willing to fight

I read this article by Julie Klausner last week, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since. That’s, like, time, man. A lot of it. A lot of time to spend thinking about one article.

Have you read it yet? No? Go ahead and give it a whirl. When you come back, I’ll have a confession and some thoughts waiting for you.

Confession: after I got done reading that article, I looked down and — I shittest thou not — I was wearing a blue pocket dress printed with white bow-tied ribbons, and a really old brown shrug printed with white bunnies. Yeah. Not only was I a walking fashion catastrophe, I had become one of them.

Now, some thoughts:

I think this article is, in part, a knee-jerk reaction to the overabundance of twee currently cycling through popular culture and fashion — and yes, weddings too. Advertisers have grabbed the indie thing by the balls and won’t let go. And so we get Subaru commercials in which an impish bride with a severe case of Bangs honeymoons with her new husband in a canvas tent — which is somehow already furnished with a rose-petal-covered bed and a vintage table and chairs (?!) — and they frolic and drink out of enamel cups and moon at each other until it starts raining and everything collapses into a pile of damp cuteness, all while some dude mumbles breathlessly over a strumming guitar.

 

We live in a world where this commercial can be made, and we’re surprised that people are obsessed with flowers and kittens?

[SIDEBAR: WAS SOMEONE AT SUBARU SHUTTING THE OFFICE DOOR AND SNEAKILY DEVOURING WEDDING INSPIRATION BLOGS, OR WHAT.]

Lately I’m really getting sick of this type of crap, so it didn’t take much convincing on Klausner’s part to have me nodding along in agreement with her over the silly turn these trends have taken. I wasn’t initially sold, however, on her point about luring men. Really? We ladyfolk are really just mimicking endlessly recycled versions of Amelie — the film character which arguably opened the door to the mass-market twee aesthetic — in order to make ourselves more sexually desirable? That seemed too simple an explanation. Not to mention it didn’t really ring true for my particular lifestyle, so I wasn’t sure where I fit in Klausner’s equation.

But while the piece appears to be directed at women younger than me — many of my female friends have already settled down with the peen or vag of her choice and none of them would dream of meeting for fro-yo when wine is an option1 — Klausner’s larger point about the way men can perceive women is valid, and I think that’s what makes it most difficult to hear. And it made me wonder: Oh, shit, is the way I’m dressing affecting the way others treat me? Does it affect the way I behave around others? Youth and innocence will always and forever be fetishized by some men and by society at large. Have I unconsciously chosen to emulate girlishness because it’s an easier road to walk than that of the mature woman, who remains feared, shunned, mocked, and scorned by society?

Am I doing all I can to embrace and represent womanhood positively at every age?

And while we’re on about womanhood: Where are the challengers? The scrappers? The combat boot stompers? What happened to the riot grrls? How did it get to the point where I — as someone who used to fiercely wear her father’s too-big, too-tall military-issued pants out of the house — am even buying a dress with a bow-tied ribbon print, anyway?

You know, there was a special period of time in the 1990s where the members of TLC put on baggy shirts and rap-sung about how they liked to wear their baseball hats pointed to the back and kick their pants down real low. In other words, they liked to dress exactly how the men of that era dressed. Or, in the case of this album cover, male pirate-clowns:

This is not to say that us women ought to set our frilly rompers ablaze and rush out to pluck the store shelves clean of men’s Hanes XXL tees. This is not a strident call to return to the more masculine fashions of a decade or two ago. Clothes don’t mean everything, of course.

But at the same time, it’s no coincidence that people dress more challengingly at times they feel they’re being challenged.2

What’s challenging us now? In 1995, No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani mockingly howled, “I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite / So don’t let me have any rights.” Fifteen years later, Beyonce is proudly crowing, “Who run the world? Girls!” Yes, yes, that’s it! The revolution will not be televised because it’s already here! We’ve arrived. No more work to be done, ladies. Let’s all get back to the important business of standing around with our toes pointed inward like awkward waifish tweens, because we didn’t need Planned Parenthood anyway, thanks.

What we need now is anger, and fast. And while I don’t wish that we could all just go back and live in the ’90s,3 I do think we could stand to take a lesson from recent history. Our popular culture today is utterly devoid of a sense of action; a sense of urgency; a sense that something is wrong. Because something is wrong. A lot of things are wrong, in gender and sexuality and economy and politics, and they won’t be righted while we’re off picking out the perfect headband or planting succulents in vintage teacups.

My personal takeaway from the Klausner article: It doesn’t so much matter what we wear to kick ass in so long as we actually bother to, you know, kick ass.

