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Mar 29 2007

Patriarchy-blamer makes straw-secondwaver joke

lovemall.jpg
At last! I found love in a strip mall in Dallas.

The undisguised non-subtext of the week here at I Blame the Patriarchy has been Radical Feminists Tell Femininity To Kiss Their Entire Ass. If you grow weary of the topic, be of good cheer; I am lately returned, uncharred, from the icy purgatorial fires of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, and will soon resume my post as Austin’s premier public restroom blogger. But until then, I cannot resist this succulent morsel, recently tendered by commenter al on the Helen Mirren post:

I see a lot of defending a woman’s right to wear skirts and heels around the blogosphere lately. I’ve yet to have a hairy second-waver confiscate my lone skirt and lip balm, but I’m on the lookout.

While the chuckles die down, it seems as good a time as any to dilate the argument that femininity cannot lurk absolutely in an article of clothing. Femininity is in fact an assemblage of behaviors. No mere garment, unless it is constructed of razor blades, is objectively oppressive to the wearer [1]. I, for one — a post-menopausal hot-flashist extraordinaire facing a global-warmingly augmented Central Texas summer — expect for the next six months rarely to be seen sauntering around town in aught but a few free-flowin’ swathes of gauzy, life-preserving linen filaments [2]. This doesn’t mean I’m a collaborator; it just means I’m not suicidal. Give me an updraft or give me death.

What constitutes femininity, I assert in my skirt, is not the general architecture of the habiliments with which you drape your ass, but the practice of patriarchally defined affectations that constrain the practitioner to slobber, at the expense of her own authentic identity, all over male fantasy.

Which principle compels me to opine that the backlash against the radical feminist view of crippling sexbot footwear as a tool of the patriarchy is asinine. Wearing high heels — which, unlike (most — see below) skirts, disable the wearer and exist exclusively to titillate men — is a capitulation. Can a feminist wear stiletto heels to the Patriarchy-Blaming Convention in Bali? Sure. Can she call it a politically neutral act? Sure. Will anyone from whose eyes the scales have fallen believe her? Fuck no.

________________________
1. Which is not to say that certain duds (corsets, pencil skirts), designed specifically to impair, are not oppressive within a cultural context of misogyny. Or to assert that violent oppression of a second party is not implicit; it is almost impossible, in the US at least, to find clothes that are not manufactured by slave labor in some Asian hell-hole. It might also be noted that raiment fabricated from animal skins may hardly be construed as anything but oppressive to the entities who have been, in fact, skinned.

2. It will surprise few readers that I strenuously disagree with Wikipedia’s weird and prissy admonition that linen “must be ironed often.”

51 comments

1 ping

  1. Hawise

    Actually linen does pretty well when hung to dry or when dried flat like a sweater. Linen gets softer the longer that you wear it, it is incredibly resistant to most wear and tear and will last many seasons without needing to be replaced by some godawful fashion trend.

    High heels are just cruel and their makers should be made to wear them 24/7 and on camping treks in the back hills.

    The meat dress is oppressive to the steer.

    http://archives.cbc.ca/IDCC-1-68-300-1610/arts_entertainment/art_censorship/

  2. Sylvanite

    My job forces me to swelter outside in sturdy denim pants, alas. It’s still better than working in a toilet factory. I’ve been told that those places get extremely hot, like 120 degrees F. Bleah.

    What’s that saying? “Only mad dogs and Englishmen venture out in the noonday sun.” Maybe global warming will force us to adopt the sensible custom of siesta.

  3. B. Dagger Lee

    “…a few free-flowin’ swathes of gauzy, life-preserving linen filaments…”

    Do I hear a tambourine? Watch out for Sudden Onset Stevie Nicks Syndrome.

    yrs, BDL

  4. GenderBlank

    As a rule, I don’t iron anything. If five minutes in the dryer won’t de-wrinkle something, it’s too fussy for me. I’m sure my bosses wish otherwise.

  5. Twisty

    I appreciate your anxiety, BDL, but I have nipped the problem in the bud by burning all my fingerless black lace gloves.

  6. techne

    At what heel height/diameter does a shoe become patriarchally oppressive?

  7. Ugly in Pink

    Techne – As soon as they become uncomfortable, and/or something you would not wear if not for the fleeting, minimal benefits that accrue to women who demonstrate how willing they are to inconvenience or cause pain to themselves for the benefit of the men around them.

