Thus, the problem with criticizing a woman for being appealing to a patriarchal beauty standard, you are, whether you like it or not, feeding the belief that women are catty. Moreover, it feeds the notion that conventionally attractive women cannot be taken seriously as intelligent adults, which is exactly the sort of thing sexists want to believe. (Which is why Ann Althouse attacked Jessica.) To confuse the whole thing even more, and to get back to what Lauren was saying, there’s dual motivations for femme-ing it up, one of which is to get patriarchal approval and the other of which is the perfectly innocent desire to be attractive to people you’re attracted to. I’ve dealt with that at length before, but it bears repeating””it’s not that being cute or pretty is wrong, or that wanting these things is wrong, it’s that these desires are exploited to oppress people.
Amanda Marcotte and The Cattiness Trap.
I know I’ve been guilty of feeling that it’s OK to mock women who adhere to high maintenance, uncomfortable fashion, especially fetishistically high heels that literally cripple feet over time. This article has brought me up short.
I’ll be making a point in future of mocking the demeaning triviality of certain femme-fetish fashions and not mocking the women who choose for their own reasons to wear them – a fine distinction, but a crucial one.