because the Long Johns take up more fabric and need to have that little flap/fabric maze built into the front? (I know I'm not the only woman in the world fascinated by that intricate little trapdoor thing. And totally jealous. You guys don't even have to lower your undies if you don't want--although every man I've ever met does, and doesn't use the little doggie door.)
What do you think guys. Is it sexism, or what? I certainly think it's an injustice, and I wish fervently now that I hadn't bothered with the woman's shirt at all but instead bought several men's shirts, because I wear shirts under shirts ALL the time; I'm a huge long-sleeve-t-shirt-under-short-sleeve-t-shirt girl. (Ask Caitlin; she spent a week with me, she'll tell you.)
Yes, of course my tongue is firmly in my cheek, as it is 99% of the time when I actually say or write the word "sexism". But it does piss me off that the woman's shirt isn't as warm, and that it leaves my poor chest exposed to the elements--especially since every woman knows, that section of skin is delicate and needs to be protected and moiturized and exfoliated lovingly, lest we look like chickens in later life.
And do you guys own thermal underwear? Does anyone else have childhood memories of spending half an hour trying to get the ankle cuffs over your heels? And of the rather uncomfortable, rough knobbled fabric of thermals then?