Yesterday, there was very minor kerfluffle because coverage of an event by our local alt-media included color commentary of wardrobes. Shoes and gender discrimination seemed to be the focus of the discussion. Deep down, it was a misdirection by the main complainant, but everyone chimed in and it snowballed into pie recipes.
Anyone with a small town in their history knows all too well that the community papers which have almost disappeared, use clothing descriptions in articles about social gatherings as a writing art form. Small town columnists use carefully worded descriptions of attendee outfits to say everything or nothing about the event and the people there. The mention of a designer label could be used to praise the wearer’s taste or hint at illicitly gained money depending on the writer’s intent.
Good writing about the costumes that people choose for their public persona is neither sexist nor pointless. As for shoes, I notice footwear that other people wear and if you are in earshot you will hear me notice it. I love spiky, chunky, shiny and silly shoes that I see on other women. I do marvel at their ability to wear extremely fancy shoes when my feet hurt just thinking about wearing them. Shoes are art and it takes an athlete to wear some of them. The world just seems a little bit more beautiful because of those shoes.
Once upon a time, I sat in Market Square watching hordes of teens and preteen girls dressed in shirts worn as dresses and cowboy boots. Just before a migraine took over my ability to function, I commented on Facebook about the silliness of this fashion trend just as my mother would have mumbled complaints via soup cans on a string when I went through a phase of oversized t-shirts and slouch boots with leggings. I think the shirt and cowboy boots look is ridiculous outside of a bar or club. Someone used my comment as an excuse to tell me my backside is big (no duh) and then posted on their own wall that I was calling the slut walk participants sluts.
I was there for the slut walk and the cowboy boot/shirt teens and girls were not participating in it. I did not call them sluts and the entire point of the slut walk is that women don’t “ask” to be raped based on what they wear. That has absolutely zero to do with my feelings about a fashion trend. I will discuss issues with you, but I am too tired and time is too short to deal with misdirection.
I get that the next six weeks are going to be brutal for the people of Knoxville who feel strongly about our next Mayor. Since we can’t unfriend everyone, let’s try to focus on the issues instead of attacking each other.