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UK Political Donor Demetri Marchessini: Women In Trousers Are Destroying Western Civilization

Marlene Dietrich oppressing man with her trousers.
Marlene Dietrich oppressing man with her trousers.

Demetri Marchessini is a retired Greek business tycoon, living in London, and has been a major donor to the right-wing, anti-immigrant UK Independence Party (UKIP). He also has some, let’s say, eccentric views about gay people, black people, women, and trousers, views so, er, eccentric that the folks in UKIP are a little embarrassed to be associated with him. Given that UKIP is filled with bigots in all varieties, that’s quite something.

In an interview last week with Britain’s Channel 4, Marchessini expounded at length on some of his more colorful views. He told interviewer Michael Crick that marital rape was impossible, because “you can’t have rape if you make love on Friday and make love on Sunday, you can’t say Saturday is rape. Once the woman accepts, she accepts.”

He argued that there is no such thing as homosexual love, only lust, because “they go out at nights and they pick up 5, 10, 15 different partners in one night.” Even gays in committed relationships are basically just roommates who still cruise for anonymous sex partners.

And he suggested that black slaves were better off as slaves in America than they would have been living in Africa, because if they survived the passage they lived longer.

But let’s just talk about the trouser thing. Marchessini thinks women should be banned from wearing trousers, because otherwise they just might bring about the end of western civilization.

No, really.

In a 2003 polemic with the innocent-sounding title Women In Trousers, Marchessini decried female trouser-wearing as “hostile behaviour – they are deliberately dressing in a way that is opposite to what men would like.”

In his interview last week, he explained just how hostile an act trouser-wearing really is. Here’s the whole discussion, from the extended transcript of the interview he posted on his website. I’m putting some of the best bits in bold, but, seriously, the whole thing is pure gold. 

Michael Crick: You wrote this book about women wearing trousers. Explain your position there.

Demetri Marchessini: Well this is a very … there are quite a few reasons why women shouldn’t wear trousers. The point of the book, was that photographs of women on the street, they weren’t posed, women walking down the street, and the point of the book is they were all photographed from the rear, because women do not realise what they look like from the rear, they can’t see themselves from the rear. And they don’t realise how terrible they look from the rear. And this was just a series of photographs, of actual photographs of women walking by and a lot of people didn’t like this, because it’s become a political matter.

Michael Crick: So do you think women should be banned from wearing trousers?

Demetri Marchessini: Yes.

Michael Crick: What, by law?

Demetri Marchessini: They used to be, for thousands of years. Did you know that until two or three hundred years ago a woman wearing trousers would be executed? Did you know that?

Michael Crick: Well presumably you’re not advocating returning to that position?

Demetri Marchessini: No, but I am returning to thinking that this is an important matter, something to think about, whereas now they don’t think about it.

Michael Crick: And you think that women are unsuited to certain jobs?

Demetri Marchessini: Wait a minute, let’s just finish this thing.

Michael Crick: Sorry, yeah.

Demetri Marchessini: The first thing is the Bible. If you are a Christian the Bible says anyone who wears the clothes of the opposite sex is an abomination. If you’re a Christian woman you can’t be wearing trousers.

Michael Crick: I would have thought the vast majority of Christians in this country today would say that’s rubbish.

Demetri Marchessini: Well I’m sorry, they’re perfectly free to say the Bible is rubbish, but if you believe in the Bible you can’t wear trousers, it’s up to you to decide. Secondly, for thousands of years after that, it was a crime for both sexes and then eventually when they started wearing trousers, which was after the First War, there were several reasons not to wear trousers. The first is they don’t look as nice as skirts; the second is trousers don’t excite men. Only skirts excite men.

Michael Crick: Why should women dress to excite men?

Demetri Marchessini: Because that’s the only way the world is going to continue. If they don’t, then men are going to stop fucking them, you understand, and may I tell you, with great respect, that the incidence of lovemaking in Western Europe has fallen drastically.

Michael Crick: What, because women wear trousers?

Demetri Marchessini: Well I think that’s one factor. Another factor is because women work. The fact is if men don’t make love to women the Western world is going to disappear.

