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Aug 24 2007

World’s worst boss

Remember that buttmunch coffee drive-thru in Seattle where the baristas all have to dress like sexischoolgirls in order to deliver that all-important bodaciousness to their pornsick customers? Well, when the dude owner of a coffee joint in Monroe, WA decided to buy into the franchise, and revealed to the staff that they would now be expected to make with the cleavage, they all quit.

That’s right. There are women out there who, even in the face of looming mortgage payments, are in no mood for a pimpulational boss and a leering clientele. Reading this made the Twisty heart soar with the eagles in the smoggy particulate matter!

But then the Twisty heart crashed into a stripper pole. The pimpy boss says he has had no trouble at all replacing the baristas with a new batch of women (we’re interchangeable) who are not so overburdened with a well-developed sense of self that they would disdain to trade humiliation for cash.

This is an example of the rapid rate at which porn normalizes itself and promotes the preservation of the sex caste. Last January it was considered news that Seattle coffee shops should sell sex at all. But today, a mere 8 months later, the take-this-job-and-shove-it baristas are such an anomaly that they made it to the TV news.

[Thanks, JP]

90 comments

  1. Celeste

    So the boss was surprised the staff quit? I wonder if this means he is going to show up wearing nothing but a Speedo. Seems only fair if working there means you have to be barely dressed at all.

  2. parodie

    I find it really really weird that the owner is never named in that article – what did he do to get anonymity? Shouldn’t everyone be aware of the names of jerky business owners who consider staff interchangeable and disposable?

  3. coyote

    I don’t want to repeat a tired mantra, but it’s really, really important to distinguish that these places are not *in Seattle*. I know, it’s hard to believe that the state that brought you Courtney Love, Bikini Kill, and Pearl Jam is incredibly redneck and backwards once you drive no more than 10 MINUTES outside of the Seattle city lines. Monroe, WA, definitely fits this bill. Not that I’m trying to say that all hicks are sexist pigs. But spend any amount of time in the outlying areas around Seattle and you’ll just flee in horror.

    And there are probably not a lot of other job opportunities in Monroe. Also, girls like being baristas because it’s NOT tending bar, and you start early and end by 2pm, and in Seattle, people tip their baristas. Even low-class sexists. People will follow a barista. It’s hard to understand if you haven’t lived there. Going to Starbucks in Seattle would be like going to McDonald’s – it’s your absolute *last resort*.

    I had an independent espresso hut down the hill from my house. I loved this woman. SHe was awesome… until the day she told me she was going to be closed for a week. Why? Because she was going to get a boob job. She had been working for the past six months at the place to save up for the boob job. This was in Seattle proper, but the barista hailed from Kent. That’s a punchline that will make sense to anyone who’s lived in the area.

  4. Twisty

    “really, really important to distinguish that these places are not *in Seattle*.”

    Seattle, 10 minutes outside of Seattle; these are meaningless distinctions to a Texan. We’re all ‘hicks’.

  5. teffie-phd

    I’m still happy the women all quit. Now if everyone would stop buying their coffee from this ass it would be even better.

  6. CafeSiren

    I googled the franchise itself, and Twisty, you were wrong. This isn’t an attempt to pornify women after all! According to “the girls” on the website: “It gets steaming hot inside our espresso stands [...] and we like to stay cool in there!”

    I’m so relieved.

    [Oh, and the site also notes that the founder/orignator of the idea was a woman. So, I guess that makes it all okay.]

  7. CoolAunt

    “’really, really important to distinguish that these places are not *in Seattle*.’

    Seattle, 10 minutes outside of Seattle; these are meaningless distinctions to a Texan. We’re all ‘hicks’.”

    No shit. LOL!

    Texas hick, here. DFW area.

  8. Mezosub

    As a former Austinite (hook ‘em) who has visited Seattle (summer 2005), I can attest to the prevalence of rednecks and Leanderthals (any redneck in any location, not just those residing in Leander, Texas) once you get about three miles east of Bellevue or into the southern outskirts of Redmond.

    As is the case just about anywhere there is an abundance of cheap labor (rural to exburan level of development leads to weak tax base in relation to actual surface area), employers are able to really push the limits on working conditions in these outlying areas.

    Jim Goad’s “Redneck Manifesto” has a few discussions about this phenomenon, especially among undereducated white people who work logging operations throughout the pacific northwest. You just have to ignore the fact that Goad is a flaming misogynist to get to the socio-economic points he’s trying to make, which are actually pretty sharp.

  9. estampa

    “’really, really important to distinguish that these places are not *in Seattle*.’

    These coffee stands could easily be in Seattle. I know we Seattle-ites enjoy thinking of ourselves us ultra-hip, ultra-liberal folks who would never sink to this level degradation for a cup of oh so delicious coffee, but the fact is if there are people in are town who regularly frequent the strip clubs then there is a population in town who would also use these coffee stands, lets not even start on all the bars in town with half dressed bartenders. Let’s not try to deflect sexism to the outskirts because that’s where the “hicks” live.

  10. Cass

    You’d hope the combination of all that sexual harassment with all those scalding hot drinks would make an incident, and a store-closing lawsuit, inevitable.

  11. elm

    As I recall (and correct me if I’m wrong), one of the original Cowgirl Espressos is run by a woman who employs HER HIGH SCHOOL-AGED DAUGHTER. There’s just so much that’s wrong with that.

  12. maribelle

    it’s really, really important to distinguish that these places are not *in Seattle*.

    Why is this “really really important”? Really, really important to whom?

    And PS it simply isn’t true.

    A quick dance through Google revealed several sexy, skimpy coffee places in Seattle, as well as something called the Seattle Barista Academy that has added sexy barista tricks to their curriculum.

    Seattle is no Emerald City devoid of sexism. Being hib and ultra liberal (which Seattle predominantly is) does NOT preclude one from being sexist. This blog brings up frequent examples of liberal sexism and it needs to be revealed, exposed and destroyed along with every other kind.

    This was in Seattle proper, but the barista hailed from Kent. That’s a punchline that will make sense to anyone who’s lived in the area.

    Punchline? So you’re making offensive jokes at the expense of the women of Kent? And what are you saying about them, exactly? That they don’t know any better, that they’re sluts, that they’re “rednecks”? What, exactly?**

    Please deeply consider the classism imbedded in your post –it is deeply unhealthy and quite distasteful to read.