And at the very least, it served as a reminder to start dressing my age.

What did you think?

 

1 And wine is always an option.

2 The most glaringly obvious example of this being the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.

3 HORRORS.

35 Responses to “willing to fight”

  1. I think that I don’t even know what the fuck-all the reference to Laura Bush was, but it makes the author sound like a hypocrite FO’ SHO. Like a woman trying to sound like a mean teenager trying to make a jab that really doesn’t quite make sense.

    Anyway. I’m adult as hell and don’t drink wine, or alcohol at all for that matter. Adulthood does not equal imbibing. It’s not a requirement. I’ll eat fro-yo (or whatever I want) with the best of them and she can kiss off.

    But the rest of it…yeah. I get it.

    • Yes! That’s one thing I didn’t manage to make clear. I don’t understand why being the “right” kind of woman or adult has to look a certain way. I think it’s more about how you bring it.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. It’s the standing pigeon-toed that really gets me.

    I am very glad that these discussions are taking place. I think that one of the issues might be in a lack of serious role models for women/young girls right now – those people i admire aren’t in their 20s or even early 30s – so where are teenage girls and young women looking, and who are they looking to?

    It’s also just occurred to me that maybe this infantilisation of women is a reaction to the overt sexuality that is portrayed in popular culture. Where this used to be rare and shocking, with a vein of intelligent critiquing (Madonna) it is now completely omnipresent – Raunch Culture – so that even when Beyonce is telling us we rule the world, she’s doing it semi-naked.

    It seems the only models of femininity are ‘shake your ass and men will love you’ or ‘behave like a little girl and don’t scare the men off’. And if you object to the oversexualisation, it’s easy to veer to the other extreme, particularly in your clothing choices, because that’s what is pushed at us (I’m not saying it’s excusable, but that resisting it has to be a conscious choice, and for that, we need articles like this which recognise that there is something there for us to push back against).

  3. I love this article. While, like you, I don’t agree with all of it, I fucking HATE infantilization (sp?) of women. I hate how college students say “I’m not a feminist.” My husband likes to tell his students: “Do you believe in equal pay for equal work?” When the students nod, he says “Congratulations, you’re a feminist. Along this line, because today I am filled with hate, I hate how people fear getting older. Old people are seen as ugly or funny and no one wants to turn thirty. But thirty fucking rocks! You have authority, you have experience, you have more confidence. Take it from me, I’ve been there a while :).

    • Someone I worked with when I was 15 put me straight about this. I wasn’t sure if I was and she asked me ‘Do you believe in equal pay? Do you believe we should be able to vote? Do you believe we should be treated as equals under the law?’. ‘Yes,’ I said grudgingly. ‘Then you’re a feminist’.

      It really is that simple. And it’s also why men can be feminists – although that’s a whole ‘nother ball game.

  4. This is my favorite thing I’ve read (both the article and the blog about it) in a long time. I don’t have much to say because all my sentences start and then after two words go hmmm…and I realize there’s more thinking to do. But it’s starred and I’m going to keep mulling.

  5. To echo Jo, this is something I’ll be thinking about for awhile. Thanks, I needed something thought-provoking this morning.

  6. While I am not much for the twee aesthetic, and probably own nothing with a bow or a kitten on it, this made me really sit up (actually quite literally):Have I unconsciously chosen to emulate girlishness because it’s an easier road to walk than that of the mature woman, who remains feared, shunned, mocked, and scorned by society?

    I look younger than I am, and in work settings this has always made me feel vaguely uncomfortable. But I have also realized that youth means people are easier on me and it functions as a safety net. It is most definitely an easier road to walk. I don’t have any brilliant insights, except to say you’ve given me something to ponder for sure…

    • I look much younger than I am too. I have had trouble with initially not being taken too seriously in some environments because of this- like maybe not being helped in a store in the same way that a “real adult woman” is immediately offered assistance. I guess these people who think I look so young don’t look at me long enough to see the grey hairs? Maybe my shortness is a big part of it? Are short people taken less seriously?

      When this frustrated me, people always remind that when I am “old” I will appreciate looking younger, but it is frustrating to *still* sometimes be treated as if I am very young when I am almost 35. I mean, on the phone the other day, the person was saying, “Well, I don’t know if you are 21 or not…” and I was like….uh…..I am almost thirty five and then she went on about how I don’t sound like it. Which made me wonder, should I try to alter how I speak…???