So Warren Farrell is angry at women for dressing (or undressing) to excite men; Demetri Marchessini is angry at them for not dressing to excite men.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why women look so terrible from behind, Marchessini helpfully provides a link to another post on his blog which offers this explanation:

[N]ature has shaped women differently from men, and it is women who have curves, and as a result, big bottoms.  Men are more straight up and down.  It is women who are, therefore, invariably photographed for their bottoms.  Furthermore, since women have started wearing trousers, this situation has become worse.  Trousers are made for men’s bodies, not for women’s bodies.  As a result, they highlight big bottoms.  Nevertheless, women go on wearing them.

Evidently, he does not like big butts, and he cannot lie.

Big thanks to the trouser-wearing Titianblue for tipping me off to this important story.

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sleepypixie
sleepypixie
6 years ago

Did trousers even exist in biblical times?

cloudiah
6 years ago

It doesn’t answer the execution claim, but TIL that this Wikipedia page exists.

justabrowngirl
justabrowngirl
6 years ago

@Cassandrakitty I believe what got Joan of Arc executed was that whole talking to/receiving visions of the Archangel Michael.

cloudiah
6 years ago

As well as this page.

For some reason, the word “trousers” is striking me as very amusing right now. I think I’m going to make it my new substitute expletive.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

“It’s pants” was a way to say that something was ridiculous and/or crap when I was a kid.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

“…trying to appease hurting, angry, people was more important than me getting further verbal abuse.”

Fuck you so much.
YOU were verbally abused after the shit you said about kinksters? Did you read any of the horrible crap you wrote?

You came back to appease us?

ap·pease
əˈpēz/Submit
verb
1.
pacify or placate (someone) by acceding to their demands.
“amendments have been added to appease local pressure groups”
synonyms: conciliate, placate, pacify, mollify, propitiate, reconcile, win over More
antonyms: provoke, inflame
2.
relieve or satisfy (a demand or a feeling).
“we give to charity because it appeases our guilt”
synonyms: satisfy, fulfill, gratify, indulge;

Yeah, you can mock misogynists, and we’ll mock your ablist, ignorant, condescending, assfax and your shitty attitude.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

@cassandrakitty, we still use “pants” or “complete pants” in that way.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

“The Terrible Tyranny of Trousers” is the name of the first album by my emo-rock band Highlight Big Bottoms

justabrowngirl
justabrowngirl
6 years ago

The word trauser is mostly use in the UK.

Ledasmom
Ledasmom
6 years ago

Did he get permission from the women he photographed before putting the photos in his book? Or am I being excessively optimistic here?
It is true that it is rather difficult to have sex of the genital variety while actually wearing pants(in the American sense of “pants”), but that goes for everyone, not only women; at least it goes for everyone who dislikes chafing and zipper injuries.
LBT, I am giggling at “Down with pants!”, mainly because it sounds to me like a command to the synchronized mooning team: “Stand! Attention! Down with pants!”

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

Did he get permission from the women he photographed before putting the photos in his book?

If I’m reading correctly, he claims he didn’t need to because the subjects were out in public. I have no idea what UK law is on that subject, but ethically it’s pretty shitty IMO.

misery
misery
6 years ago

Can I make a suggestion here? If you truly want to appease the people who your words hurt, apologize for the words. “I’m sorry that bad things happened to you” is great, but it’s not actually taking any responsibility for the impact that your words had on the person in question.

You can of course ignore this advice, but if you intend to keep commenting here it might not be a bad idea to give it some thought, because history indicates that the people who were upset probably aren’t going to just drop the subject without an actual apology.

Last year I had a very tiresome discussion on this blog with a number of regulars to the point I felt demotivated to continue posting, yet when I resumed posting a few weeks ago my past was a non-factor and nobody has ever brought it up. (maybe they secretly despise me, I don’t know, or more likely I wasn’t memorable enough) So I think people forget easily.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

Legally, it’s all down to a “reasonable expectation of privacy”. This can apply to public spaces where the subject is just going about her/his private business. Personally, I would think it extremely easy to argue that a woman has a reasonable expectation not to have her bottom photoed and published in a book but I’m not a lawyer.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Retha: “Appease?’ Telling choice of words.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Sent this to Mr C and got “I thought dinosaurs were extinct in the UK” back.