    **No, I’ve never lived in Kent. I was born and raised on Mercer Island (and you being so class conscious surely know what THAT means.)

  13. Crystal

    I just checked out the original blog and comments as well as the article. I was kind of surprised that people are acting like this is about men finding another source of sexual arousal. To me it seems so clear that the amount of titillation they get from the actual exposed flesh of these women is much less important than the feeling of power that comes with having yet another segment of the female population going to great lengths to please you while showing their allegiance to their status as sex-class members. It’s just another way to make sure no women are seen on a daily basis in some role that does not show obedience to male-preferential sexified standards, but just presents them as humans.
    But then, I guess that’s the conclusion that everyone has come to and is why they’re reading a radical feminist blog.

  14. thebewilderness

    Is ther significance in the fact that Monroe, WA is where the Special Offender Center is located? AKA Sex Offender. It adds another layer of creeped outedness to the whole pornification of the morning commute.

  15. smmo

    You know what would be really great? If we had Seattle “I’m cooler than thou” pissing match. I’m sure the non-Seattleites would be uplifted.

    Misogyny is everywhere, from the lowliest hick town to the hippest borough of the hippest city in the land. Yeah, the sexism in Monroe looks different from the sexism in Capitol Hill. Suicide Girls vs. Hustler, the only real difference is aesthetics. I don’t care, it all sucks.

  16. Rainbow Girl

    I totally agree with Crystal. In these pornified times, a boob is never just a boob. This is sexual power politics, a blatant attempt to put girls/women in their place.

    It is also ignorant and offensive for owners/patrons of places like that to claim the status of “sexy”. This has absolutely nothing to do with sex.

  17. Miller

    Oh, good God, pedophiles are just brazen, aren’t they? This sexualization of girls via the school girl look is just sick–and widely celebrated. Whenever I see women dress this way, wear pig tails, or call their sexual partner “Daddy,” I get nauseous.

    On the issue of Seattle’s so-called progressive politics: it is true–with the exception of misogyny. For example, the basic rights of gay men are staunchly defended. The basic rights of women and girls–straight or lesbian–are, at best, given lip service. This was the town where my family member desperately tried to charge a man who lived in her building with rape and stalking, to which the police responded with, “You can’t change your mind afterwards, sweetheart.”

  18. tiny tyrant

    I’m so proud of those women.

    I know there’s one in Portland too. They have different theme days, lingerie day and so on. I was going to post a link, but decided against it because the site really offensive. It was written about in two of the weekly newspapers. Isn’t it so hipster cool, they were saying.

    Well, it’s actually about 10 minutes outside of Portland.

    Direct action from workers is very exciting, though!

  19. mia

    “Jim Goad’s “Redneck Manifesto” has a few discussions about this phenomenon, especially among undereducated white people who work logging operations throughout the pacific northwest. You just have to ignore the fact that Goad is a flaming misogynist to get to the socio-economic points he’s trying to make, which are actually pretty sharp”

    Dude, I hear you. Given the profound shortage of feminists who write about politicoeconomic issues, I too am wont to take my edumacatin’ from a cultural activist whose human rights credentials include the coveted rank of “flaming misogynist.”

    For the record, Courtney Love is from Australia.

  20. JP

    Twisty,

    You are welcome, my friend!

    Also, I know mysogeny is everywhere, even in Seattle, but for the record there is no “Cowgirl Espresso,” in Seattle. There’s one in Tukwilla and there will soon be one in Monroe. Yes, we’re all hicks; yes, delight in my classist assumptions; no, there is no “Cowgirl Espresso” in Seattle; yes, it’s all the same to you.

  21. Lexia

    Dude, I hear you. Given the profound shortage of feminists who write about politicoeconomic issues, I too am wont to take my edumacatin’ from a cultural activist whose human rights credentials include the coveted rank of “flaming misogynist.”

    Now THAT’S a Seattlite. Thank you, thank you, MIA, for providing an example better than a thousand words could tell.

    Where are the politicaleconomicists writing about the human rights of half the human race? Not in the Stranger or the PI, for sure.

  22. Marcy

    Well, I’m glad all the women quit, but I’m sad that another batch will just take their places. That’s why there will never be a revolution. There are too many women who are brainwashed. And I’m not talking about the ones who have no choice; I’m talking about the ones who have a choice. And sometimes women have choices but believe they don’t, or they choose the more oppressive thing for some nebulous rewards.

  23. Occasional Expositor

    Lexia, try Marilyn Waring’s If Women Counted – a review here

  24. Funambulator

    We should take up a collection for those women who quit!

  25. ramou

    I’ve recently realized that all the baristas at my local Second Cup are wearing black thongs with their black uniforms (low cut pants).

    Either every one of them likes thongs, or that’s part of the uniform. I figure I should ask to find out for sure, but there is that scalding hot liquid issue, and I can see how my asking might be taken the wrong way.

    There are still two other good coffee shops on the street, but I already migrated away from one (St. Viatur, as they only hire jail bait now, and that creeped me out).

  26. Sean

    (continuing from Occasional Expositor) Or here, Catharine MacKinnon’s Toward a Feminist Theory of the State.

  27. Jaye

    I’m not actually sure why this is so wrong. If this place were around (on the East Coast) 2 years ago I would have gladly worked there. I think part of the problem here is that it’s some women who look down on the women who choose to use their looks/bodies to get ahead.
    I’ve got news for you, the type of guys who objectify women will do it no matter what you wear. Rapists go after old ladies in house coats just as often (if not more so) as they attack young girls. If you can get them to act like idiots and hand over extra money because you are wearing something ‘sexy’ or provocative then I say go for it.
    I paid my dues, cocktailed in mini-skirts in NYC. I never could have made the tips I did in pants, couldn’t have lived on what the male waiters and bartenders made and couldn’t have afforded college working only 3 shifts a week. The women who work in these places are doing it by choice, the choice to make more money. Is that wrong? Maybe to some, but I don’t judge them.

  28. Mar Iguana

    Occasional Expositor, Waring may be the most important voice in feminism. She goes straight to the dark heart of a world-wide economic system designed to keep women down no matter how hard we try to free ourselves. Until women learn what this system is, its history, why it exists and who is behind it, we will continue to slip in shit.