      Sigh. It all leaves me not knowing what to do, but I guess I have to trust that once I have a conversation with people they will realize I have something worthy to say, despite however old they may think I am??? The frustrating thing is to realize that other factors (my looking younger) might prevent me from being taken seriously enough to have that first conversation. But of course, if someone judges the book by only the cover and won’t give someone a chance….maybe I would rather go elsewhere anyways?

  7. Crazy, because I had no idea who this Julie woman was until today, when I stumbled upon both this post and her recent article on Dr. Drew in GC magazine in a span of 2 hours.

    This was a really interesting read and a cool blog. Lyn- thanks for bringing it to my attention! I agree with your line about kicking ass being key, despite the attire…

    …but what I REALLY took away from this piece, due to my occasional laughing whilst reading it, and my need to scroll over every link to see what the reference was – was that in the majority of places, to the majority of people, this doesn’t matter in the slightest.

    Ask a sample of people in my Midwest what “twee” means and about 1% will know. Ask my husband if he likes me in a romper and he’ll say “if it fits and you aren’t complaining about a wedgie and you race me to the end of the block in it, sure.” Ask the Master’s student body at any respectable university if they’d like a ring pop while they take their exam and most will probably say yes because everyone likes candy and hardly anyone will connect this to whether or not they are taken seriously because they already know they are being taken seriously.

    Twee is a style that is popular right now. There are those who embraced it before it became popular and those who will do so after it’s “over.” If that style is genuinely what you like in life, than Julie’s article could make you feel like you aren’t meeting her standards, no?

    • @Kerry, sometimes I think these articles are written from a New York perspective and the writers don’t always realize that what flies in NY, goes over like a sack of potatoes in the rest of the country. But since we emulate NY fashions, it’s still good to hear.

      • You’re absolutely correct.

        And also, I’m kind of annoyed at my own comment from last night because it sounds tired and irritated and Midwesty, probably because when I wrote it I was tired and irritated and in Cleveland (ugh).

        What I would say if I was to do it over is this: I’m a little irritated at being told that what women wear is so tightly connected to our seriousness or lack thereof. I don’t think anyone can ever win within this theory, because fashion is always changing. And in my experience, the minute a word comes out of your mouth people decide to consider, reconsider, or totally ignore what you are wearing.

        I like the parts of the article where the author made fun of what she found ridiculous, because I love a good snarky opinion, and I’m totally on board with making fun of trends. When she connected this to the grand scheme of the oppression of women, I found myself tuning out because you could insert really any trend into that rhetoric, and people have.

        Ugh, I’m going to shut up now. I’m pretty sure I’m rambling because I like that Subaru commercial, Amelie, rompers and ribbons, and I am also a feminist and don’t think those things are mutually exclusive.

        • My mom used to say that New Yorkers were the most provincial people in the world, and I think it’s largely true. I think Midwesterners (and I don’t mean this as a slam, I’ve lived in the Midwest—although not Ohio—and I enjoyed it) can be provincial, but at least they know that there are other worlds out there.

          PS Love that your husband just wants you to race to the end of the block with you.

        • No, I like this. This is a good point: “I’m a little irritated at being told that what women wear is so tightly connected to our seriousness or lack thereof. I don’t think anyone can ever win within this theory, because fashion is always changing. And in my experience, the minute a word comes out of your mouth people decide to consider, reconsider, or totally ignore what you are wearing.”

          I didn’t really consider this angle while I was writing my thoughts, mostly because I’m on the side of “sick of twee” and distracted by rallying behind Klausner’s snarkyness on said subject. But I didn’t really carry the argument through to apply to history. Basically, there’s always going to be a backlash against whatever trend is popular. In the 90s when some girls were wearing combat boots I’m sure some other girls were like BUT I LIKE FLOWERS AND FRILLY DRESSES. WHEN CAN I BE ME???

          I do think it has a lot to do with the association of femininity with weakness, which… I’m not sure if we’ll ever be able to break that gender assumption.

          You can be irritated and Midwesty on my blog any time of day, Kerry.

    • So I haven’t read the article yet, but I’m still commenting (I know! The audacity…).

      “There are those who embraced it before it became popular and those who will do so after it’s ‘over.’ If that style is genuinely what you like in life, than Julie’s article could make you feel like you aren’t meeting her standards, no?”

      This rings true for me. I don’t wear things with kittens or birds or bows or ruffles, but I have ALWAYS dressed in mostly skirts and vintage dresses, even when everyone else was wearing Jordache and flannel. I’m not going to stop just because the culture-at-large has latched onto it right now and decided it’s suddenly hip, and even when they’ve moved on to the next thing, I’ll still be wearing my PINK 1950s dress. Because I like it, d*mmit. Not because I’m trying to convince some dude that I’m a non-threatening female.