Michelle C Young
6 years ago

I laughed so much at the very first sentence of this post. Cognitive dissonance, Mr. Marchessini, you’re doing it right.

Does he say “IMMIGRANTS ARE EVIL (except for me)!”?

OK, on to read the real story, now.

serrana
6 years ago

What about women in short shorts? What about 50-something women in cutoff short shorts?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Now that you mention it, shouldn’t UKIP be a bit embarrassed about having an OMGFOREIGNER as one of their main donors?

lkeke35
lkeke35
6 years ago

What the hell is this recent fascination with the happiness of Black People during slavery?
I find it hard to believe that white men are suddenly deeply concerned about how happy we are no and that the answer is apparently for them to have power over us again.

I think what it is just them longng for the days when they had power over everybody and they’re what? Fishing to see who wants to go back? Gays?Women?Poc?

It must be galling to them tha the answer to that is a resounding “Go F*** Yourself” . I t must be like trying to herd cats, trying to convince people they should be subjugated again? (Do any of you have a video of herding cats?)

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

@lkeke35

samantha
samantha
6 years ago
Reply to  justabrowngirl

@Cassandrakitty I believe what got Joan of Arc executed was that whole talking to/receiving visions of the Archangel Michael.

Actually, you are half right. One of the most damning charges against her was that she wore mens clothing and armor.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

I like the bit where the interviewer was trying to change the subject, and Marchessini was all, “Oh no, let me harp on this bit of assholery longer, so that I might fully lay out my sexist absurdity.”

In the “Western world” (yay racism!) women have been wearing trousers for years. See the lovely and talented Ms. Dietrich up top. And AFAIK, sex and babies continue to happen, even into these dark ages of yoga pants and skinny jeans!

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Not just a foreigner, but one from Southern Europe, at that. I thought that the racists of UKIP considered them to be not-white.

canuck_with_pluck
canuck_with_pluck
6 years ago

Ladies, what are we going to do if this guy and Warren Farrell are ever in the same room? Do we dress to please men or not? Either way, someone is going to be pissed.

Michelle C Young
6 years ago

And yet, and yet, how many times have rape victims been blamed because they wore a skirt? Once upon a time, wearing trousers was considered a form of rape PREVENTION, because it was a leeeeetle bit harder to get to the goods. Not impossible, but, you know, enough harder that it would *totally* make the victim innocent. Because reasons. Except for all those other reasons why she would be guilty, like being well-endowed, especially if those big boobs are NATURAL. Then she’s REALLY asking for it. But really, when the cops say they won’t report it as a rape, because you were wearing a skirt, and you tell your friends what happened to you, and why you are now a “statistic” for “false rape accusations,” because the cops MADE you recant, and all based on “well, you were wearing a skirt, at the time,” it’s no wonder that women want to wear trousers.

You know what? I am currently high on pain pills, because I was hit by a truck, and I just exacerbated the pain watching a movie that triggered a TEEENNNNSSEEE JERK reaction, which makes me really look forward to my physical therapy session next week, and even so, high as I am, I do believe that I can out-think this guy. How did he become some sort of tycoon? My money’s on the old “Behind every great man is a woman” thing. He probably had a “little woman” giving him all his business ideas, but doing it in that “feminine” way to make it think it was all his own brilliance. Because, yeah, this guy is just not very smart on his own.

I loved your line about how he does not like big butts and he cannot lie. LOL. You are smart. You should be the business tycoon.

Why is it that the people who actually deserve wealth are not the ones who have it? Probably because they’re not willing to step on other people to acquire it. Which morality, of course, makes them more deserving.

But life isn’t fair, is it?

Ah, well. Thanks for keeping us informed, David! Well done, again.

JetGirl
6 years ago

This man has four daughters. Those poor women.

Michelle C Young
6 years ago

Hi, Colleen! Welcome.