    Waring’s work is so important I’d like to see a discussion of it here as was done with Firestone. Unfortunately, when you mention the word “economics,” people’s eyes glaze over and their ears plug up. But, Waring doesn’t use econo-ese, just plain language, making it easy to understand. Plus, she has a great sense of humor. Have you ever seen the documentary about her work, Occasional Expositor?

    The global, ecological and social crises afflicting this world will never end without going to the root of the problem: The mandatory use of the UN accounting system (modeled after the UK’s WWII system) by member nations which is anything but an objective economic policy. The reality is that it is nothing more than a tool to enable the political agenda of keeping rich, stupid, white, American, war-mongering men in power.

    Read Waring’s book, “If Women Counted” and watch her documentary “Who’s Counting” and so much will become clear. Refusing to count the unpaid work of women in nations’ gross domestic product, excluding from national accounts the negative costs of damage to the environment and valuing only the market economy is a destructive policy and it has to end.

    Waring shows how easily this evil system could be ended. It imputes value to death, destruction and the war machine. The work of oceans, air and forests are given no value until they are polluted or chopped down. Insane.

    The only place you can get Waring’s DVD, for about $30, is from Bullfrog Films at http://www.bullfrogfilms.com. The book is easy to find on Amazon. If I could afford to buy the DVD and her book and send it to women everywhere, I would. Unfortunately, as a woman, whose life-creating and -sustaining work has no value whatsoever according to the UN, I’m not able to do that.

    There is something very wrong in a world where women own 1% of real property yet produce about 85% of its food. We gotta get these vile clowns off our backs. The survival of the planet depends on it.

  29. Vera

    Mar Iguana, on your recommendation I went over to Amazon.com to find Waring’s book. It turns out it’s out of print, though Amazon has several used copies at good prices (I ordered one–couldn’t resist a $2 hardback). It looks like Waring has a more recent book titled Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are Worth.

    And Amazon, being Amazon, suggests that I might also like Patriarchy and Accumulation On A World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labour by Maria Mies. Do you know anything about that book?

    Thanks for the recommendations.

    And back to the regularly scheduled blaming: we need an organization that sponsors and promotes boycotts of workplaces where women are forced to wear pornified outfits.

  30. Angel

    Sadly, none of this surprises me. But if you’re sitting in judgment on the boss, stop. Ask yourself: when’s the last time you read a fashion magazine for “tips,” bought something with a brand-name because it was trendy, looked in a mirror and groaned (aloud or to yourself), worried about your appearance (including, but not limited to breast size, ass size, height, weight, hair (on your head or anywhere else), manicure/pedicure, complexion, etc.), compared yourself to any other woman present in a room to feel better/worse about yourself, worried if you’d ever meet The One because it’s just too lame to be single, worried about your biological clock, bought a “cool” car (or “cool” anything, for that matter), and so on. My point? We are *all* victims of the patriarchy — some just more blatantly than others. Now, I’m not suggesting that any of the above is intrinsically a sell-out to patriarchy. What I *am* suggesting is that women look at their own buy-into behaviors (covert or not) before condemning a Sister. Divide and conquer is a patriarchal strategy that’s worked for centuries. Don’t fall into the trap. Screw the patriarchy *and* the martriarchy. Fight for balance!

  31. Twisty

    “I think part of the problem here is that it’s some women who look down on the women who choose to use their looks/bodies to get ahead.” — Jaye

    Maybe some women do. Patriarchy-blamers don’t. And this isn’t about what women wear to work. It’s about how nothing women do in a patriarchy is a politically neutral act. Read the FAQ.

  32. Twisty

    “What I *am* suggesting is that women look at their own buy-into behaviors (covert or not) before condemning a Sister. Divide and conquer is a patriarchal strategy that’s worked for centuries. Don’t fall into the trap. Screw the patriarchy *and* the martriarchy. Fight for balance!”

    I have clarified my views on this topic at great length on this blog, so if you think that by calling out the normalization of porn/rape culture I am condemning women, please take a tip-toe through the archive, where you will encounter some difficulty finding evidence to support your accusation. Also, there is no such thing as “matriarchy.” Also, “balance” is just another word for “equality”. Equality cannot obtain under the auspices of patriarchy. It is a red herring tossed out by liberal dudes to distract the sex class from pursuing actual liberation.

  33. CafeSiren

    Twisty’s concise response to Jaye’s argument was about where I was heading (though not with such elegant economy).

    I would only add that when we make a choice to endorse patriarchal values (whether tacitly or explicitly) through our own choices, words, and actions, we are contributing to the normalization of a system that keeps us all down. The alternative (penury, ostracism, etc.) is not attractive, and the burden falls even harder on the majority of women who lack the economic alternatives to say no to any job (or any man, for that matter) that can pay the bills. This, I believe, is all the more reason for those of us who can resist to do so.

  34. Random Lurker

    I’m across the water in Kitsap and live within a 30 mile radius of three of these type of stands. I’m so glad women are refusing to work at those places and hope all their customers follow them to their new stands, even if it’s to Starbucks. Starbucks may be McCoffee, but at least they let their baristas wear clothes. Sbucks also employs–gasp!–plus-size women.

  35. Angel

    Browsed your site a bit. You are genuinely funny — hostile, but funny! I will look into your archives. They promise for some sassy reading. Couple of items here…

    I’ll grant your point on equality not being possible if it’s defined by those holding the institutional power, but how exactly would a world without…theocracy, gender, race, deity worship, marriage, prostitution, exploitation, the nuclear family, reproduction, caste, the oppression of children, pornography, rape, and government interference in private uteruses, domestic arrangements, drug habits, lives, and deaths…operate on a concrete level? It sounds interesting, though I suspect that someone, sometime, somehow would impose a hierarchy of sorts (with all the ensuing rules, regs and crap that goes with it). Hmmm. Is the above-referenced government you acknowledge but don’t want interfering in your stuff up to the challenge? Surprised you keep government at all, actually.

    No such thing as Matriarchy? If you believe that, then the patriarchy has done a number on *you*. Then again…you say po-tay-to and I say po-tah-to. Matriarchy doesn’t have to be institutionalized to be real, unless you choose to define it that way. Matriarchy can be one woman, taking her stand in the world and being 100% responsible for her thoughts, feelings and actions in it. Yup, 100%. Damn. There goes blame.