    Do I get a cookie?

  8. Antelope

    But animals want to become garments and food. That’s why they willingly participate in being shot or trapped or raised on farms in the first place.

    In fact, that’s what animality is all about.

    Hunh, you know I thought I was headed for a very weak and just barely amusing analogy there, but the raised on farms bit is working for me.

    Femininity is a choice in the same sense that a cow chooses to be raised on a farm because it wants to become snazzy-looking boots. And more importantly, because it wants to eat really bad food in order to save the farmer money, and to be shot full of growth hormones.

    And some cows are more awake than others. Okay, it is a weak analogy.

  9. Twisty

    “At what heel height/diameter does a shoe become patriarchally oppressive?”

    At precisely 1.6 cm, or when the posture takes on the look of a pouter pigeon, whichever comes first.

  10. hedonistic

    I was born in 66. What wave am I supposed to identify with, anyway?

    “If X is so great, why don’t men wear them?” is a good question to ask ourselves. Why indeed? It pretty much settles the stiletto question. However, men DO wear high heels (if they’re chunky) to make themselves look taller, so women should be able to wear high heels without running afoul of the hypothetical RadFem Fashion Police.

    NEXT!

    Next I wonder about my collection of 1950′s full slips and realize that (most likely, in fact I’d put money on it) more MEN wear vintage lingerie than do women! The only reason I’m not having bidding wars on EBay with men is that we wear different sizes! About 3/4 of the lingerie on EBay fits THEM!

    Yup: A substantial percentage of crossdressers are straight manly manly dudes. These are not the stereotypical gay flames folks envision when they think of crossdressers. You may be living next door to one! Most men who wear lingerie say they like silky lingerie because it’s beautiful and well-tailored and they like the feel of it on their skin; unfortunately it’s just too shameful for them to admit this in public. Sad. I don’t think crossdressers necessarily fetishize subordination but don’t go by me because my n=1. To bad more of them don’t speak up because I’d ask them to join my Pussycats on a Hot Tin Roof Club!

    So, am I gonna write a new rule into our Bylaws exempting lingerie from radfem critique? NAH! I will, however, posit that silky frilly foofy unmentionables are NOT just a chick thing. They never were, and never will be (the composer Richard Wagner was most likely a crossdresser, and he was straight. He odered clothes in his size for “his wife”).

    Besides, men were much more accepting of elaborate silk undergarments in the olden days than they are today, so what’s the deal? Heck, men used to wear DRESSES for lard’s sake! They still do in the Catholich Church. How did these things come to be thought of as effeminate? WTF?

    As for linen, I think it looks better all wrinkly anyway.

  11. kathy a

    the stevie nicks exchange alone is worth the price of admission today.

  12. Bird

    The fine wrinkly texture is part of why I like linen clothes. Count me in the floaty wisps crowd (although I’m young enough that for me, Stevie Nicks was a woman my father thought was sexy).

  13. norbizness

    Unfortunately, whitewingeddove.blogspot.com is no longer available. Same with leatherandlace and edgeofseventeen. Who knew?

  14. techne

    As soon as they become uncomfortable

    Well, there’s the rub, eh? What about uncomfortable flats, like the pointy-toed ones? If someone claims not to be in pain with, oh, let’s say 2cm heels, do the RadFem Fashion Police issue a False Consciousness violation?

    Are oppressive shoes those which limit mobility through causing discomfort (by whoever’s definition), or is it the sex differential in discomfort that defines a shoe’s oppressiveness? And what implications does that answer have to the uncomfortable-shoe-wearing that men do?

  15. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    Rubber flip flops oppress me.

  16. cycles

    Heck, men used to wear DRESSES for lard’s sake! They still do in the Catholich Church. How did these things come to be thought of as effeminate? WTF?

    I should have been smarter and connected the dots, but when I was a young thing, I thought it was humorous that pants on women are actually a lot more patriarchy-compatible than a dress. If we’re talking about protecting womens’ virtue and fuckability, it’s so much easier easier to stick your dick in someone’s property if she’s wearing a skirt than if she’s got on tight pants with zippers and snaps and such.

