Sep 20 2005

I’m Back


And now, a bit of light patriarchy-blaming.

I was half-listening to NPR the other day–which, I’m sorry to say, is the only way to listen to it these days–and happened to hear a piece on German Chancellor hopeful-cum-Bush butt-licker Angela Merkel. Merkel was speaking at some rally. The reporter, Rachel Martin, does not describe Merkel as "protruding prominently from George Bush’s ass." No, Martin–who, one assumes, is aware that it’s 2005–informs me that Merkel is "dressed smartly in a grey pantsuit" as she takes her seat next to–I kid you not– "a leggy blonde in a black cocktail dress."

I don’t need to tell you that I have never heard anybody on NPR pay the slightest attention to Gerhard Schroeder’s outfits, or to the legginess of any "blondes" sitting next to him.

"Flanked by curvaceous twin redheads in French maid outfits, Chancellor Schroeder, wearing a tasteful gabardine blazer and silk skirt in neutral tones, told reporters that Bush’s war in Iraq is a load of crap."

Again and verily I say unto thee, it’s 2000 fucking 5. Merkel’s politics may suck the bag, but the woman is a highly educated, top-tier public official. Unless she appears at a press conference wearing clown makeup, pasties and a hula skirt with her press secretary on a leash, her outfit is just as irrelevant as Schroeder’s. And even then, what’s the big whoop?

I’ve had it. I may as well warn you now that from here on out, I’m gonna be ripping, with vigor, the fresh new sexy "feminism" a new one. And I’m starting here: Fashion = misogyny.


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  1. Ron Sullivan

    Tsk. Someone should tell her that that hideous sour-green top is just sooo ’90s. And it clashes with red-white-and-blue.

    OK, am I the only one who, when seeing the word “leggy,” reflexively pictures someone with more than two?

    Maybe it’s just a handy ref to a heady experience.

  2. Sylvanite

    Actually, it might be refreshing to see a politician dressed in clown makeup and pasties. At least we could stop paying lip service to their “dignity” as public officials. It would probably be a more honest reflection of their competance. Someone should photoshop a picture of Santorum in such a get-up. :)

  3. BitingBeaver

    Woot! Our favorite Patriarchy blamer is back! Yay Twisty! Glad to see your lobes are doing well *grin*

  4. Steph

    Could you please send this patriarchy smashing to my class where my students can be heard commenting on my wardrobe?

  5. Twisty

    I had one white male professor in college who wore the same threadbare green tweed jacket to class every goddam day, and we pretty much made fun of him a lot. Of course, mocking a privileged member of the dominant culture is not the same as mocking a member of the underclass. So, I suggest announcing that you’ll be deducting half a letter grade for the whole class for each individual instance of sexist expression, which of course would include any references AT ALL to your appearance.

  6. norbizness

    We are the goon squad and we’re coming to town. Beep beep!

    More importantly… now that he’s out of office, will Schroder have any further need of the curvaceous redheaded twins?

  7. Stephanie

    The sheer awsomeness of that float has left me speechless.

    Welcome back, Twisty.

  8. deja pseu

    Damn, Norbizness beat me to the Bowie reference! :-p

  9. Twisty

    Damn, Norbizness beat me to the Bowie reference

    Say what you will about Norbiz; he’s TOTALLY got his finger on the pulse of something.

  10. miz_geek

    So glad to see your wazzoo is doing better.

    And those cheeks are a disturbing shade of pink.

  11. Rene

    “And I’m starting here: Fashion = misogyny.”

    But you have such pretty clothes and fancy shoes! What happens to them? Will we see hurricane survivors wearing your cast-off Manolos?

    I liked fashion more when I was a size 4.


  12. Twisty

    Rene, the days of Twisty in Manolos are long gone, and I wouldn’t wish’em on anyone, least of all a hurricane survivor. I now dress exclusively in flowing robes and rubber flipflops.

    I will enlarge on this fashion/misogyny issue in an imminent post which is sure to be unpopular with the 3rd Wave set!

  13. Christopher

    Is it all right if we ditch men’s fashion, too?

    I mean, we don’t have it nearly as bad as the ladies (I don’t know how anybody could stand to have make-up on their face all day), but we’re still forced by the dominant culture to wear uncomfortable, stupid clothing.

    Like ties. Whose damn idea was it to dress men in tiny, silk hangman’s nooses?

    Anyway, I also want to abandon restrictive fashion. Flowing robes for everybody!

  14. Penny

    Brilliant. If I ever start a blog, can I name it “Fashion is Misogyny”?

  15. robin

    yes to Ron – “leggy” implies four of ’em and makes women sound like colts prancing in the fields, which may be adorable in some people’s eyes, but really is just dumb, infantilizing, and patronizing.

    Yes to fashion=misogyny. I for one am tired of seeing our young daughters stuffed like sausages into their jeans. Is it because they feel comfortable in them? – hell no! It’s because they have been taught that walking around looking like thrombosis on a half shell looks hot to guys. ( is it thrombosis? whatever – I’m talking about he clotting problem caused by lack of circulation.)

  16. Alice

    Twisty, please please do whomp up something about fashion and misogyny. I’ve been in an email argument since last weekend with a (male) pal who insists that some women in push-up bras and cleavage-baring lacy tops are just enjoying feeling attractive and are not necessarily oppressed by the patriarchy. Cripes. Help!

  17. Kate

    As someone who wavers between a third-wave “do what makes you feel good” stance and a more “but stilettos are just like chinese foot-binding” position, even thinking about fashion often results in a blinding migraine. The third-wave view gives women, in my mind, an excuse to capitulate to the demands of the dominant culture unthinkingly. Yet, who am I to criticise a woman for wearing pretty shoes?

    Aaarggh. Headache back and with a vengeance.

  18. ae

    I’m gonna be ripping, with vigor, the fresh new sexy “feminism” a new one. And I’m starting here: Fashion = misogyny.


    As someone who wavers between “the Fashion Industrial Complex must be destroyed until not a single shred or vestige of an inkling of the remotest repressed memory of it exists” to “why in the hell do my trail running shoes have to have the f*cking color scheme of Barbi’s playhouse?”, I can only say I’m looking forward to this!

  19. octopod

    Hurrah! Someone else who pictures more than two legs for the word “leggy”! Personally, I picture spider-women, climbing up walls. Like my many-armed-Durga statue. But maybe that just means I play too much D&D.

  20. Jodie

    Since I’ve graduated to pleasing myself instead of others, I find that clothing that pleases me is clothing that fits and is comfortable; and it’s pleasing to my eyes if it’s colorful as well.

    I think my ubersoft and uberlight nursing clogs are pretty shoes — not only are they bright lime green, they never slip and they feel great no matter what kind of floor I walk on. It’s all in how you retrain your eye to define “pretty”.

    Is clothing that restrains or binds or is actively harmful (cuts off circulation or impairs balance) REALLY pretty? Maybe the individual elements are pretty, or maybe it’s pretty solely as a decorative object…but is it really “wearable” art?

    Children’s teeny athletic shoes look adorably cute, but that doesn’t mean I cram my 8.5 feet into a child’s size 2 just for the looks of it.

    Maybe insubstantial shoes that are made of beautiful materials but are impossible to walk in should repose on desks, to be admired and filled with pencils…just one more decorative but somewhat useful accessory.

  1. The Betamax Guillotine


    Now just think of the fun we could have if we took our political props this seriously: For those of you who have lives outside of computers, politics and compulsive blog-reading, this is Angela Merkel, the politically-conservative sort-of-victor in last

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