  8. *GQ magazine, sorry.

  9. Firstly, I find it fascinating that you posted this last night, when I was all up in someone’s grill last night after Becca posted the link to that awful tee-hee-I’m-a-drunken-unprofessional-yutz-but-I-should-get-a-pass-because-I’m-a-young-woman-who-wanted-to-try-to-date-a-celebrity “profile” of Chris Evans (the new Captain America).

    Anyway. You can probably guess that I have some, um, opinions, on the girlification of womanhood (and the pinkification and slutification of girlhood, for that matter). I don’t like rompers or outfits with bibs or giant bows for grown women any more than I like the slutty-Catholic-school-girl in pigtails thing going around. Where is our sense of pride? Of adulthood? When did we stop roaring and start acting the pussy (double entendre intended)?

    Probably because of my age (38) and my occupation and my firm belief that I need to be the best role model of an adult woman I can be for my 7-year-old girl and my 4-year-old boy, I have a uniform of sorts. When German Chancellor presented to Hillary Clinton the joke gift of a photo of the two of them in their signature pantsuits (and we all got to enjoy Hillary’s clear humor in the gift), I was thinking, “Awesome!” because I have a hierarchy of clothes: (1) dress slacks in black, gray or brown for every day with a shell and sweater for office; (2) pantsuit for state court; (3) skirt suit for federal or appellate court. I have many reasons for my love of work slacks and pantsuits, and the primary, numero uno reason is that pantsuits level the playing field. Whether I like it or not, the work world remains, largely, a man’s world, and I want to be thought of as a colleague. I don’t need to be a “guy,” but I also don’t care to have the men in the room so focused on my tits, my ass, or my thighs. They already talk to my chest without much encouragement; let’s not turn myself into a teenage fantasy.

    So, when I saw “rompers” being marketed not just to girls over the age of 8, but to actual WOMEN, I was, well horrified.

    Bubble pants. On grown-ups. No. Nonononono. I don’t wear large bows on my head, my chest, or my ass. I don’t wear bubble pants or any outfit that will require me to be naked in a public restroom before I can sit on the can. The next time I get locked into an elevator with a pervert who wants to humiliate me in front of all of the men I am obviously working with, I want the protection of my Pantsuit, like my Superhero Disguise. I’m a woman, a powerful woman, and a powerful woman has outgrown her bubble rompers and hair bows.

  10. Too fucking right. Amen!

  11. My concern about telling girls that how they dress is why they’re treated a certain way is that once you say that, it’s only a hop skip and jump to saying that you can be assaulted because you’re wearing cutoffs or a mini dress. And I’m not OK with that.

    I do agree that righteous anger is needed, we need to stand up against things that we know to be wrong.

    • While I agree to a certain extent with the slippery slope argument, I also think we need to be aware of how we present ourselves to the world because it does make a difference. When Lily Tomlin played Jed Bartlett’s secretary — the gateway to the President — on West Wing, she didn’t dress her character like Edith Anne for good reason. The advice in the business world has always been to dress for the job you want. I want to be taken seriously. A pretty ruffled blouse might be cute for going out with Tony, but it isn’t the outfit I picked for my business profile for a good reason. Edith Anne is a child. The gateway to the president is a formidable woman. I want to be her, and I want the world to see me in that light.

      • It gets to the point where you feel like you can win either way. You dress feminine, you’re not taken seriously. You dress professionally (masculinely), you’re overlooked as “one of the dudes.” It’s rough to parse.

        I like this message though, Sarah. Dress in what makes you powerful. Because I think it’s some unknowable combination of how you look and what actually comes out of your mouth, as Kerry said up there. Dressing confidently can feed that confidence.

        • I absolutely agree that you should dress for the occasion – I like the example you used especially! But that’s not the argument in the article, it’s a full on dismissal of how women dress when they’re hanging out with guys and with other girls.

  12. Hm. Read the article but disagree with quite a bit of it. Klausner has every right to dislike or simply be TIRED of birds, etsy, and froyo… but I’m not sure I buy her connection between those things and a weakened/infantilized sense of what womanhood means. And I really don’t see how this is all a ploy to get into some guy’s pants.

