I dress for me. You dress for you.

UPDATE: Raven response's to my post? "Oh Ellie. You're an atheist. Figures." So I guess she showed me.

ALSO: Thanks to everyone who said kind things about this post (and in some cases my blog itself), via email, on Raven's blog (now gone, because she turned off and deleted comments on her post), and on GOMI. I shouldn't have dropped the link on GOMI (I thought it would be ok since my blog isn't monetized), so I'm saying thanks from my doghouse here in the corner, lest I step on any more hamtoes. :/


This is a response to this post, from a blog called "Don't Quote the Raven". The post was featured on GOMI, which was where I read it. I'd never have known about it otherwise, so ham, Franzia, and lint brushes (for the cat hair) will be handed out at the end of the lecture.

I take exception to some of the things said in the above-linked post, which you should read before continuing (don't worry: it's short and about as intellectually challenging as Superfudge).

First, the blogger, the eponymous Raven, claims to "dress for men." I've never understood women who say this. For that matter, I never understood the counter argument that women "dress for other women."

Everyone dresses to achieve some end. That end is individual to the person. Some possible ends:

fitting in with the downtown hipster crowd
being comfortable enough to run errands until dinner
feeling stylish and well put-together
not sweating/freezing to death in the car/office/house/mall/plane/classroom
making someone jealous
turning someone on
camouflaging baby puke, if necessary
not incurring the disapproval of one's religious authority

But no matter what the ostensible, penultimate goal is, we all dress to meet our own needs and desires. That's the ultimate goal.

Even if a woman is dressing with the aim of pleasing some man, that's because pleasing that man makes her happy. So, by extension, she's dressing to make herself happy. She's dressing for herself.

Likewise, if she's dressing so that she doesn't feel out of place amongst fashionable women, that's because being current with her wardrobe is important to her. She's dressing to reflect her values. She's dressing for herself, too.

Then there's her assertion that certain fashion or cosmetic choices are categorically unsexy. Leaving aside the misogynist, divisive nature of her pronouncement that men hate cardigans, red lipstick, and the clothes of J. Crew, it's absurd to throw out blanket statements about what heterosexual men do or don't find attractive. Anyone who'd presume to speak for an entire gender or sexual orientation is someone who shouldn't open his or her mouth at all.

Incidentally, it's telling that she doesn't see fit to add the qualifier "straight" to her analysis, as LGBTQ persons clearly don't factor into her terrifyingly narrow worldview.

Finally, there's Raven's piece de resistance of ignorance: "Men. Hate. Feminists."


The fact that the next few sentences even have to be written in 2012 makes me want to curl up and take a nap until 2062. But here goes:

Feminism: noun.

1. the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2. organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests

Feminist: noun.

1. someone who supports feminism

A feminist is someone who supports the idea that women and men should be treated equally in political, social, and economic arenas.

That's it. That's all a feminist is. There is nothing in that definition about hating men, or about taking power away from them, or about what heteronormative, culturally-determinate expressions of female beauty or modes of behavior should or should not be challenged and/or discarded.

In other words, Raven, no true feminist would say that because you wear dresses, or nail polish, or because you curl your hair, that you're in any way less than a woman who instead chooses pants, eschews makeup, and cuts her hair short. Likewise, no true feminist would declare you less than for choosing to be a stay-at-home-mom, rather than pursuing a career out of home.

Do you know what you call a woman who would say that? An asshole.

A feminist recognizes and respects your right to do whatever the fuck you want with your body, your time, your mind, and your money, as long as it doesn't impede upon her rights. A feminist honors and defends your right to choose whatever path is best for you (that's what all that hard work during the suffrage and Women's Rights movements was about, after all - CHOICE).

Any man that says he hates feminists either a) has been similarly misinformed about what a feminist actually is, or b) doesn't think women should have the same rights and opportunities as men. If the latter, he should be dismissed as a pig and sent squealing to the library to learn something about the world.

The ridiculous caricature of the modern-day feminist that Raven, being a Republican, has no doubt had pummeled into her brain by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Megyn Kelly bears no resemblance to what an actual, defined feminist is. There is a sort of hyperbolic "straw feminist" that the far right has created, built up to terrifying heights in the minds of conservatives (the "feminazi" bent on literally and figuratively castrating men), in order to have something to tear down in hateful, destructive sound bytes the ultimate goal of which is the stripping of women's rights.

Men can be feminists, and in fact call themselves exactly that, when enlightened. Feminist men see a woman as more than her choice of lip color. As often as not, they could give a flying fuck what kind of sweater she wears, too, because her brain gives them a raging boner. And speaking of boners, the best sex I ever had in my life was with a man who self-identified as a feminist. Came right out and announced it, early on in our relationship. It was cool as fuck, and the appreciation he has for women in general made itself felt in his bed.


I find it alarming that this spume of hatred shot up from the keyboard of one sadly uneducated person should have such a large reach. Raven's ideas about equality are beyond annoying - they're dangerous, when played out to their logical ends. She comments on her own post, "And I like to think that my husband 'owns' me fyi."

In the twenty-first century, to exult in the idea of a man owning a woman, is about as ass-backwards and disgusting as it can get. If you're as disturbed and sickened as me, please contact BlogHer, who sponsored her post shed a tear for humanity. (UPDATE: BlogHer doesn't care, and apparently, no amount of explaining what feminism really means will penetrate this woman's willfully ignorant skull. Save your breath and mental energy for someone who wants to learn something).

No wonder the very name of her blog warns us not to quote her. What's coming out of her mouth is utter shit.