  17. Jodie

    Oh, I LOVE my Vasques. They are the ultimate footwear (for me, anyhow). Wispy gauzy linen is the ONLY way to go in summertime, except maybe for wispy cotton. Unfortunately, the hospital dress code insists on pantyhose for females underneath their scrubs year round (however would they know? I’m still wondering about this). IBTP.

  18. BubbasNightmare

    I remember when high heels were fashionable for men (back in the [mumblemumble]-ties). I bought a pair of 2″ers that a dressy dark brown and wore them to work at my internship.

    OMFG

    At the end of the first day it felt like someone had run a red-hot poker through both Achilles’ tendons. After I recovered my sanity at home and threw the godforsaken things in the trash, I had my first cogent thought of the day:

    How do women wear these f%$^^#!$% things all day long every day? Anyone who does that is insane.

    I think that might have been my first faint glimmers of feminist thought.

  19. BubbasNightmare

    That last line should read:

    I think that might have been my first faint glimmers of feminist thought.

  20. Yeny

    Omg. I LOVE rubber flip flops. I wear them ALL the time in the summer cause they are so comfy in the heat. You are missing out, Hedonistic.

  21. Yeny

    I have not worn a pair of heels in years. I made a vow to NEVER again wear heels in my life. My poor mother suffers from serious corns on her feet from years of heels abuse. I’ve seen the pain and damage they cause women first hand, so I refuse to become a statistic :-)

  22. Bird

    Confession: I wear high-heeled shoes and ballroom dance. At the same time, in fact.

  23. cycles

    By the way, the clouds in that photo? Spectacular. Nice work.

  24. legallyblondeez

    Breezy linens of the pant or skirt variety are more attractive in my mind when rumpled. Rumpling is what linen does, and it means you’ve been out frolicking or doing something that actually matters instead of ironing.

    I wear high heels to work because I refuse to be bothered with hemming my pants, and I like being taller than the men I work with. The long pants ensure that one cannot determine whether my height is natural or artificial. Of course, if height ceased to connote power and/or women’s slacks came in different lengths the way men’s do, I’d be in well-padded loafers right now.

    My husband is waging his own private war against uncomfortable men’s shoes, but the comparative demands of patriarchal fashion make it hard to be sympathetic.

  25. Jane Awake

    Twisty, the next time you are thinking about burning *any* fingerless gloves, please send them to me instead. I will be happy to provide the cost of postage in advance.

  26. Radalan

    Heels?

    Women should insist that men should hang heavy weights from their balls, and wear those weights everywhere they go. It’s sooo masculine! Don’t men see that women would *really* love them if they’d do that for them?

  27. CafeSiren

    Love. As in: I love this picture. Bright yellow; twilight sky; composition; and, of course, the love. I would so make out with this picture.

  28. Penny

    Kathy A et al:

    Stevie Nicks, yes, but what about those Damn-Weird Pigeons?

  29. Frumious B

    [T]he practice of patriarchally defined affectations that constrain the practitioner to slobber, at the expense of her own authentic identity, all over male fantasy.

    I would like to add, “even while claiming to be ironic or uninterested in provoking boners.”

    The problem is, those affectations should be legitimate choices for men and women both. By “legitimate”, I mean “part of her/his own authentic identity.” Problem is, how can you tell which parts of you are authentic when the patriarchy has crapped all over everything?

  30. ginmar

    God, I once had a former friend whine that I had to wear heels to a dinner date with him, even though I had a broken toe at the time. He whined and begged and pleaded, told me I could carry my heels on the bus, completely unaware of how entitled and demanding he was being.It was extraordinary. And the best part? The guy interrupts conversations about sexism to go, “But how did I avoid that? How did I get to be so special, so non-sexist?” I keep him around just to write down the delusional stuff he says.

  31. finnsmotel

    “No mere garment, unless it is constructed of razor blades, is objectively oppressive to the wearer [1].”

    ——

    Anna knew she had to have some new shoes today, and Carlo had helped her try on every pair in the store. Carlo spoke wearily, “Well, that’s every pair of shoes in the place.”

    “Oh, you must have one more pair…”

    “No, not one more pair… Well, we have the cruel shoes, but no one would want…”

    Anna interrupted, “Oh yes, let me see the cruel shoes!”

    Carlo looked incredulous. “No Anna, you don’t understand, you see the cruel shoes are…”

    “Get them!”

