Dear Lands’ End,
I am a feminist and a mother and I spend waaaaaay too much money on Lands’ End clothing, backpacks, parkas, boots, and so on every year.
Look, here is a pile of Lands’ End stuff.
Look, the labels are out. It’s from Lands’ End.
I have been a loyal customer. The shit from H&M is cuter but it falls apart and The Gap is too expensive and not that cute nor that well made. You send me those emails saying extra 30% off and sometimes I actually click and buy! But now… I don’t understand what is happening. You issued a formal apology for featuring an interview with feminist icon Gloria Steinem in your spring catalog after backlash from the anti-abortion movement? Continue reading
My daughter just turned 20 months old, and she’s really starting to take control of her musical destiny: while we picked out the music she listened to when she was a baby, now she has her own preferences and can demand we sing or play the same songs over and over again. And she’s verbal enough now that she can actually sing along! As feminist parents, of course, we recognize that most traditional children’s music is a tool of the patriarchy, intended to mold pliant young minds into lovers of the status quo. But as helpless thralls of our adorable child, we make no effort to discourage her from singing the songs she loves. Still, why not rank the songs our daughter loves best from Least to Most Feminist? Here’s a somewhat arbitrarily-chosen list that includes most of her favorites.
I’m the kind of feminist who values stuff that has been traditionally associated with The Feminine. If I have to choose between “difference feminism” and “equality feminism,” I’ll choose difference: no unisex jumpsuits for me, Charlotte Perkins Gilman! You might expect that I wouldn’t want to dress my children in jumpsuits, either.
This family ruined everything by forgetting the styling rules for unisex hair.
I don’t actually believe that there’s anything in the world that’s fundamentally “feminine” or “female.” I just tend to like objects and activities and aesthetics that people consider “girly”—or, at least, that Americans have considered “girly” during my lifetime, even though some of those things (poetry, the color pink) were once the domains of boys, while others (talking loudly, talking a lot) get gendered differently depending on the context. Because I’ve more or less colored within the lines of what girls like me (white, cis, able-bodied, neurotypical, highly educated, apparently straight) were expected to do, I’ve experienced sexism and misogyny differently from the women I know who have had to struggle to gain a foothold in male-dominated fields, or who were shamed for not looking or dressing the way women are “supposed” to look or dress, or whose lives don’t conform to heteronormative models of marriage and child-rearing, or who have had to bear the burden of convincing people that they were women at all. Instead, for most of my life I’ve been most affected by the brand of sexism that dismisses my interests and practices as trivial and marginal. And, as many of my posts here and most of my academic writing makes clear, I have a very strong knee-jerk reaction to that kind of sexism—not because it’s The Worst Kind of Sexism in the World, but because so few people even seem to recognize it as sexism. Making people recognize that kind of sexism feels like important work to me, and like work I might be able to do.