Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Feminist Butt Shaming

Why is it that every time our national conversation, such as it is, turns to women’s issues… it’s always about se?. That is, it’s always about the female body, in all its curves and declivities. Those of us who make a habit of respecting women for their minds keep having our attention drawn to pussy hats and other parts of the female anatomy. Now, We are being invited to fix our gaze female butts covered and controlled by yoga pants.

You ask yourself why feminists feel a need to butt shame other women, but the question answers itself.

The topic was raised by New York Times editor, Honor Jones. As you might imagine her op-ed call for women to trade it their yoga pants for sweat pants, the better to avoid the dread male gaze, has attracted loads of feminist attention. The ladies at Jezebel, as feminist as anyone else, find it all to be ridiculous.  Other comments can be found at Pajamas Media. (via Maggie’s Farm)

This is what now passes as serious thinking on the Times op-ed page:

No one looks good in sweatpants. But that’s not the point. They’re basically just towels with waistbands. They exist for two activities: lounging and exercising — two activities that you used to be able to do without looking like a model in a P90X infomercial.

It’s not good manners for women to tell other women how to dress; that’s the job of male fashion photographers. Women who criticize other women for dressing hot are seen as criticizing women themselves — a sad conflation if you think about it, rooted in the idea that who we are is how we look. It’s impossible to have once been a teenage girl and not, at some very deep level, feel that.

In truth, it’s bad manners for anyone to tell women how to dress. Of course, it’s not the job of fashion photographers to do so. It’s the job of male fashion designers (most of whom are not straight) and fashion magazine editors (most of whom are not male.) And let’s not forget the fashion stylists… most of whom are also not straight men. Take that, male gaze.

And yet, Jones comes away with a blinding insight. Women can control the way men look at them, or better, whether men look at them. In her words:

I got on the elliptical. A few women gave me funny looks. Maybe they felt sorry for me, or maybe they were concerned that my loose pants were going to get tangled in the machine’s gears. Men didn’t look at me at all.

A woman has a choice. She is free to choose. She can dress exactly as she pleases. She can dress to be noticed by men or she can dress not to be noticed by men. Doesn’t this tell us that women exercise more power than they think when it comes to attracting the male gaze?

Happily, Jezebel includes an appropriately modest visual image that will allow us all to make up our own minds on the topic:
 Aimee Lutkin offers an astute commentary:

At least once a year, the Internet erupts into a wild argument about whether or not it’s okay for women to wear leggings. Heads roll, teeth gnash, and Twitter runs blue with mentions. The first leggings skirmish of 2018 began with an opinion piece from the only paper that rolls itself up to be used as a shit-stirrer: the New York Times.

Honor Jones titled her piece “Why Yoga Pants Are Bad For Women,” but it should probably be called “Why Yoga Pants Are Bad For Honor Jones But This Article is Good For Traffic.” On a cold day, Jones chose to wear sweatpants to the gym instead of one of the pairs of yoga pants she admits to owning. Jones claims that after getting on the elliptical in this cursed drawstring leg sack, women gave her “funny looks.” While I was not there, I am almost entirely certain this is not true.

Lutkin concludes:

First of all, if Jones wants to see a firm ass that has survived its 30-year shelf life, she can DM me. Secondly, don’t write a a half-baked take on leggings, throw on some body-shaming icing and an ageist cherry, then serve it to me like dessert. It’s trash bait, and you know it!

I imagine that this is what a cat fight looks like… but, truth be told, I am only imagining.


MikeyParks said...

How brave of the Feminists to take on a million years of biology, and to fight the fact that, like it or not, Mother Nature only cares that we reproduce! The mechanism for human reproduction is brilliantly worked out, and up to now has been more than successful. A handful of man-hating women and Lesbians aren't going to change Nature's plan – not at least in the next million years.

Alter Kocker said...

Even worse is that there are over 900 comments on the opinion piece!

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: A woman has a choice. She is free to choose. She can dress exactly as she pleases. She can dress to be noticed by men or she can dress not to be noticed by men. Doesn’t this tell us that women exercise more power than they think when it comes to attracting the male gaze?

The need or desire to be noticed, or not noticed, or noticed exactly in the way you want to be noticed, by the people you want to notice you, and not by the people you don't want to notice you, would seem to be terminally problematic.

It's a wonder more women don't try to hide everything under a burka or baggy clothes or whatever in public settings, but for those who do cover up, you can be sure they're feeling some envy towards those women who can better handle their self-consciousness. And maybe its mutual, so those who feel a need to expose too much to get attention, they might wish they didn't have to spend 6 hours a day on the right clothes and makeup and exercise to get the perfect look, to be seen by people they don't much care about anyway.

Jack Fisher said...

... and while you're at it, please think twice before wearing English riding breeches.

Sam L. said...

Some women hate other women's choices of apparel. Some of those women are feminists. Others are just jerks.

Jack, you left out the high boots that go with those riding breeches.

Christopher B said...

In the end, it boils down to the attractiveness of the males are doing the gazing.

Jack Fisher said...

Sam, it's not the boots that are the problem.

Walt said...

I once read a great quote : "True modesty consists of showing only that which is truly beautiful." Another way of saying, I guess, "If you got it, flaunt it." Seems to me that women who don't got it are angry at the women who do, and flaunt it. No great mystery here.

Sam L. said...

Jack, you don't like riding boots? Haven't you seen them in those '30s movies? I LIKES them. Set off those riding breeches so well. I'll stop now before I get myself into trouble. No Tribbles, though.

Jack Fisher said...

Sam, I used to ride English, meaning I had a pair of those boots, and -- note the difference between this an stretch pants -- a pair of East German cavalry jodhpurs. As I said, the boots weren't the problem.

Trishapatk said...

To Walt; That's an unusual definition of modesty - but even if it's true I don't think your summary makes sense either.

A woman can be beautiful and attractive ( to men as well as other women) without "flaunting" anything. A woman can choose to wear feminine clothes that highlight her shape without going to the extreme of wearing anything provocative or revealing.

Men like women for lots of reasons. It isn't only breasts and "butts", legs or hair. There are all sorts of reasons that people are attractive and they aren't all blatantly sexual. There may be an undercurrent of that in the attraction but men also like women for how they act, how they treat others and what they think about too.

In plenty of instances a woman knows which clothing will trigger a lowest common denominator type of attraction in a man. They may deny it and it's possible that some of them are oblivious to the effect it will have on plenty of men. It gets annoying when they want to accuse men of any wrongdoing when they are attracted. Women can choose to dress however they want and should be smart enough to recognize that it will have an effect on how men see them. There are lots of choices though, it isn't just yoga pants of sweat pants.

Lutkins response is annoying. It doesn't make a bit of sense and it's so nasty.

Anonymous said...

If feminists dislike the sexual dress of other women then it is time to ban makeup. What is makeup for? Why do women paint their lips? Is it to highlight a body part? Why do women wear mascara, et al? It is time for feminists to demand chairman Mao's uniforms for women. That way there is nothing to shame or envy. Better yet some Islamists have an outfit that will solve the feminist' desire for control bandstop women from being women. Damn I forgot about "slut walking." It is all so confusing.
Did you ever wonder why a lot of the products that women use are meant to highlight the sexual. It doesn't really add to the function of the workplace?

Sam L. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Lutkins response is annoying. It doesn't make a bit of sense and it's so nasty."

A nasty woman.
Very progressive.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Feminism is rooted in denial.