    I agree: I’m probably outside the age-range to which she’s referring. However, I don’t like wine. Not liking wine has NOTHING to do with my gender or sexuality or sense of power (or lack thereof) in society. I don’t wear much jewelry at all, but if I am going to, why villanize Etsy vs. buying a necklace at Target or Jared’s? (whose ads disgust me). I feel like she’s stretching too hard to connect two separate points.

    She’s sick of the “twee” indie trends. Yeah, who isn’t? It’s overplayed… but every trend reaches that point. Every. trend. Pogs, beanie babies, pet rocks, flag-pole-sitting, saddle shoes (also, we’re exposed to … everything at a much faster rate nowadays, so things flame up and become ubiquitous and then passé at ridiculous speeds… but that’s a whole ‘nother tangent). But I fail to see what ukuleles or whoopie pies (which have been around for years and years in the Amish community) have to do with allowing yourself to be demeaned. So what’s an okay-to-eat baked good, based on her assumptions? Do doughnuts say “girl” or “woman”?

    Also: has Klausner SEEN a Barbara Stanwyck movie? She’s an amazing actress and all about the “salty dame” persona… but I’m sorry, in most of her films she is shown to be using her sexuality to get what she wants… and that’s… better? Yeah, don’t buy that argument. And the tattoo thing – so the ’90s “tramp stamp” dolphins were more empowering? I think a lot of people get ill-advised tattoos, or ones that “seemed like a good idea” at the time… it’s hard to pick something that you’ll still want to have on your body at 80, when you’re a short-sighted 18 year old.

    “Any female lead from the pre-awkward era who stuck out her tits and didn’t talk like Rocky from the Bullwinkle cartoons?”

    Like… Marilyn Monroe! Oh wait, no. Or.. Jean Arthur! Oops, she totally has a breathy “baby voice.” When was this golden past again?

    I agree with her that the manic pixie dreamgirl ideal is nauseating, but not for the reasons she mentions. I agree that your sense of taste and style should not be based around a man’s opinion. But if I start buying army fatigues, not because I like the way they feel on my body or how they make me feel, but because I want to be seen as a man’s equal, am I not also playing into that game? Allowing someone else’s opinion to define me?

  13. Okay, one more thing and I then I swear I’ll stop. 😉

    While I haven’t read her book (it has been on my to-read list for a while, though, since I saw it mentioned in Jezebel), I have to admit… the cover is the very definition of “twee” IMHO. She’s going for the whole Zooey bangs and retro polka-dot bathing suit (romper?!). Perhaps she is especially annoyed because now this “look” has permeated pop culture as opposed to only being popular among fringe groups? (“I liked that band BEFORE they sold out and did an apple commercial. Now they suck!” etc.) Just a thought.

    • Maggie, I agree with you on most points. However a word about book covers: authors often have very little say about their covers. Covers are a total marketing department decision.

      (Note to future authors: get refusal rights on a cover in your contract; you don’t usually get to much say of what is on the cover, but sometimes you get to say “Hell, no,” if the cover is bad.)

      In fact, that’s probably where her ire comes from.

      • Excellent point. I know of a few authors who’ve expressed dismay at the covers that were chosen for their books and felt that it did not represent the content accurately.

        But — and I honestly don’t care what Julie Klausner collects, likes, or wears — I think she has more than a passing familiarity with the trends she criticizes: http://julieklausner.com/photos.html

        It’s all subjective, obviously. I mean, are owls as annoying as birds? LOL. But it does strike me as slightly hypocritical for her to sneer at “manic pixie muppet babies” when I might’ve called her the same, just based on her website. It reminds me of how everyone snarks on hipsters–particularly UBER hipsters–but no ever admits to being one.

  14. Okay I lied. This whole topic touched a nerve, for some reason.

    “Am I doing all I can to embrace and represent womanhood positively at every age?”

    YES – this is a question I can get behind. Because there is so much negative baggage around aging *as a woman* – yes, men, have midlife crises and wrestle with mortality, too, but women are still expected to fight tooth and nail to hold onto youth or the appearance of it (and I’m not even talking about bows and kittens). Which just sets us up to fail. I don’t want to lie about my age or dress like a 20-year-old when I’m 40 or 50 or 60… but I feel like I don’t know how to make that transition and I don’t know who to look to (except my mom, who does happen to rock as a role model :)). It seems that female celebrities are more adept at denying aging rather than finding a way through it gracefully, while *retaining* vibrancy and power.

    • Yeah, I don’t know how I’m going to deal with this. Youth = beauty in this world, period, end of story. Except it’s not. I want to be proud of myself as I age but I am also going to be afraid of aging… because I already am. It’s going to be a rough process, for sure.