    Carlo disappeared into the back room for a moment, then returned with an ordinary shoe box. He opened the lid and removed a hideous pair of black and white pumps. But these were not an ordinary pair of black and white pumps; both were left feet, one had aright angle turn with separate compartments that pointed the toes in impossible directions. The other shoe was six inches long and was curved inward like a rocking chair with a vise and razor blades to hold the foot in place.

    Carlo spoke hesitantly, “… Now you see why… they’re not fit for humans…”

    “Put them on me.”

    “But…”

    “Put them on me!”

    Carlo knew all arguments were useless. He knelt down before her and forced the feet into the shoes.

    The screams were incredible.

    Anna crawled over to the mirror and held her bloody feet up where she could see.

    “I like them.”

    She paid Carlo and crawled out of the store into the street.

    Later that day, Carlo was overheard saying to a new customer, “Well, that’s every shoe in the place. Unless, of course, you’d like to try the cruel shoes.”

  32. FyrDrakken

    I sometimes find myself stricken by the craveable *prettiness* of some of those ankle-twisting shoes, but can barely stand to wear a pair for long enough to get through a wedding or job interview. (I wear steel-toed Doc Martens as office wear — luckily I’ve never yet had a job I couldn’t get away with this at.)

    But this is why I’m charmed and envious of this set of Xmas tree ornaments my grandmother got from the Ashton-Drake people or somewhere like that. Intricate wee slippers of designs from fashion eras of the last few centuries, each a delicate work of art — and meant for hanging on the tree, so you can enjoy the pretty without ever having to try *wearing* the fuckers.

  33. mustelid

    My feet seem to have developed an allergy to most womens’ dress shoes. After the first five minutes, they chafe. In ten minutes, the skin on my heels, the sides and tops of my feet will start to shred. This includes so-called ‘comfy’ flats.

  34. Ugly In Pink

    I have size 7.5 wide feet. No cute shoes for me, even if I wanted to wear them.

    Those grapes are totally sour. And PAINFUL.

  35. al

    Hey, cheers Twisty. :-)

    However, men DO wear high heels (if they’re chunky) to make themselves look taller, so women should be able to wear high heels without running afoul of the hypothetical RadFem Fashion Police.

    No cop here, Hed. :) I think some men would look great in skirts. Kurt Cobain for one. My ex-boyfriend for another. I didn’t see any feminists my age talking about how it liberated him, though.

    P.S. I was born in ’84. I’m part of the mopping-up wave.

  36. pheeno

    I’ve always been of the mind that whatever Im wearing or doing is feminine. A female is doing it, therefore its feminine. If Im playing football, its feminine because a female is doing it. If I wear a huge sweatshirt and baggy sweatpants and a pair of cowboy boots, thats feminine. I’ve taught my daughter that as well. Its a girls toy because a girl is playing with it, ect. Doesnt matter what it is, fuck everyone else who doesnt like it.

  37. RobW

    “If X is so great, why don’t men wear them?” is a good question to ask ourselves. Why indeed? It pretty much settles the stiletto question. However, men DO wear high heels (if they’re chunky) to make themselves look taller, so women should be able to wear high heels without running afoul of the hypothetical RadFem Fashion Police.

    Hey, can I take a stab at this one?

    How about, some men wear high heels because they’ve internalized the social norm that equates height with masculinity, and their own masculinity with their own value as humans, and so are willing to wear uncomfortable heels or lifts in order to more easily conform with the false image of an ideal gender role that was implanted in their minds from early childhood on and seeks to eradicate themselves as individuals?

    And that they learned very young that any deviation from a masculine look will be severely and violently punished, the violence approaches deadly levels in adolescence, and the fear of that violence never goes away. Ever.

    And that even as professional adults, they know that deviation from the masculine norm will cost them respect (and career advancement) if they don’t fit that norm?

    And that even if their deviation from the norm is perfectly natural and normal, like being shorter than average, they internalize it as society’s judgement on their worth and so they take extraordinary, even painful, measures to project an image that more closely conforms to society’s expectations of their gender?

    Any of this sounding familiar?

    Who’s to blame? Or, more accurately, what’s to blame?

    This is a bit off-topic for this thread, but what the hell: I get that a lot of blamers here hate men. And not without reason, for the patriarchy has taught men to hate women.

