LAKE VILLA, Ill. -- Despite complaints that excluding men from a public lecture on women's underwear would violate the Constitution, the turnout by the less-fair sex was, in the end, underwhelming.
Out of an audience of about 75 mostly middle-aged women, only two men showed up to the Lake Villa District Library Thursday to hear historian Ellie Carlson talk about "bum pads," rubber girdles and thongs.
No one seemed embarrassed at the event originally deemed "ladies only" -- although a few women cringed at the sight of a sanitary belt.
"In this time and age, this is rather naive and nice," said Alex Kondic, 43, of Fox Lake, Ill. The Bosnian native attended with his wife, Ada, after reading a Chicago Tribune article about the controversy.
"It was strange in this America that you hear men don't come," he said.
About a dozen men had reserved seats for "Unmentionables: The Rise and Fall of Ladies Underwear."
But the only other man in attendance was Rob Sherman, an activist from Buffalo Grove, Ill., who had complained to Carlson and the library about the prohibition of men.
Carlson agreed to modify her rule when lecturing at public places. She gears the presentation toward women "of a certain age" and wants them to feel comfortable, she said.
But on Thursday, there was something for everyone. When someone asked her to speculate on the future of pantyhose, she offered: "Men will start wearing them."
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