Students debate modesty of tight-fitting face masks


Students debate modesty of tight-fitting face masks

Proving once and for all that controversy rests for no global crisis, Franciscan University of Steubenville students took to Facebook this Thursday to engage in what may go down as the most important debate of 2020 — does a form-fitted face mask have the capacity to lead others to sin?

The main masks in question, as defined by the debate’s moderators, are made of a microfiber material (most often neoprene) that clings tightly to the wearer’s cheeks and nose. After their initial sales began in Korea near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, top brands like Lululemon and Athleta popularized these “leisurewear” protective coverings in America.

The incendiary Facebook post, placed on the generally peaceful and well-balanced group “Frannies Brawl,” was an editorial from the Boston Post entitled “Whatever Happened to Bandanas?”

Within hours, the post had over 300 comments, ranging from “Maybe this isn’t the best time or place to talk about this!” to “If I see another woman wearing a stretch mask, I will descend immediately into the second circle of hell.”

The real issue, says junior Iago Bindersnatch, is that Franciscan has appeared to sink into complacency concerning the question of facial modesty.

“Sure, these masks might be commonplace in our culture these days,” he said. “But we’re called to be countercultural. We have to be the leaders in the modesty movement.”

To all who are searching for an alternative to the recent mask trend, Bindersnatch recommends the Etsy shop “KeepChristInCorona,” where modesty-conscious consumers can find a fashionable line of handmade draped masks that extend from just below the eye to the bottom of the jawline.

On the other end of the argument, a radical all-female group on campus has started a campaign to “free the lips,” refusing to wear any mask at all in favor of female liberation.

“Soldiers of Joan” launched into the public eye last year when senior Philomena Smythe created the group as a response to the “Man Week” ministry, claiming that the organization’s aim is to “tear down all gender roles and create a matriarchy, just like St. Joan of Arc would have wanted.”

As of yet, the university administration has taken no definitive stance on the issue. For now, the student bookstore will continue to sell face shields and thick, synthetic-material masks decked with a cheery phrase and a concerning chemical smell.

In the meantime, Frannies will continue to debate this all-consuming question until it dies, resurrecting it two years later purely for the purpose of injecting some semblance of life into an otherwise mind-numbing beginning of the semester.