Just in case you were blithely sauntering through life with a handful of balloons, content with your pleasant thoughts that artsy types are just naturally more enlightened than the usual misogynist hoi polloi, take a whiff of this : Step Inside Design, a magazine that “takes readers behind the scenes to meet the creative problem-solvers that [sic] make it possible for us to move through the world in brilliant and dynamic ways,” covered its recent “Women of Design” issue with–what else–pictures of cute, guileless kittens.
Pissed off subscribers argued in letters to the editor that an issue showcasing men’s design (which, one suspects, is every other issue) would undoubtedly have refrained from insulting its subjects with cheap and, if I may say so, extremely hackneyed sexist stereotypes.
The designers of the kitten cover, both women, defended their stupidity with some asinine bullshit about “re-appropriating” degrading stereotypes. As though it were a matter of high social import that kittens regain their rightful place in modern intellectual discourse as symbols of brilliant, dynamic, creative problem-solvers. Yeah. 2006: the Year of the Kitten.
It goes without saying that if patriarchy didn’t have a white-knuckle grip around the design world’s throat, demanding allegiance to the ideal that the male designer is the default designer, the separate women’s issue–in itself an insult– would never have seen the light of day in the first place.
The girl ghetto has got to go.
[Thanks for the linky, Finky]