    This hatred is taught with unrelenting violence and threats of violence that begin around kindergarten and continue throughout our lives. It’s why men fear being feminized: they know full well that a beating is likely to follow.

    With respect, I would point out that hating men is not blaming the patriarchy- it made them what they are as surely as it made masculinity and femininity into the ridiculous cartoons of idealized gender that deny individuality and human spirit and intellect.

    Patriarchy is violent; it is why men are violent. Patriarchy makes women into victims of men and men into victims of each other.

    PS- Finnsmotel: thanks for that! I read Steve Martin’s “Cruel Shoes” decades ago, but I haven’t thought of it in many years. I realize that I never really got the title story until seeing it in the context of this thread. Actually, I didn’t get most of the stories, so maybe it’s time to give that thing another look.

    (I should probably never touch the blame button when I’m this short on sleep, but what the hell.)

  38. Twisty

    As much as I love a “what about the men” thread, the so-called “high heels” that a few of the munchkins among them wear are not even from the same planet as 4″ pointy-toe stilettos.

    If you actually suppose, RobW, that blamers “hate men” you have not, perhaps, acquired a sophisticated understanding of feminist thought.

  39. Alecto

    Ellipses used solely to eliminate unnecessary quotage:

    Heck, men used to wear DRESSES for lard’s sake! … How did these things come to be thought of as effeminate? WTF?

    No clue, hed, but in an interesting role-reversal, the ancient toga-wearing Romans mocked the effeminate Gauls for wearing *gasp!* pants. I don’t know, however, when the switch to our current norms occurred.
    Though I suppose we could find instances of what we now consider effeminacy touted as the ne plus ultra of masculinity, once upon a time; consider the use of pink to denote a baby’s gender as male in the last century, or the wearing of jackets so tight they required a manservant’s help to put on in (I want to say) the Regency period, or the hose, heels, tight pants, wigs, and make-up of the pre-Revolution. And that’s only in Western culture.
    It’s not the feminine accoutrements that are the problem — those change over time. It’s the existence of a masculine/feminine dichotomy at all that’s killing us.

  40. Jane Awake

    Thank god I finally know why men fear being feminized. Thanks, RobW!

  41. RobW

    Twisty, thanks for replying.

    If you actually suppose, RobW, that blamers “hate men” you have not, perhaps, acquired a sophisticated understanding of feminist thought.

    As I tried to say at the end of that, I probably shouldn’t be blaming on insufficient sleep. Instead of “a lot of blamers here” please substitute “some blamers”. You, I, and they know exactly what I mean; these are the people who say flat out that they hate men, without exception and with no qualifiers. They are obviously a small minority here.

    From my unsophisticated viewpoint, the point of feminism is about blaming patriarchy for placing this artificiality of idealized gender over us all, thus reducing our worth as individual humans to how well we conform to stereotypes, and not about hating men. Or so I’ve gathered from reading you.

    Of course it’s true that lifts in the shoes of some men isn’t on the same level of stilletto heels for most women but I wasn’t trying to say that it was. I was saying that the patriarchy is insidious, violent, and affects everybody. Of course it doesn’t affect everyone in the same way- there’s a large difference between lifted loafers on some men and excruciating heels on most women, but the difference is in degree, not in kind. Both come from the same source.

    In particular, I was responding to a commenter’s idea that the existence of men’s shoes with heels should apparently excuse women who gotta have their heels from “the hypothetical RadFem fashion police.” That comment struck me as a dismissal of the notion that femininity is anti-feminist; my reply was intended to dispute that.

    I’d also intended to point out that the issue isn’t even about freaking shoes- it is about the mindset that makes people reject their own selves and project a false image of how the Patriarchy insists their gender should look. I was not trying to threadjack in any way. I was trying to reiterate what I took to be your point in the post about femininity being not just the shoes. In other words- I thought I was on your side with this one.

    Femininity is the enemy of feminism, as you have always said. I tried to expand on that theme by pointing out that masculinity is the same- an artificial social construct dictated by the patriarchal society and enforced with violence. Also, it’s not defined as much by what you wear as it is how you think and act.

