News from the gender-wars front

Boy dressed as girl

The following three articles floated across my radar yesterday. I’ll introduce them, but leave you to analyze them.

The first is from a post that a lesbian wrote regarding her discovery that her son is a boy, not just when it comes to external equipment, but when it comes to behavior too:

One of the guiding principles my partner and I are committed to is raising our kids with as few gender limits as possible. Our intent is not to make them genderless or feminine. We only hope that by giving Avie and his little brother, Izzy, the space and support to grow and explore who they are or want to be without oppressive expectations, gender and otherwise, we will promote a foundation of emotional health for them. (This does not mean we’re raising them without any expectations, just that we’re trying to refrain from imposing those that we believe to be oppressive.)

The second reports on a newly released study about kids and daddies:

Growing up without a father could permanently alter the structure of the brain and produce children who are more aggressive and angry, scientists have warned.

Children brought up only by a single mother have a higher risk of developing ‘deviant behaviour’, including drug abuse, new research suggests.

It is also feared that growing up in a fatherless household could have a greater impact on daughters than on sons.

And the third reports on the expectation that ordinary guys will start to follow the fashion world’s push for women’s clothing on men (an older story, from July, but still new to me):

"Manly" halter top

The “manly” halter top

Androgyny and ‘feminine’ looks are all the rage on the men’s catwalks – but will guys actually wear these clothes? Yes they will, predicts Maya Singer.

As I said, I’m not offering any comments. I think these three things speak for themselves.

The SAG Awards couture: Lumpy, Dumpy, Frumpy, and Tawdry

When it comes to clothes, I settled into my color palette in junior high school.  My favorite color is black; my next favorite is gray.  This is not because I’m a depressed person or into Goth.  It’s because I have absolutely no ability to match colors.

That’s where black and gray come in:  everything goes with them (except brown).  If I put on a black pair of pants, I can pair it with any color top I like.  This is a good thing because my approach to buying tops is as primitive as my color sense:  if I find a top in a fabric I like, in a design that doesn’t make me look plump, I tend to buy it in every color available.

I then wear those five or seven tops for years, right up until they disintegrate.  Once they’re gone, I hunt for another top that I like and buy out all the colors.  I’m not fashionable, but I always look neat, and my colored shirts always match those black or gray trousers.

Which brings me to the Screen Actors Guild (or SAG) awards for 2013.  The Daily Mail has a photo essay showing that the color du jour is black, with a fair amount of white thrown in.  Seeing the headline about black’s triumphant return to the fashion world, I expected to swoon over the various dresses and to wish that I too could have one. Oh, how wrong I was.  The color is good but the styles are awful, just awful.

Julianne Moore SAG Awards 2013

Julianne Moore may well be the worst.  She wore a white dress with abstract, almost 60s-style flowers embroidered around the bottom.  This would be okay but for the fact that the dress has a plunging decolletage that gives a frightening view of her flabby breasts.  Ignore the breasts, and she has no shape at all.  I guess that, when Moore received the invitation to the “SAG” Awards, she took that SAG part literally.

Nava Rivera SAG Awards 2013

Another peculiar costume in the breast department was Nava Rivera’s black dress.  It featured a peek-a-boo cutout (complete with chiffon overlay), that revealed the left half of her right breast, and the right half of her left breast.  She didn’t look voluptuous, she merely looked confused:  Am I selling my acting chops or did I leave the Victoria’s Secret store without putting my street clothes back on?

Jane Lynch, who proudly waves her lesbian sexuality around every chance she gets, opted for a black dress with a pleasantly classic line, except for the leather bondage theme.  Apparently she confused the SAG awards with the Folsom Street Fair.

Anne Hathaway SAG awards 2013

Anne Hathaway, who is a lovely and charming actress, looked like a Barbie doll run amok.  When I was little, I used to layer my Barbie’s clothes:  deep cut this over chiffon that, with a long overskirt complimenting a ridiculously short miniskirt.  I could have dressed Hathaway for pennies on the dollars she spent on her mix-and-match outfit, which included a long skirt, a short skirt, solid fabrics, sheer fabrics, and beaded fabrics.  I get dizzy just writing about it.

The other dresses I saw in the photo essay weren’t bad, but none were beautiful.  They all bespoke too much money, and too little taste.  Collectively,  all of these attractive, wealthy women looked like four of the seven dwarfs:  Lumpy, Dumpy, Frumpy, and Tawdry.

There are years when I look at these Hollywood costume photo essays and wish that, just for one night, I could live the glam life solely to wear a beautiful dress.  Looking at the women from this year’s SAG awards, though, I have to say I’m a lot better off with my current outfit:  black, straight-leg NYDJ jeans and a deep turquoise, round-necked, long-sleeved tee from Target.  Total cost (including the sale price on the jeans): $95.  I look classy, sleek, and comfortable.  Yay, me!