    BTW, I’m an ancient female (51) and long-time feminist. Nice to see there are still women out there who are paying attention. Change through hostility isn’t my style, but if it works for you…go for it! Thanks for the pinch on the behind, Twisty.

    Be well

  36. tinfoil hattie

    It is impossible for “one woman” to be “100% responsible for her thoughts, feelings, and actions” under patriarchy. Impossible. How can I be “100% responsbile” for my actions when my actions are limited by definition? Small example — I cannot walk freely in public without threat of harassment. So I’m not 100% responsible for my actions; i.e., choosing to walk with another person, or choosing to drive, or choosing to walk about brandishing a sidearm on my person (thank dog I live in Virginia, right?). I choose my actions under the strictures of patriarchy.

    I cannot be “100% responsible” for my feelings because I don’t own them. My feelings, and every woman’s feelings, have been tainted by the slimy veil of partriarchy: for example, I feel shame for being fat. I feel enmbarrassment for not being prettier. I feel guilty for not raising my children the “right” way. All these feelings came from living under patriarchy.

    Can I “choose” not to be ashamed, embarrassed, and guilty? Sure, I can. In response to patriarchal pressure to feel those feelings, of course. So under patriarchy, my 100% choices amount to two: submit to the judgment of myself as patriarchy says I must, or rebel against the judgement of myself as partriarchy says I must. See how patriarchy shows up in both those choices?

    We can all make our limited choices of how to think, feel, and act under patriarchy. But if you think you’re untainted by patriarchy, and that all of your thoughts and feelings and actions happen in a vacuum where men and women are equal, you’re mistaken.

    And by the way, twisty isn’t “hostile.” She tells the truth, a truth that upsets the applecart of patriarchy, and that’s not a nice thing to do, so of course she is branded “hostile.” Because she’s supposed to be “nice,” being a woman, and all. Nice girls don’t complain or use sarcasm or point out injustice in other than timidly expressed opinions, using carefully modulated voices.

  37. thebewilderness

    ramou,
    When you say “jail bait”, are we to understand that you are talking about female children?
    Could you be more patriarchal than to refer to potential victims as though their ability to attract pedophiles and perverts defines them.

    I think that the publicity that these drive by coffee stops are getting is equivalent to painting a target on them.

  38. Sean

    Angel, your passive aggressiveness seems much more hostile than Twisty’s “hostility.” As tinfoil hattie points out, she’s simply telling the truth and just happens to be an amazing rhetorician (if you’re a Platonist, I refuse to see the two points as contradictory).

  39. Crystal

    I have a small anecdote that really illustrates how true Miller’s comment about the normalization of quasi-pedophilia through the girlification of grown women is.
    A while ago two female coworkers were telling me how a brazilian will “change my life.” When I responded with the fact that I’m BROKE and can hardly afford adequate food and basic hygienic supplies such as toothpaste (they are too, btw) they were like “it’ worth it!”
    At this point I felt it necessary to apologetically state my opinion that I find certain “beauty” trends for women, such as the removal of all body hair, indicative of some kind of mass cultural pedophilia. My coworker’s blithe response:
    “Oh, yeah, they want you to be a little girl.”

  40. Crystal

    Though I have to say that I really don’t care for beards on men, so I feel kind of hypocritical criticizing grooming practices.

  41. PhysioProf

    “You are genuinely funny — hostile, but funny! I will look into your archives. They promise for some sassy reading.”

    I’m picturing a revised IBTP slogan:

    “I Blame The Patriarchy exists to advance the radical feminist views of Twisty Faster, a hostilely funny, yet sassy, gentleman farmer and spinster aunt eating dinner in Austin, Texas.”

  42. jenofiniquity

    I’ve come late to this thread, but I had to point out to the “not in Seattle” crowd that Chicka Latte opened a couple of weeks ago just a mile or two from my house in an onstensibly “blue” neighorhood. And, basically, everybody yawned and said “so what?” and maybe made a joke or two about hot lattes.

  43. jenofiniquity

    I meant “ostensibly,” of course.

  44. Crystal

    ummm, did I miss the REAL definition of matriarchy somewhere?

  45. Miller

    Jaye,

    According to your argument, one shouldn’t criticize anything women or girls do or are put through because men will dehumanize the lot of us anyway. Essentially, don’t fight back because there’s no point.

    Also, with regards to seeing nothing wrong with the dress code: there is something *heinously* wrong with blurring womanhood and girlhood via sex, as it results in the sexualization of young girls. First, since male sexuality is exceptionally sensitive to visual stimuli, it is susceptible to manipulation (Notice how all pedophiles themselves were either victims or watched abuse). By putting young adult women–whom hetero males are naturally aroused by–in schoolgirl uniforms, it overtly conditions males to be aroused by actual schoolgirls. And there is no lack of easily accessible online pedophilia out there to appease any desire.

    Second, every pedophile depends on sexualizing their victims b/c they realize what society refuses to: sexualization only results in significant harm to the child, warping the essence of their being. And that’s if they’re lucky and not actually attacked by a pedophile.

    As an aunt of a little niece this is what I have to contend with: http://my.opera.com/rbd y los rebeldes/about/

    The above is a photo of two members of a hugely popular Latin pop group, RBD, which was based on a telenovela about a group of six teens (boys and girls) at a private HS. Yes, that is their “school uniform.” Some girls on the show were not even 18.

  46. Miller

    With regards to the link: apparently you have to click on the entire line and not merely the section that is hyperlinked. Don’t ask me why.

    To make sure, the site is: my.opera.com (followed by) /rbd y los rebeldes/about/

  47. Lisa

    I find Angel’s comments to be the direct definition of the patriarchy in its most passive and heniously subversive form.

    I’m not criticizing her personally, I think a lot of women get taken in by this form of patriarchical oppression. I think I was.

    Just keep reading, Angel. I look forward to reading your comments in two or three months when you see things in a whole new light.