  15. This conversation reminds me a lot of Maureen Dowd’s book Are Men Necessary?, in which she argued that my generation is a bunch of sellouts who only want to land rich husbands in her age bracket, and used the fact that Anthropologie sells frilly aprons as evidence for this claim.

    I’m completely with Kerry when she says “I’m a little irritated at being told that what women wear is so tightly connected to our seriousness or lack thereof. I don’t think anyone can ever win within this theory, because fashion is always changing.” Arguably, we could look at that TLC cover and be unhappy that when the record was made, three awesome female performers felt that they had to minimize their femininity and dress like men to sell records and be taken seriously. (I’m not necessarily advancing that argument, but more trying to make the point that you can spin almost any type of fashion as an attack on female credibility.)

    I find the cutesy, twee behavior more disturbing than the clothes, to be honest, and I think Klausner really has a point there. I think your takeaway point summed it up best: “It doesn’t so much matter what we wear to kick ass in so long as we actually bother to, you know, kick ass.”

  16. I completely agree with what Petite has to say about behavior being more of a problem than clothes. But, um, as I’m writing this I’m wearing leggings and a dress from Forever 21 with cats all over it. So obviously I don’t agree that twee, potentially age-inappropriate clothes are a blight on womankind.

    But here are two serious prescriptive notes: 1) Not at work, people 2) Act like a grown-up, even if you don’t always dress like one.

  17. I have been thinking about this post and the article for a couple of days now, and while I’m not sure I have anything big to add to the conversation, I do have some thoughts.

    The first thing that I have been mulling over is my identity as female/woman, and how it ties into how I dress. I do not wear dresses (the last one I wore was my wedding dress, and I changed out of that into a suit after the ceremony – you’re welcome, Mom), I wear men’s pants, I wear women’s shorts that are made to look like men’s shorts. I definitely do not look like a little girl… but that doesn’t mean I identify as anything other than female. I got kind of lost about where I was going with this, so here’s another thought after re-skimming the article: if I was straight and single, would I be wearing, ahem, “onesies”? Do I not stand pigeon-toed because I’m a lesbian?

    I was all, “YEAH!” for a good chunk of the article. Yes, LET’S be strong women, let’s stop pretending to hate math, etc. And then I got to the last paragraph, and I got mad.

    Read something written before you were born. Stand up straight. Make sure you own one piece of jewelry that you did not purchase on Etsy. Use capital letters in an email to the guy you want to date. Let him take you out on a date, maybe not on a walk or an Xbox session, even if you are, God help you, addicted to LA Noire. Meet your friend for wine instead of fro-yo one night. Watch a movie with no early-90’s nostalgic appeal. Bitch, you already know Clueless by heart…. Not that his idea of you should influence your style, or your sense of self-worth. But I feel like in a way, it already sort of has?”

    WHY DID SHE END HER WHOLE ARTICLE WITH A QUESTION MARK?! This infuriated me. She clearly had something to say, and she ended a “be strong, stand up for yourselves” point with “But don’t you agree with me?” And who cares if you own something from Etsy? If the option is handmade stuff you LOVE from etsy vs. factory-made stuff you can buy nearby, what’s the difference? And I don’t even understand why she wants us to use capital letters to the guy you want to date – shouldn’t it be to everyone? Or now we’re just trying to seem smart to impress guys? Maybe I PREFER a walk instead of a “date” – maybe that is a date.

    Anyway. I got a little carried away here. But this article got me all worked up and then all confused. And then worked up again. Thanks for sharing.

    (Yesterday on my way to work I saw a woman who was probably 50 or 60 with her hair in tight pigtails, a flower-print dress/frock, with ankle socks (lace on top) and mary janes. It was weird.)

    • This is where the article was extraordinarily limited. I mean, that’s kind of necessary if you want to make a biting point about something specific, but I kept thinking, okay, so this thing is only written for 20-nothing “feminine” straight girls?And why is “feminine” weak, anyway? GAH. My brain shorted.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

  18. I’m sure I’ll come to some magic realization about all this when I’m walking home with Gaga in my headphones (my usual place for inspiration), but my biggest thought is that it all boils down to: Can we be girly and still be powerful? It’s been the eternal question for me ever since they invented the Talk Girl (a pink version of the Talk Boy) and I turned into an 8 year-old hulk over the entire matter. CAN we like things that are pink and still be taken seriously? I don’t have an answer, but I guess it depends on who’s wearing the pink and who they’re looking to take them seriously.

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