She’s gorgeous, if emaciation is your thing

There’s a model out there named Karlie Kloss who is being hailed as “the new Body” because the fashion world adores her figure so. You can see her pictures here, but be warned that they’re NSFW, as there’s some partial nudity.  I have three comments:

I bet her legs would look great even if they weren’t so heavily photoshopped.

Is it just me, or is there something appalling about lauding a woman as the most beautiful body in the world when you can count her ribs and cut yourself on her jutting hip bones?  It may be the standard in the fashion industry, but it’s scary to think that our daughters look at that emaciated woman and think “If I don’t look like her, I’m not beautiful.”

In becoming “the new Body,” Kloss supplanted Elle Macpherson, who once held that spot in the fashion world.  Scanning images of Elle (probably NSFW either) reveals that Elle is a woman of flesh, not bones.  Our beauty culture has transitioned from slender to skeletal.

Guys, I’m especially interested in hearing from you.  I’ll take it as given that Kloss is beautiful, but is she your idea of what a woman’s body should be?

Uniforms

I was talking with a friend (he knows who he is) about the uniforms we wear.  The military imposes uniforms on its members, but most of us impose uniforms upon ourselves.

Because I’m quite petite (being both short and reasonably slender) and because I have matching small feet, it is extremely hard for me to find clothes.  Add to that the fact that I don’t like to shop and my husband doesn’t like for me to spend money and you end up with a very limited fashion repertoire:  My tops are long sleeved or short sleeved t-shirts, in whatever colors come in my size (no designs, just colors), and my bottoms are jeans and yoga pants.  On my feet, clogs, which are extremely comfortable; last forever; give me an extra two inches of height without the agony of heels; and slip on and off easily, as I’m a barefoot person.  Although I was a fashion plate in my 20s (when they still made petites for short people not medium ones, and when I thought I had money to burn), my style today is very utilitarian.

I’m waffling on here with a point in mind.  At Michelle Obama’s Mirror, there’s an entertaining photo essay about Michelle’s unique style.  I make no comments about her figure.  She’s a women in her late 40s with two children.  She’s fit and healthy.  That makes for a fine figure as far as I’m concerned.  Having a fine figure, though, is not the same as having good taste in clothes.  And really, Michelle has no excuse for her unflattering clothing choices.  She’s got fashion consultants, money (that she spends like water), and she’s tall enough for there to be available clothes out there.  The bottom line is that she simply has no taste — and she’s surrounded by a bunch of sycophants who routinely applaud her errors.

Heels are NOT a power thing

Apparently the newest metrosexual statement is for men to wear high heels.  The claim is that it’s a “power statement” because you tower over others.

I beg to differ.  Heels mess with your balance and your ability to walk forward.  I discovered this as a young lawyer.  My opponent (male) and I moved to our tables before judge.  He, wearing flat shoes, strode forward; I, wearing fashionable 2.5 inch heels, wobbled and minced.  Rather than radiating power, I radiated helplessness.  Sure I looked sexy, but I also looked useless.

Historically, only physically useless men have worn heels.  (Think of the French aristocracy, which had the power of money, but was as effete as they came.)  This is one more horrible step in the de-masculinization of Western culture.

There’s a deeper meaning to Michelle’s appalling fashion sense

I need help from you guys developing a thought.  The thought started with this picture of Michelle Obama in a deep-veed, fluffy blouse; a saggy sweater; a bondage belt; and the gypsy skirt from hell:

Michelle Obama bondage BeltAside from the fact that the picture pretty much puts the lie forever to the media’s desparate attempt to liken Michelle to Jacquie O, I think Michelle’s completely bewildered clothing speaks to something deeper about what society’s Leftist grip does to women’s self image.

I’m thinking about the difference between elegance and femininity, as opposed to a sort of trashy, hard-edged “feminism” that equates female sexuality, which can be beautiful and graceful, with Hustler-esque sex.  There’s definitely been a trend in the past years that cheapens, rather than elevates, women, and this trend has marched hand-in-hand with the radicalization of feminism.

Recall, if you will, that feminism was originally sold as a way to ensure that women got equal rights under the law and equal opportunities.  It’s now morphed into some shrill Leftist monster that says women should have sex like a porn star, be able to cry rape at will, get opportunities denied to men, ignore the plight of their truly oppressed sisters around the world, forgive rapists as long as they’re “good” presidents, get more than equal pay for unequal work, etc.  At precisely the same time women stopped being women and started being these weird Frankenstein monsters, the concept of attractiveness and feminity in clothing vanished — something I’ve bemoaned my entire adult life.

In other words, I think this picture speaks to something larger about the way women, for all their greater earning power and societal presence, have lost something over the last 30 years.

I know I’m old-fashioned, and getting more so with every passing day, but I’m pretty sure “viva la difference” didn’t mean you guys look like effete metrosexuals and we gals look like bondage vixens.