Monday, September 5, 2011

Not 'Juicy' Here

I wouldn't call myself a feminist. I made eggs for my husband this morning and packed his lunch. I'll take care of the kids all day. I have a large stash of fabric that I am looking forward to using- mostly for my tiered ruffled skirts for various girls in my life. I actually thought that the list of Rapunzel's daily activities in Tangled sounded lovely- if not for the kidnapping and slavery and abuse aspects of the film. My rite has no women around the altar, and I'm okay with that. I actually think it is a good idea that Jesus calls men only to His priesthood, being that all His apostles were men. But there is some Mary and Magdalena in me along with the Martha. I vote. I drive. I work part time while my husband takes care of his children. And right now, yes, I am even wearing pants.

I tried to buy my daughters some new clothes this past weekend. I started at Target because they have carts to keep the littles wrangled. My 11 and 12 year olds don't really fit in the girls' clothes, so we went to the Junior's section. Nope. Nada. I bought a few t-shirts, but there was really nothing for them. After seeing the quality of the polo shirts, I decided to spend a bit more on-line with Land's End and LL Bean. The mall was much worse. Why, oh why, do mothers purchase pants with 'Juicy' on the backside? Why would a focus group think that this shirt is something that girls should aspire to?


The shirt says "I'm too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me." Who has time for homework when there's a new Justin Beiber album out? So this is when my feminist-self starts to get stronger. This t-shirt was developed because lots of people in the design pipeline knew that it would sell. Nothing is done in marketing without a lot of research, focus groups and talking with design teams up and down the corporate ladder.

In my little bubble, every one would be disgusted by this sentiment.  We want our girls to be intelligent and educated while being kind, feminine and as beautiful as God made them to be. I feel like my girls, in my attempt to be balanced, are between the 'quiverful' world of waist-long hair and ankle-length skirts and the 'normal' world of six year old girls with 'Juicy' on their behinds and Glee notebooks for school. What they'll put in their notebooks, I'm not sure. They're too pretty for homework.

Of course, women around the world (basically if they are not from North America or Western Europe) are literally under siege. I am grateful that my three daughters are living in a place where they were allowed to be born. But I still feel like t-shirts like the one pictured above is an example of hatred towards the female gender. Perhaps it is even self-hatred to form girls into thinking that their looks are all that matters. And according to the world of MTV (no music, just 'Jersy Shore' with girls that fall over drunk every episode and -I suppose- sleep with random men) and Huffington Post (not a lot of political commentary these days, just reality 'celebrity' gossip), a girl doesn't need to study. All she needs for worldly success is a sex tape (Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, almost every pop stars' videos). Even the daughter of Laurence Fishburne (rent his version of Othello; it will break your heart) has turned to such immoral activities as porn to be a 'successful' actress. And this is what the suffragettes suffered for? So while a t-sirt is not as serious as the 200 million missing girls due to gendercide, it is a symptom of a world-wide hatred and disrespect for girls and women. As always, we must start with ourselves and respect ourselves. Then, we can work on gaining the respect of others.

13 comments:

  1. Amen sister to everything you wrote!

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  2. I feel for parents of girls having to go clothes shopping, especially if they want to instill a bit of modesty into them. Driving by local junior highs/high schools, I always favor those with a dress code. There's a store that caters to attractive clothes for young women without immodesty. I want to say it is "Not of this World" (it is definitely Christian based) but I can't remember the name of it right now. I've been in there; very tasteful and they work hard to make things fashionable but definitely not juicy.

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  3. I think this might be your best post ever.

    My oldest daughter is 7. Until recently, I have been able to buy her size 6x. Sadly, the size 7-14 category is a whole new world of miniature adult clothes (and not the kind adult women should be wearing, either). Thank God for Land's End! I read an article about a year ago which said that modesty is coming back in women's clothes, but that the trend wasn't appearing to affect girls/juniors clothing.

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  4. This is what I was referring to on Twitter: http://illinigirl.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/and-seriously/

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  5. Elizabeth- YES! I have some luck with my girls in the ladies' department, but never in junior's- so I am trying to sew more (skirts are easy- shirts are hard) and just go on-line. Sometimes I thrift, but I don't have a lot of patience...

    Rabbit- thanks for the link!

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  6. REAL feminists are for fairness for both genders. Some belong to an organization called Feminists for Life. As you know it's not fair to female babies to be aborted (in China the overwhelming majority of abortions are for female babies). I'm for equal pay for equal work, equal health care for both genders, the vote, etc. etc. But where are the so-called feminists forming picket lines in front of porn stores ? Hurray for REAL feminists and boo to the FAKE feminists. Thanks for your blog ! From an old white male.

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  7. They're clothes are pricey- but the J. Crew Crew Cuts are lovely, fashionable and on the whole, modest. I love their clothes for girls and as a proud feminist, I can say that I support young women wearing clothing that proclaims their intelligence and fashion sense without sacrificing their self-worth to male indulgence.

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  8. A wonderful post. You are a gifted writer and this article just flowed. Please submit this to Michelle Malkin's blog or someone else. It's great.
    Thanks.

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  9. We're soulmates! I too feel myself to be a sort-of old-fashioned throw-back, lacking in feminist zeal until I see the sort of thing you mention!

    Now I feel guilty for buying my son a Target polo, though. Honestly, I got him one in the spring and it has held up well! I do like Lands End, too, though!

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  10. By the way - girls clothes are actually MUCH better than they were about ten years ago. When my daughter was in high school it was nearly impossible to find anything that was feminine and modest - it was age of showing midriff. I remember trying to find a dress for Lydia's Confirmation and wanting to tear my hair out. A friend had to buy a dress and have a dressmaker add sleeves! Now there are lovely clothes available for Anastasia.

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  11. Do you live near any outlets, PW? I know JCrew has outlets, not sure if they carry the kids stuff there... or maybe a Ralph Lauren outlet for dresses & polo shirts?

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  12. Oh, my... I was unfamiliar with JCrew clothes, so I looked them up on line. The first item I happened to look at was a $43 pair of girls shorts. Yikes! Unless they have amazing sales, that is *so* not in my budget. Land's End used to not have sales, but I've noticed in the last few years they frequently have 30-40% off, which makes it pretty do-able for me.

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  13. I feel your plight. It is so hard to dress our daughter's. My daughter's want to dress fashionably but not look like a 20 year old co-ed or a 40 year old housewife. Those seem to be the choices in clothes out there. To make matters worse my oldest is long legged. We have a very hard time finding skirts and shorts that are long enough for her. We have decided that is better in the long run for us to buy clothes at the thrift shop and have them altered to fit her. We can set the length where it fits her 13 year old 5'8" body best. I can take in skirts to make them more fashionable instead of a drindle and we can hem it to length.

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