Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Notes Toward a Post on Feminism

Nadezhda's comment got me thinking more about how feminism has wound up where it is today. I don't have time to write a full post, and it would probably take an article to do this justice, so I'll write a few notes that I might use later. Meanwhile, all you third-wave feminists out there are free to use anything here in an article of your own. They're your problems, too.

It's seemed to me for far too long that too much of what clothing designers are offering to women, and now girls, looks like hookerwear. I would guess, recalling my irritation, that this goes back to the 1980s if not earlier. And the derivation of pornography is from the Greek for prostitute and writing; hence writing by or about prostitutes.

Women's clothes are still impractical and uncomfortable. I can't even imagine wearing those platform high heels. You could break a bone when the heel gets caught in pavement, and I suspect that some women have. Men have no equivalents to these and other contraptions foisted on women; short and tight skirts for another example.

Commercial interests have always been that women should be consumers. Having one person in a family whose primary role is buying things is a good idea for those who are selling things. The role of consumer has been enlarged to include men and children, lucky them, but those impractical clothes and unneeded household stuff still are targeted primarily toward women. The first wave of feminism was met with an advertising blitz for cleaning and cooking supplies; the second wave with those ridiculous clothes and other personal appurtenances, plus sex toys. And both times, women succumbed.

Gail Collins's When Everything Changed is a good history, evoking some of the emotions of how it was. Rebecca Traister's Big Girls Don't Cry is a good political history of a shorter period.

The article should avoid "get off my lawn" and other crabby tendencies that are far too easy for us second-wavers to get into. Also "I told you so," even though we did. And yes, it was always snowing and uphill walking both to and from work and school.

And, oh yeah, the job/inclusion thing still isn't solved.
Davos
Gendered Conferences

1 comment:

jowdjbrown said...

I suspect that some women have. Men have no equivalents to these and other contraptions foisted on women; short and tight skirts for another example.feminism