    I know: this is obvious to anyone here, but I’m still pretty new at this. That the patriarchy has warped my own perceptions and that of everyone I know, and that it is apparently at the core of all heirarchies in society, and that it is probably the single most powerful influence on our politics/social structure/economy is still rocking my world. Lately, I’ve been mentally self-flagellating over all the little ways in which I’d bought into it and why. (Why? It’s the power, rooted in violence.)

    I guess it’s analogous to a wealthy middle-class person suddenly realizing that it is not actually possible for anyone to live, much less improve their lives, on the minimum wage; this, after a lifetime of believing the opposite. The realization suddenly changes everything about the way this person perceives the world- injustice is everywhere, and all the justifications for it are lame excuses that allow the few to live well off of the suffering of the many. And the people who have been trying to live on minimum wage all their lives roll their eyes and say, “no shit, Sherlock.”

    I’m a 40 year old undergrad student of history- there have been all sorts of scales falling from my eyes in the last couple of years, and I still have a lot of catching up to do.

    Anyway, a more sophisticated understanding of feminist thought is precisely my goal of reading, and sometimes cautiously commenting on, this blog. It’s been a big help, though your reply to me really wasn’t. (I confess to a small thrill that the great Twisty was actually addressing me directly. I’m honored, thanks.)

  42. Twisty

    RobW:” there’s a large difference between lifted loafers on some men and excruciating heels on most women, but the difference is in degree, not in kind.”

    Here you are exceedingly wrong. The difference is entirely in kind, because men are members of the dominant class, whereas women are members of the oppressed class. The experience of the oppressor cannot be likened, in the manner you suggest, to that of the oppressed.

  43. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    RobW, I think what Twisty’s saying is (all together now): It’s not about you.

    Women get sick to death of trying to have this conversation and constantly having some guy wander (or barge) in and say, ‘Hey, I get it – do I get a cookie?’

    You’re the white slaveholder who walks into a roomful of ex-slaves and wonders why the conversation suddenly dies. ‘Yeah, but I spent some time digging ditches, too, and got my poor hands all dirty and stuff,’ you wail plaintively. And you’re offended by the silence, or the angry glares, or the lack of camaraderie.

    Yeah, maybe your mean old dad made you do heavy physical labor, and maybe he was a real s.o.b. while he was at it. But guess what? When you get to be a big fella, you have the opportunity to be just like him. Whereas a woman doesn’t get to play that card, ever. She’s always going to be smaller, most often physically weaker, and habituated by a lifetime of training as a ‘pleaser’ to defer to men in most, if not all situations. We don’t have the option of competing in the game; our only choice is to try to look harmless, and maybe we won’t get pounded.

    Along with everything else in teh P, the shoe thing is about power. The deal is, your ‘uncomfortable shoes’ make you look bigger and stronger; a women’s cruel shoes just make her easier prey. The power runs all one way – the shoe, chunky or stiletto, is never on the other foot.

  44. Scratchy888

    It’s a shame if, as RobW has suggested, male identities are moulded on the basis of fear. That would mean that males would only change their identities if they were exposed to an even greater level of fear than before. And that makes them contemptible.

  45. Inverarity

    Well, RobW doesn’t speak for all men, just as Twisty reminds us she doesn’t speak for all women.

    But I think RobW’s earlier point could be summarized more concisely as “Men buckle under the weight of social pressure (known hereabouts as The Patriarchy) to conform just as women do.”

    So I don’t think our identities are molded on the basis of fear any more than yours are. We just find it as difficult as you do to resist all the ways in which we are molded.

  46. Mar Iguana

    …”masculinity is the same- an artificial social construct dictated by the patriarchal society and enforced with violence.” Rob W

    Rob W’s point doesn’t need to be summarized. Patriarchy is enforced with violence. Period. You boys find it just as difficult to exist in this cocked-up, woman-hating world?! Bullshit. And, wah.

    What pissed off the revolutionary boys from the sixties is that feminists exposed them for the cowards they were. Feminism is THE revolution, bro. All the rest of them have just been changing one bunch of fear-ridden, trembling egos on the hoof for another.

  47. Weeze

    I’m a big fan of the quick-n-dirty sexism check referenced above and elsewhere on this site: if it’s ludicrous to imagine men doing it, it’s sexist.

    I have worn men’s trunks with a women’s top to the beach for years now, as I cannot understand why it is necessary to shave my pubic hair to go swimming. I *still* get shit from a particular sort of dude about this sartorial decision. The only thing that gets them to shut up is asking them to imagine a world where they had no choice but the Speedo.