  48. Lexia

    Occasional Expositor, Sean, MarIguana,

    I apologize, I’m a little bit late back into the thread here. The question was rhetorical and meant to mimic that oh-so-familiar “feminists don’t care about the little guy” gag beloved of liberal males. It’s the signature attitude of the double-standard bearers among liberals in the Northwest, with whom I am wearily familiar.

    I heartily agree with all three recommendations. There’s a feminist economics list that used to be very good that knew all about Waring, but it’s probably dissipated or got watered down like so many of the early feminist Internet lists.

    I also agree that knowing about economics is extremely important for women. As is law. They both have enormous influence over people’s lives, in ways that I never realized until I studied them. They don’t have to be boring. I wish they were taught beginning in grade school. To bring it back to this post, I think it’s glaringly obvious that women would not work in these jobs if jobs that allowed them dignity and a sufficient income were open to them. That’s economics. They’re not. That’s law.

    Sorry for interrupting the thread, just had to second the recommendations and try to clear up any misunderstanding resulting from my less-than-Twistyeque writing ability.

  49. Crystal

    “I find Angel’s comments to be the direct definition of the patriarchy in its most passive and heniously subversive form.”
    Absolutely. This is my personal long version of that wonderfully concise statement:
    It keeps you focused on YOURSELF so you don’t actually do anything about what’s going on around you. I think that the P does this to everyone, but most outrageously to women.
    I only came to this conclusion after supposedly losing my mind and being diagnosed as bipolar and thinking I was responsible for my state of being, well, that or some genetic flaw, or perhaps a bad mother. I was spending all of my time and energy in self-help routines and was inappropriately medicated.
    I’m sure you can all guess what got me to this state.
    Luckily I met a friend who had suffered through the same thing and made me realize that I’m at least as sane as everyone else. There’s good reason to be depressed and disillusioned, and no it’s not because it’s such a great metaphysical learning experience gifted to you**, it’s because the social system is perverse and emotionally damaging.
    I quit my medications and self-help bullshit and now I feel much clearer.
    The kind of individualism that the P likes to promote as ideal is simply not based in any kind of human reality, as someone above pointed out. The fabulous people here are not coming down on women, we’re coming down on the conditions that cause women and men to act in the misogynistic ways that they do. I think that most of us have probably done similar things at some point, or, admittedly, even now. That’s why it bothers us, because it’s really not much of a choice that’s offered!
    I also hate it that people act like “judgment” is the world’s most reprehensible crime. Get in touch with reality people, judgment is a basic human faculty that allows us to survive. We need to be able to judge situations, and, to some extent, the people around us. I mean, seriously, it’s not like me saying that someone is behaving in a misogynistic or irresponsible way is condemning them to the deepest hellfires or something, it’s just an observation of reality.
    Most of my life has been spent in a very “spiritual”/esoteric frame of mind, and I now realize that this whole militant positivity movement is just a self-lobotomizing scam to keep people from acting on their totally well-deserved anger over the state of affairs.

    Also, Jaye, “paid my dues”??? I remember when I used to think that way. It’s an uncomfortable place to be.

    **though I do kind of feel this way about it now, rather ironically, just because it led me to my current state, which is still somewhat miserable but with awareness of the real reason.

    Twisty, I hope I’m not writing too much on here. It’s just that I’ve become obsessed with your website since finding it and it seems to be one of the only places where I can express these sorts of feelings and possibly not have them interpreted as some sort of half-crazed rants. If I’m overdoing it, let me know.

  50. Miller

    Regarding the “judgmental” label: aren’t misogynists exceptionally judgmental to the point of absurdity (i.e. bigotry)? If anything, feminists oppose the “verdict first, trial later” mentality that misogynists defend. I remember Frank Rich commenting in 2000 that those who criticized Eminem were “moral scolds,” which he said without a touch of irony, considering that the “artist” he was defending based his entire career on morally condemning the act of being female as the ultimate evil that deserved ruthless and relentless punishment. But criticizing such “moral” extremism was downright “judgmental.” This, I believe, is the equivalent of doublespeak.

  51. sun rat

    What pisses me right the fucking hell off, is if this trend continues(as we all know it will) then very soon, my daughters will have nowhere to work that does NOT require this crap.

    Mcd and Jack in the Box don’t look nearly so evil in comparison. And that is just freaky.

  52. Jodie

    Sun rat, they can be medical professionals. Scrubs are about the least sexay uniform there is, although marketing idiots keep trying to make scrubs more “feminine” and form fitting.

  53. PhysioProf

    Crystal: “If I’m overdoing it, let me know.”

    Obviously I only speak for myself, but I find your posts both cogent and interesting.

  54. Jeni

    Jodie said,

    “Scrubs are about the least sexay uniform there is, although marketing idiots keep trying to make scrubs more “feminine” and form fitting.”

    Yes, indeed. One of the many nice perks about my career choice is that I am dressed either in scrubs (which, as I’m 6 feet tall, I only ever get in the baggy sizes) or in coveralls and wellies. That is my uniform.

    If anyone were to suggest that female doctors or veterinarians (or technicians, nurses, etc.) should dress sexier, they would probably be laughed out of the clinic. When I own my own clinic, the first guy to suggest that might be shown the door by means of an emasculator. I have a hard time understanding why this is different when one works in food service or other work. I blame the patriarchy.

  55. Lauredhel

    “If anyone were to suggest that female doctors or veterinarians (or technicians, nurses, etc.) should dress sexier, they would probably be laughed out of the clinic.”

    Sexier? Maybe not, at least not explicitly. But I certainly copped the odd bit of gender-based flak when I chose to wear zip-up dark-green overall scrubs (I had to dash into the men’s theatre changeroom for these) instead of the prescribed pastel-coloured two-piece “women’s” scrubs.

    And I’ve blogged before about my struggle to have appropriate surgical safety footwear supplied for my inappropriately-girlacious feet.

    The patriarchy is everywhere, and scrubs are no exception.

  56. mearl

    I recall the first article Twisty linked to (was it last year?) and happily read this one (till I got to the part about the “response being overwhelming” to the coffee shop owner’s ad for new tail to replace the women who quit). Then I took a moment to harrumph at the idea that men need even MORE female-oppressing bullshit to get off on. I have gone past the murky grey area of considering all individual choices and reasoning and logic behind these sorts of franchises and their female employees, along with the rah-rah-sex-work position, a LONG time ago. The bottom line is that it hurts women because it opens up the door for things to continue going this way until, as sun rat said, there won’t be anywhere to turn after awhile (except maybe to the fundamentalist right wing, and no thanks). I’m in violent opposition to any and all porn-based infiltrations of our daily lives, and a huge fan of Waring. I suppose you could call me the choir. Preach on, Twisty!