Re: LBT and katz – ummm, David and Goliath? That was the first one to spring to my mind. I think I don’t really understand your argument. Sorry.

Wooow. For this entire post, auto-correct actually corrected correctly! Circle the date on the calendar! It’s a miracle!

BritterSweet
6 years ago

Friiiiick. I’m about to go on a trip to the UK next week.

Well, I know what I’ll be packing. Trousers, trousers, TROUSERS!! Just to wiggle my terrible-looking rear in his field of vision and remind him of the end of the Western World.

Michelle C Young
6 years ago

“the point of the book is they were all photographed from the rear”

I think this is my favorite quote.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: katz

He should hang out at our place. It turns into a pants-free zone every summer.

My husband approves.

RE: emilygoddess

Like how there are no monogamous gay couples (sorry Robert and LBT) – just roommates who fuck each other between bouts of fucking other guys (gay women are not mentioned, quelle surprise).

Well, damn, you’ve found me out. It’s true. Me and hubby have actually been in a triad with Brad Pitt since the very beginning. There is much sexing. Curses, my scheme is foiled.

RE: sleepypixie

Did trousers even exist in biblical times?

I’m pretty sure the answer is yes, due to that whole “pants-wearing barbarian” thing the Romans had going back then.

RE: titianblue

“The Terrible Tyranny of Trousers” is the name of the first album by my emo-rock band Highlight Big Bottoms

My husband is absolutely THRILLED by this.

RE: Ledasmom

LBT, I am giggling at “Down with pants!”, mainly because it sounds to me like a command to the synchronized mooning team: “Stand! Attention! Down with pants!”

My husband says he was Captain of the Guard. “They can take our trousers, but they’ll never take our FREEDOM!”

RE: Michelle C Young

I think I don’t really understand your argument.

I was thinking Moses — specifically, the slavery of the Jews by the Egyptians. I’m an atheist, and even I know that whole, “And you shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 23:9)

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

If every store in the UK is sold out of women’s trousers over the summer they know who to thank.

Michelle C Young
6 years ago

For your viewing pleasure:

serrana
6 years ago

The real danger of trousers is that a penguin mastermind criminal might use them for nefarious ends.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

LBT,
Where in KY? Which cons?

2-D Man
2-D Man
6 years ago

Is it not hostile for men to require women to dress as men would like? Without even offering to dress as women would like in return?

I tried to dress as women would like once. Everyone thought I was going as the Village People for Halloween.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Ooh, do we get to dress Demetri up the way we want? Because I have some great ideas.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Well, damn, you’ve found me out. It’s true. Me and hubby have actually been in a triad with Brad Pitt since the very beginning. There is much sexing. Curses, my scheme is foiled.
/blockquote>

That Brad Pitt sure gets around! Will the pain he causes the misters never end?

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Oh no! The blockquote monster finally got me 😮

serrana
6 years ago

Cassandrakitty, I hope your outfit for Demetri includes a pacifier so that we don’t have to hear him talk any more.

Michelle C Young
6 years ago

@justabrowngirl – “( I thought those days were over…silly me).”

Unfortunately, those days are still far from over. The slave trade is illegal, but still quite active. It is not limited to black slaves, however. Pretty much anyone who can be taken by the slavers can/will become a slave. It’s mostly about sex, but there are sweatshops, as well. And what really bugs me is when some of these sex slaves, right here in the U.S.A. manage to escape their keepers, they are then prosecuted for illegal prostitution. But the sex traffickers? BAH.

I have a few friends in law enforcement, but they are friends because they, personally, are good people. I have little faith in law enforcement, in general.

So, people, if you’re into “sex tourism,” and want to go somewhere to have sex with a prostitute, please go somewhere where it is legal and above-board, such as Nevada or maybe the Netherlands or Germany, and use a LEGAL sex worker, who is protected by law, as opposed to a “freelance” streetwalker, who may or may not be free to keep her earnings. Be it a pimp/whore relationship, where the pimp “runs” her, but she is technically free to go, if she can get away, or one of those “sex tourism” traps where the girls are literally chained down, it’s still lousy.