  48. Inverarity

    I never said existence is made as difficult for us, Mar.

  49. amanda w

    I was saying that the patriarchy is insidious, violent, and affects everybody. Of course it doesn’t affect everyone in the same way

    1: You say this as though it were new to us.

    2: Then why the insistence on turning the topic around to focus on the less- (and far-differently-) affected class?

    Perhaps you need to stop and read awhile, rather than objecting to the fact that the conversation isn’t enough about you.

  50. RobW

    Here you are exceedingly wrong. The difference is entirely in kind, because men are members of the dominant class, whereas women are members of the oppressed class. The experience of the oppressor cannot be likened, in the manner you suggest, to that of the oppressed.

    Twisty, again thanks for replying. Thanks, also, for addressing the point I made and for your succinct and logical refutation of it; what you say makes sense. I stand corrected.

    RobW, I think what Twisty’s saying is (all together now): It’s not about you.

    Women get sick to death of trying to have this conversation and constantly having some guy wander (or barge) in and say, ‘Hey, I get it – do I get a cookie?’

    Curiouser- I can bake my own cookies, thanks. And if this is a women-only conversation, I wish someone would have said so. About me? What? I made a point, apparently irrelevant, about the larger effect of patriarchy on everybody, for which I get personally attacked. So if I defend from personal attacks, that’s making it about me? How about this: if it’s not about me, quit making comments about me or what you think I am. It’s irrelevant.

    Along with everything else in teh P, the shoe thing is about power. The deal is, your ‘uncomfortable shoes’ make you look bigger and stronger; a women’s cruel shoes just make her easier prey. The power runs all one way – the shoe, chunky or stiletto, is never on the other foot.

    See, now THIS makes sense. It addresses the point I had made and refutes it. I understand, reading this, why I was wrong. Thanks for that, and to hell with your insults. (Slaveholder? Give me a break. I’ve never been married in my life.)

    AmandaW:
    I wasn’t trying to turn the topic around at all- read back, I was trying to bring it back to the original point of Twisty’s post regarding how it is not about what covers your body, it’s about what warps your mind.

    I failed miserably by breaking an unwritten rule: thou shalt not mention patriarchy’s effect on men (if you are one), for that is making it all about you. It won’t happen again.

  51. larkspur

    I am skipping over the RobW parts. No offense, RobW – geh gesundt. I am simply more interested in “Give me an updraft or give me death.”

    Brilliant, Twisty. I visited Austin last summer, and understood at last (the scales melted into my eyeballs) that the summers I usually experience are almost refreshing in comparison. But…it still gets hot. I want gauzy things that allow for updrafts, can be shed in layers as necessary, are strategically opaque, and pose no impediment to sprinting.

    As for shoes: I reserve the right to carry half of a pair of stilettos, since one doesn’t need a permit. But on my feet: OMG, I just want something out of the Athleta or Title 9 or NorthFace catalog that I can afford. Something sturdy, ventilated, Goretexy, light-weight, tractiony…and not $115. I just can’t countenance beating someone over the head with a stiletto in order to steal her Nikes. Wrongity wrong wrong wrong. Umm, but if anyone has bought a pair of size nine sport-type shoes and doesn’t like ‘em, or thinks they look too butch, or not butch enough, or whatever, I might take ‘em off your feet hands for a very modest sum.

  1. Possible Best DC Blog nod...Sexiest Female Blogger??? « The Latest Obsession

    [...] Would it help to make an appearance at a blogger happy hour, in a nice little v-neck and heels? (I Blame the Patriarchy readers: they will, of course, be comfortable heels. I don’t own any other type. Hey, I never claimed to be a radical** feminist. Unfortunately for me, Katie Roiphe was an influence at this tender age too…although I’m also not a lipstick feminist.) ————————————————- *I owned all of these songs. If you wish to mock me, I’d like to hear YOUR Worst-Of of what you were listening to in 1988. Anyway, I mark this as a dark era of prehistory to my musical awakening which began in 1991 with REM’s Out Of Time and Primus’ Sailing the Seas of Cheese. Also, during the late 80s my mom played a lot of Leonard Cohen and WXRT, which was at its peak then. This made me much cooler later on. [...]

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