  57. herdottiness

    The obsession with food and sex surfacing in my corner of Phoenix is the Heart Attack Grill (or some such name) that appeared in a re-done Jack in the Box. There’s an ambulance parked prominently outside, and the waitresses are dressed as porn-fantasy nurses with boobs busting through unbuttoned white dresses. No scrubs here. The sandwiches are named one-, two- and three-bypasses, with the number of hamburgers increasing as they go.

    The only good thing to say about this is maybe the men going here will indeed die sooner than later.

    I am soooo tired of all this crapola. Don’t men possibly understand that it reduces them all the levels of dogs? (And I LOVE my little male dog, but he’s just a dog!) IBTP of course.

  58. Crystal

    In response to Jeni, I think that the key word here is service. While doctors and nurses do provide a valuable service, they are not considered service workers because, well, it’s a different class. Doctors and nurses are considered to have value as human beings because of their education and skills. Because they are considered to have actual worth in other ways they don’t have to be sexay.
    I remember when I was a waitress at a rather expensive non-sexified restaurant I felt like I was somehow actually failing in my job duties by being a bit chubby. I tried to make up for it by being extra solicitous, but I still felt bad accepting as much money as I was from people without providing sex appeal. Of course I didn’t think of it as sex appeal at the time, just as being an acceptable female being. I don’t think the customers really even cared, but that’s how I felt.
    Even without evidences of the patriarchy in my external world, it’s still very much alive and well in my psyche. Of course, there’s plenty of evidence in the outside world.

  59. Lisa

    As a person (who wore scrubs) and worked in health care as a lowly CNA back in my 20′s, let me just say that misogyny is alive and well in health care no matter what you are wearing. Do you realize how many “heh, heh, heh. I’m ready for my sponge bath, nurse! wink, winks” I got? The sicker they were, the more they depended on your actual services and appreciated you as human (as being sick and vulnerable, they felt powerless…I guess?) But many of those male patients who were hospitalized for minor or easily recoverable things (broken leg, etc.) were all into health care worker misogyny, especially when they were surrounded by their buddies.

    There is no escape.

  60. Jane Doe

    Oh well, that’ll let those women get back to the kitchen where they belong. Fucking women, jobs are for men. Cooking and cleaning are for women. Kids, unless female shouldn’t even be near women. They might be influenced by their taint, and thus lose their natural male abilities.

  61. Jeni

    Lauredhel and Lisa, points well taken. As a tall, large woman, I have no trouble fitting into men’s sizes. Maybe there are just fewer opportunities for sexism to rear its head in the vet field? The few times I’ve seen it have been out at farms with grizzled old farmers showing their amusement at a woman being a doctor, but really, even most farmers don’t feel that way.

    Maybe that’s one of the reasons my class is about 90 percent women. We’ve found a place that is slightly less unbearable than the rest of the world. And we get to spend our day doing rectal exams on cattle. It’s a win-win situation.

  62. Bird

    I count myself lucky that when I waited tables part-time in college, I worked in fine dining. We all wore black pants, dress shirts and ties with those long waiters’ aprons. I wore almost no makeup (just a dab of concealer on the odd zit) and kept my hair in a bun. I had regulars who asked for me by name because they liked how I did my job. I think of that job as paying my dues in some ways, but I’m glad I didn’t have to expose my breasts to do it. I worked my way through college, but thankfully, I didn’t have to trade on my breasts to do so.

    I feel sorry for the increasing numbers of female students I know who are working at bars where their tips depend on the length of their skirts and the plunge of their tops. The P seems to remind even the brightest young women that they’re really only worth the market value of their cleavage.

  63. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    My world’s worst boss happened to me when I was a wee slip of a lass of nineteen. I was running a check encoding machine (because girls have good eye-to-hand coordination, dontcha know) at a bank for $3.98/hr. And getting my buttocks fondled by the boss’s son at the file cabinet. Since I was living at home I could’ve walked, but they had a good college tuition reimbursement program. So I put up with it.

    Oh, and his office had glass walls. He used to pick his nose & wipe it on the glass (yecchh!). Which was even grosser than the butt-grabbing.

  64. Niki

    The word ‘sassy’ when used to describe a vocal female sticks in my craw. It’s one of them words that denotes all female expression of distaste to actions of sexaaaay. Plus it’s the name of yet another useless women’s magazine that tells us we’re too fat and we’re not doing the right things to ‘snare a man’.

    I also think that any woman that cites Jim Goad as a creditable source of knowledge ESPECIALLY in a radical feminist blog is either counting on the fact that hardly anyone here will have heard of him, or trying to stir up some serious shit. Jim Goad is not street cred. He’s not awesome. He is witty and sharp and sometimes very funny, yet he is ultimately a violent mysoginist pig asshole. If you followed him here from the 80′s, you’ll know this already. Go back and read the ‘Rape’ issue of ‘Answer Me’ for a refresher.

  65. larkspur

    Too bad you can’t borrow Twisty’s spanking new iPhone, Antoinette, and travel back in time. You might still have to put up with shit for the tuition reimbursement, but you could have revealed the creep’s nose-pickin’ ‘n’ wipin’ to the whole world.

  66. WhyChromo

    [p]My sister’s college room mate is from the Seattle area, and jenofiniquity’s post reminded me of something she said in passing about this ‘hawt coffee’ phenomenon, and Chicka Latte in particular. I checked the Chicka Latte website to confirm, and the room mate was right on.[/p]

    [p]On the Chicka Latte site there is a link titled ‘Uniforms’ which links to a site called Fantasia Wear, which has six whole pages of ‘Uniforms’ that are acceptable for Chicka Latte employees:[/p]

    [p]http://fantasiawear.com/chickalatte.htm[/p]

    [p]The top of this page reads, “All baristas receive a generous uniform allowance. Upon being selected as a ChickaLatte Beautiful Coffee barista, you can choose from a wide array of outfits that best reflects your personality.”[/p]

    [p]Possible personalities for today’s Beautiful Coffee Barista include: Sexy Soldier; Sexy Sailor; Sexy Policewoman; any number of different and highly individual Sexy Schoolgirls, Cheerleaders and Nurses; and the highly original Sexy Girl Scout complete with a green satin sash that reads “Cookie Girl.”[/p]

    [p]It’s almost funny to see this after watching the part of the video jenofiniquity’s post linked to where the owner of Chicka Latte speaks at length about the outfits not going to far compared to some of his competitors.[/p]

    [p]It’s ALMOST funny.[/p]

  67. WhyChromo

    Whoops. Not so much with the Bracket-Ps. My post-fu is feeble, many apologies.

