Buy J. Crew!

K. Kenski  turned me on to this news story about J. Crew and the boy with the pink toenails today:

 As you can imagine, I say Bravo. Rex W. Huppke, Chicago Tribune reporter from the said:

 J. Crew ad that shows a mother painting her little boy’s toenails pink has sparked a storm of Internet outrage, with much of the vitriol directed at some pundits who swiftly criticized the online ad and asserted such behavior might make a boy question his sexuality.

Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and Fox News contributor, wrote a column on the Fox News website discussing the clothing company’s ad, which featured president and creative director Jenna Lyons painting her son Beckett’s toenails. Ablow suggested that Lyons “put some money aside for psychotherapy for the kid” and wrote: “This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity.”

The conservative Media Research Center called the ad “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children,” adding that Lyons was “exploiting Beckett behind the facade of liberal, transgendered identity politics.”

Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University, said it is “ridiculous” to suggest that painting a little boy’s toes pink or any other color might somehow influence his sexuality or sexual identity.

As usual I am horrified by how stringently we feel we need to adhere to gender roles. Do you know that in December of  2008  the pope condemned gender theory because ” blurred the distinction between male and female and thus could lead to the “self-destruction” of the human race. ” (BBC NEWS) This just seems crazy to me … I wear pants – so do men, does that make me a man? 

Rather than holding to these strict gender roles, can’t we just let people be who they want to be … like Princess Boy. (<–this is super cool. Check it out and watch the video.)

As far as J. Crew – I have a new found respect for the preppy clothier – so don’t be surprised if I look a little more khaki  and sweater set this year.

Feminist Cupcake Revisited

On the first or second day of this blog’s existence I wrote a post entitled “The Beauty Myth, I’m not so Happy”, which detailed my reasons for writing this blog and for choosing the title feminist cupcake. Today I’d like to revisit that post so that I might clarify or refine some points which have changed for me over the past two years.

The thing is I think being a feminist is a process.

I have moments when I am certain that we have gained little ground in terms of sexism. For example, I recently spent an afternoon with Gail Dines and she discussed her new book and the anti-porn movement. I don’t know how many of you have read what Gail has to say, but it’s pretty horrifying. And she certainly makes it clear that porn is violent and has  nothing to do with passion, the erotic, or what is really sexy – powerful mid-blowing sexy – empowering sexy – the kind of sexy that makes you hum and glow. Rather, porn represents sex as a source of domination, a way to debase and demean women and others – gay men, black men , lesbians… I won’t post the link but if you want to understand what I mean look at the faces of the women on sites like MaxHardcore. Do they look happy to you?  Or what about this craziness regarding planned parenthood? Really, rich men are going to say who can get low-cost pap smears and birth control, not to mention abortions? Are you kidding me? Speaking of which, have you incorporated your uterus? Neither the media nor the government makes me feel good about alleviating the oppressions of gender, class, race or sexuality.

Other days, I meet scholars, friends and students who are clearly empowered by gender theory and feminism  – they talk the talk, walk the walk, speak the speak – they are who they are and they have found a space in the world free of oppression.

Living in our culture is complicated. When I started this blog I’m not sure that I really got that. I think in those days I was what some might call a 3rd wave feminist – running around thinking that it was about me – about my freedom to make choices – any choices I desired. Today, I think it’s about us – about our freedom to develop our thinking and understandings of ourselves free from the tyranny of social opinion and construction. It’s about enjoyment and laughter – about making fun of yourself and still taking yourself seriously. It’s about caring for others and making sure that your reach compromises that enable mutual empowerment.

I am still attached to the title of this blog: feminist cupcake. Only now I know more than I did when I named this blog and I see how easily the term cupcake could be read as infantalizing and sexualizing – in ways that I don’t enjoy or emulate. Instead I want to claim that this title to me is linked to the idea of Cunctipotence(<— worth reading).  My power to be sexy and strong – to be empowered. It is perhaps not the most ideal name for this intention – but I claim it none the less because I still like the way it sounds

If nothing else – I am still  certain that…

I am, wholeheartedly, a feminist who likes cupcakes.

And I also maintain:

In your face with that sugary bitch if you think you have a right to tell me  – OR anyone else – what to do.