When I read “Sexism In Victoria’s Secret? Try L.L. Bean,” I thought it was a joke.
The author, a professor and feminist scholar at the University of Connecticut, started off by asking if we still need feminism. Her conclusion was yes, or, rather, hell yes! And do you know why? Because women are still victims.
And that is exactly why we don’t need feminism.
The new L.L. Bean store that opened in September is shown in Colonie, N.Y., Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Only feminism could wrest the power from such achievements as the Vote, the Pill, the freedom to choose any life we want, and our clear dominance over men in both high school and college graduation rates. Only feminism could cloud the brightness of women’s lives.
What we need is 21st Century Women; women who embody the best of feminism without the label and, so much more importantly, without the baggage of seeing ourselves as victims. We are women in 21st century America—who wouldn’t want to be us?
Like I said, I thought the article was a joke. If I were watching it on video, I would be looking for Ashton Kutcher to pop out and tell readers we’d been punked.
And what is the heinous crime being committed against us poor, poor women according to the author? Our clothing descriptions in the L.L. Bean catalog are different from that of the men’s.
Horrors. How will we go on?
The feminist scholar takes issue that only men’s clothing is presented with words like “tough,” “strong,” and “fierce.” It isn’t fair, she argues, when women’s clothing is presented with words like “slimming,” “colorful,” and “luxurious.” It constitutes evidence, she argues, that “women aren’t considered strong, reasonable, fully fledged human beings.”
I think my head could actually explode. I’m not strong, reasonable, and fully fledged if my dress is slinky? I’m only to be taken seriously if my clothing is bland and stain-resistant?
You can legislate feminist adjectives all you want; most of us female types actually respond quite favorably to slimming and luxurious. We know what the feminist scholar does not: our toughness, strength, and fierceness do not come from the clothes we wear. The power of 21st Century Women is evident no matter what we have on our backs.
Think Lauren Bacall; a tough, strong, and fierce woman if ever there was one. In slimming, colorful (I assume, since the movies are black and white), luxurious clothes.
The idea that women en masse will respond to clothing described as the author suggests is simply ludicrous. Her rewrite of “Heritage Sweaters” for women positively turns the stomach:
“…inspired by the brave matriarchs who survived the harsh winters in bleak stone cottages…inspired by women who made their own wool from smelly North Atlantic sheep and knitted, with raw and chilblained fingers, a layer of protection against the elements…”
Mmm, mmm, mmm. Smelly North Atlantic sheep. Where do I get mine?
Feminists like this make me angry. Not just because they hang onto victimhood with grim and bloodied determination, but because they take all the fun out of life. Her final, poignant example of how women are denigrated in “subtle yet pernicious” ways, is the dreaded pleasure in wearing men’s clothing.
Because we think we look sexy in our man’s shirts (and nothing else), we are somehow lesser creatures and find ourselves a step down from men. Only if men think they look sexy in our shirts (with or without accessories), are we on equal footing. Blech.
Sexism isn’t what discourages men from aspiring to women’s clothing; sexism has nothing to do with men who aspire to women’s clothing. I believe that channel is called “transgender,” and it’s already taken.
Leave me and my slim, colorful, luxurious clothes alone.
TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.