  68. Sean

    Niki, I just read it online, and I pretty much want to vomit.

  69. Bird

    I actually got a book submission from Goad a while back. I showed it to a couple of the other women editors around the office. I then filed it in the handy bin under my desk. Publish him? Not in my lifetime.

    Sometimes being an acquisitions editor has its privileges. Of course, I had to read his crap first.

  70. Katherine

    I live in the Seattle area and have run into these places. In fact, I had to quit my favorite drive-up stand which I had faithfully been giving my morning $4. to for over a year. And I had to quit because they went with a similar theme. I spoke with the young women who worked there, they were not happy at all that the female stand owner had decided to do this, but were at the time undecided as to whether they would quit or not. I never went back to find out. I also make sure to tell the barissta who was helping me that day to tell the owner that I would not be back and why. With a big smile on her face, she assured me she would.

    A local TV news station recently did a story on a stand in the Seattle ‘burb of Redmond where a mother is actually pimping out her 16 year old daughter. That one broke my heart. Large pictures of the girl in a catholic-school-girl outfit with pigtails licking a large sucker adorn the outside walls of the place. The daughter wears a biniki while working, the mother wears lingerie. The mother doesn’t think that there is a problem because after all; her daughter wears a bikini to the beach! Yes Mom, and do you make money off your daughter while she wears the bikini to the beach as well? In the interview, the mother seemed delighted at the extra publicity and not at all thoughtful about what she may be doing to her daughter.

    But what delighted me is in hearing about the response from the stands near these sexist stands. Signs saying “family friendly latte!” are sprouting up all around these places. It’s a trend that will make it’s way out of the northwest and around the country I’m sure. I hear it’s quite lucrative.

  71. niki

    I thought Goad was cool when I was a teenager because he was angry, blunt and funny. After the Rape issue came out and he got busted for beating the shit out of some girl he was cheating on his dying wife with, I realized I had been misguided in my idolatry. Even without the history, it was made obvious to me that he definitely sees women as ‘the other’ in an enormous way, which pretty much automatically means he’s a creepy creep weirdo jerk jerkface.

  72. Kiuku

    The women had a right to quit, but they also had a right to their jobs, and to not be harassed. They signed up for a normal coffee place, not a strippy coffee place. And, therefore, what the boss did, by instating new rules that htey had to dress more “sexy” now was sexual harassment. Think about it. If you were those women, and your male boss told you you now had to wear sexy clothes to keep your job, as if he could demand that, and proudly proclaims your replaceability, is nothing short of -sexual harassment- and they should sue. What the boss should have done is fire his entire staff when he “revamped” his “business”, and then say he would rehire them on other terms than that which they were hired, not demand a new outfit and sexual behavior from his staff. That’s sexual harassment.

  73. Mar Iguana

    “And Amazon, being Amazon, suggests that I might also like Patriarchy and Accumulation On A World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labour by Maria Mies. Do you know anything about that book?” vera

    No, I don’t but sounds like it might be a good read from the title. I’ve gotta ‘fess-up, I’m one of those whose eyes glaze over and ears plug up when I hear the word “economics.” Mainly because economists take special pride in making what they’re saying as unintelligible as possible and pretending their field is a science rather than a scam.

    All I know is that it’s a good idea to follow the money when something seems completely upside down and backwards, such as human society.

  74. Crystal

    ” I’ve gotta ‘fess-up, I’m one of those whose eyes glaze over and ears plug up when I hear the word “economics.” Mainly because economists take special pride in making what they’re saying as unintelligible as possible and pretending their field is a science rather than a scam.”

    This is one of the most comforting things I’ve read recently. Particularly after taking a Global Issues class this summer with a textbook called “Global Issues, Global Solutions,” which was basically 800 pages of economic liberalization propaganda. I ended up failing the class because I just couldn’t even cut through all of the assumptions about quality of life and development, among other things, to make any kind of coherent argument or even get an understanding about anything concrete. It was pointless to even ask things like how new industries affect the family life of female workers and such because it really DOESN’T MATTER as long as national net product or whatever is raised.
    Of course they included some token bit about AIDS too, as a half-assed attempt to legitimize or slightly veil the otherwise obvious point of the whole course.
    I think I would definitely find it more worthwhile to read some feminist economic theory. I’m so stoked that there are so many intelligent and informed women on this blogspace.

  75. Bird

    niki, you should see the articles on his personal website sometime. I’m not going to put the link here, but it’s some of the most racist, sexist, homophobic material I’ve ever read. His piece on Muslim women made me want to throw my monitor across the office. I had never heard of him, and at first, I thought the site couldn’t be for real. But it is, and he is. I wanted to take a bottle of bleach to my brain.

  76. Niki

    Bird, I’ve seen all of it. I used to have (male) friends that moved to Colorado to do exclusive interviews with him. He had quite a following for a while. Scary shit.

  77. Mar Iguana

    “Of course they included some token bit about AIDS too, as a half-assed attempt to legitimize or slightly veil the otherwise obvious point of the whole course.” Crystal

    Of course they would include AIDS. It’s a real money-maker what with treatment, medication sold, etc. Money is exchanged so AIDS is a good thing you see.

    Waring points out that while economists say it’s virtually impossible to impute value to womens’ unpaid work, they sure are able to estimate the value of the illegal “activities” of women, prostitution and sex slavery, and make sure it’s included it in the GDP of a country. Kind of a piss-off, ain’t it?

    You can take special pride in flunking a class in Bullshit 101, Crystal.