I am personally against sexual intercourse outside of marriage, because of my religion, but that is MY choice for MY life, and I will not hold anyone else to those standards (except for my husband, if I eventually marry. I’d want him to be faithful). So, since prostitution is going to happen, anyway, I would prefer that it be legal, and the sex workers take regular check-ups to minimize the spread of sexually transmitted disease. For the protection of those sex workers, as well as their clients, legalizing it just makes sense. Mind you, I said legal, not “regulated,” which puts the government in charge of the sex work, and just ugggghhhhh!

As for other forms of slavery, well, it’s hard to know the provenance of every item you purchase, but if you’re in America, a “made in America” tag is a good indicator that it is NOT a sweatshop item. Of course, it will be more expensive, so there you go. And you can’t always find the tags, especially if you buy clothes from a catalog or online. Still, if you know of a specific line that has sweatshop connections, at least you can knowingly boycott them, in particular. I just checked the tag on my T-shirt. It was made in Honduras. Anyone know how safe that is? I’m not sure.

Personally, I want to take up sewing my own clothes. That might be my pain pill talking, though. My shoulder doesn’t hurt right now, so I just want to do crafty/sewing stuff RIGHT NOW. My sister will tell me no, as the RIGHT NOW non-pain will lead to lots of pain later, so, I don’t know. Still, it occurs to me that sewing my own clothes, rather than buying the cheap sweatshop clothes is a small step toward social justice. Very small. But still.

Plus, I can tailor those trousers to fit my tushie to a T.

Yeah, I really do want to sew some pants right now. Too bad I donated all my sewing notions to the local theater’s costume designer. Maybe I’ll just knit a scarf, instead. I have yarn and knitting needles.

Anybody want a scarf?

Later, y’all!

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Lea

Where in KY? Which cons?

I shall be at Ephemera Zinefest on May 10th, in Lexington Kentucky! I will be doing a talk on comics, zines, and mental health from noon to 1 PM.

If any Mammotheers are in the area, I would LOVE to see you! (Isn’t Falconer also in the area…?)

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I was thinking a diaper, which we could take photos of his butt looking big in.

Michelle C Young
6 years ago

Bina, that is adorable! I’ve always loved that song, and the kid is just too cute.

All men should wear kilts, because it really turns women on, and if they don’t, well, it’s the end of Western Civilization!

Seriously, though, not every man can carry off a kilt, but those who can – SWEEEET! Maybe it’s the Scottish in my blood, but I have always loved men in kilts.

And now, I want to knit a kilt. Somehow, I don’t think that would be authentic, though.

Wow, this pain pill’s a doozy today. But I’m able to type, which is unusual. But I’m also chattering on, which is not unusual, so my apologies if I’m annoying anyone by nattering too much.

Anyway, I need to finish reading the comments, so I can get off. They’re all so good.

Michelle C Young
6 years ago

Cloudia, what does TIL mean, please?

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

LBT,
Shucks! That’s on the other side of the state from me. If it were closer, I’d definitely come say “Hi”.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: misery

So I think people forget easily.

Yeah, I’m not likely to forget someone characterized my husband as my rapist and doubted his empathy, thanks. Call it holding a grudge, but come on.

RE: Lea

Aw, damn! Oh well, perhaps another time; I am in the Tri-State area and all…

Oh, and I know you’re not in Georgia, but for Mammotheers that are, my stuff will also be sold at Atlanta Zine Fest in June!

bekabot
6 years ago

This is a crude observation, so please forgive me for making it, but judging by Warren Farrell and then by this guy, there seem to be more ass fanciers in the manosphere than I would have expected offhand. I find that odd. It would be a pity if all the misogynists turned out to be fans of Sir Mixalot (because it would kind of ruin him for me).

Children of the broccoli
Children of the broccoli
6 years ago

Michelle: TIL means “Today I learned”.

Noadi
6 years ago

This seems obligatory and hasn’t been posted yet

Michelle C Young
6 years ago

Thanks for the explanation!

Also, thanks for the other cool videos. I am now caught up on comments, and leaving the thread to do my knitting while I am still pain free.