As the saying goes, "If you hate hipsters, you probably are one." This is because, while many of us are familiar with the term (especially if describes us), it is obnoxious and has been used to identify numerous non-trends, from mustaches to homesteading to beer to bellies caused by beer. These things exist whether hipsters claim them or not, and drowning them in irony does nothing to change their nature. More usefully though, hipsterism has also been called out in conjunction with other isms like racism and, in a New York magazine piece from earlier this week, sexism.
Welcome to the third installment of "Ms. Opinionated," Bitch's new advice column, in which readers have questions about the pesky day-to-day choices we all face, and I give advice about how to make ones that (hopefully) best reflect our shared commitment to feminist values—as well as advice on what to do when they don't.
Today: Advice for a woman who wants other feminists to stop dressing so sexy so she can respect them.
Like a pap smear or tax season, it happens every year: People wear racist and sexist costumes on Halloween. Hell, maybe you've done it yourself! You didn't know what to be for that one party so you jammed some feathers in a headband and called yourself Pocahontas. Or you grabbed a toy donkey and a poncho and went as a cartoonish Mexican. We've all made mistakes and hopefully learned something from them, like how not to be the offensive asshole hanging out by the pumpkin keg. Because seriously, you really shouldn't wear that stuff.
When I was in elementary school, we played a game in P.E. where we basically just threw foam balls at targets. My mean gym teacher Ms. Heinz would make the girls stand closer to the targets than the boys, because presumably 8-year-old males have rocket arms or something while 8-year-old females need special accommodations just to get a nerf ball off the ground (not the case). I remember thinking, "Why do we girls need our own version of this dumb game when we could just play the one the boys are playing?" My thinking is similar, if gender-role-reversed, when it comes to MANteresting. Who needs a men-only, crappier version of Pinterest?
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's sexism is old news at this point, but hey, it's election season and he has to stay in the news, right? Romney doubled down on the misogyny last Thursday by hiring Richard Grenell as his national security and foreign policy adviser. Grenell, formerly of the Bush administration, kicked off his first week on the job by deleting a bunch of sexist shit from his Twitter account.
David Wong's article on Cracked, "5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women," has 6,132 comments and counting, and 1.6 million (million!) people have read it since yesterday, so obviously it's striking a chord. What's your take? Is Wong sparking an important conversation about social constructs and sexism, or is he just trying to give sexist straight guys a pass for staring at women's boobs?