  78. derrp

    Mar Iguana,

    De-lurking for a moment to ask a favor of you. Somewhere on one of IBTP’s threads, you posted a list of recommended feminist reading… somewhere that I can’t seem to find again! I would be grateful if you’d repost it. I value your opinions quite highly after reading your posts here.

    Twisty & basically everyone on this blog: IBTP has saved my sanity, and for this I thank you all.

  79. Mar Iguana

    I appreciate the kind words, derrp, but I can’t for the life of me remember posting a list of feminist reading here. That’s not to say I didn’t. The quality of my memory can vary depending on the quantity of bowls burned, but I figure stoned’s better than homicidal.

    Can you remember anything about what was being discussed? There are so many brilliant women here, I know if you mentioned an area of interest you’d have yourself a great list in no time. ‘Course, that could be off-topic and might be more appropriate to take over to Twisty’s board. I don’t go there much myself because I spend too much time staring at this screen as it is.

  80. derrp

    You know, Mar Iguana, I was looking for that post again tonight and I found it. You included Wifework, Misconceptions, Counting for Nothing, If Freud Were Phyllis, and The Whole Woman.

    I should go to the message board instead. For some reason I thought I had checked it and it was down, but I just rechecked and it’s working fine. One more thing before I go, though.

    I just want to say that I am so overwhelmingly thankful that I have FINALLY found a forum where what I consider “rational thought” isn’t blatantly derided, but rather is the norm. Finding IBTP was like stumbling mercifully across an oasis after dragging my half-dead corpse through the desert for years on end. This is the only place I’ve ever found where I truly feel that I can trust the opinions of the posters – I guess that means I’m a radical feminist.

  81. Twisty

    “I guess that means I’m a radical feminist.”

    Another one’s drunk the Kool-Aid! Yowsa.

  82. Mezosub

    Niki, I am going to repost what I posted before, just so that it’s perfectly clear:

    Jim Goad’s “Redneck Manifesto” has a few discussions about this phenomenon, especially among undereducated white people who work logging operations throughout the pacific northwest. You just have to ignore the fact that Goad is a flaming misogynist to get to the socio-economic points he’s trying to make, which are actually pretty sharp.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I thought I was the first one to point out that Goad is a misogynist of the worst sort. However, his analysis of the cultural scapegoating of poor white Americans is correct.

    I understand that this pluralism can be difficult to grasp for people who are accustomed to thinking in black-or-white terms. However, it is possible for vile, disgusting misogynists and racists to manage to do solid, well-researched, cogent, lucid analyses of social problems from time to time.

    I’m all for giving the devil his due, but at no point did I ever even attempt a whiff of a suggestion that Goad was somehow “cool” or possessed of amazing “street cred.” On the contrary, I just happen to think the guy is a prick. But that’s my opinion, and my opinion doesn’t change the fact that he managed to do some decent work about poor white people in America.

    This, to me, is the same as anti-contraception activists who discount Margaret Sanger’s work because she was a eugenicist. So what if she was? She did solid, socially important work with Planned Parenthood and that’s what the focus is on when it comes to public discourse.

  83. Caukee

    Love me some economics. The first time I had a history class which included this aspect of life (in 11th grade), my brain lit up. “Oh, this is the part of why and how things work they’ve been leaving out.” Maybe it was because I went to college in the 70′s, but my Econ courses there certainly addressed the unpaid, uncounted work of women, the many ways we keep the poor poor, and the devastating effects of war on even such a war-machine economy as ours. It wasn’t all statistics.

    Looking for If Women Counted, there seem to be mostly beat-up or overpriced used copies. It appears to be, though I haven’t read it, an important work that might be used in college courses if it were available. I checked WorldCat and I can likely get it by ILL, but I’m wondering why it’s out of print, aside from the usual suspect, i.e., the insanities of the publishing business, and the politics and tax policies that contribute to said insanity. That, I’m aware of.

    Has a subsequent work supplanted it ? Is it considered out-of-date ? Some other reason ?

  84. Svetlana Monsoon

    Miller:

    “First, since male sexuality is exceptionally sensitive to visual stimuli, it is susceptible to manipulation… By putting young adult women–whom hetero males are naturally aroused by–in schoolgirl uniforms, it overtly conditions males to be aroused by actual schoolgirls.”

    I’m new here, but isn’t this just another version of “oh, the poor menz can’t HELP assaulting women because they’re just so turned on by what they see! It’s in their biology, didn’t you know that? Maybe those bitches shouldn’t dress so slutty!”

    IOW, what women wear shouldn’t be blamed for causing pedophilia.

    I blame the patriarchy.

    (Damn, it feels good saying that)

    P.S. As far as I know, no science backs up the claim that men are turned on visually more so than women. It’s an urban myth convenient to the patriarchy.

  85. Twisty

    Svetlana Monsoon makes an interesting point. What about it, Miller?

  86. niki

    Mezosub:

    I guess I just can’t bring myself to pay tribute to any ideas that come from someone who hates women so much, even if they’re smart ideas.

    Kinda like I won’t be going to Cairo ever because, although there are all manner of interesting and important things to see there, I won’t give money I earned to an economy that shuts out women entirely.

    My tolerance level is different from yours, I concede. Mojito?

  87. Mezosub

    Niki:

    Agreed. Mojitos at five. I’ll buy the first round. :)

  88. rafalah

    Kind of late and perhaps a bit off topic, but can we all rebel against the exalted use of the noun/verb/adjective “PIMP” as part of normal conversation? I.E. “Pimp My Car” (a real tv show…or is it ” pimp my ride”).

    Maybe not so much off topic as ‘segue’… And, I love the word “pimpulational”.

    (Twisty! When are you going to publish your dictionary for blamers? Seriously?!)

    But the word Pimp(in all its permutations), like Whore and Gay (as a prerogative) have somehow creeped into common discourse and I am sick and tired of hearing it. I do know who to blame and bill for my terminal illness (that being “PIMPED OUT”) HA!

  89. island mamma

    re:hicks
    seemingly hicks seem to occupy most of the west coast including Canada…perhaps californians are just fancy hicks…
    tehee

  90. Theresa

    “Pimpulational,” as in “pimpulational boss,” is not a word. I Googled it and found only this very article again. At least the patriarchy doesn’t just make up words when it feels like it.

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