I was going through my Google Reader this morning when I found a new post by Richard, the blogger behind WASP 101. While Richard has never - at least as long as I've read his blog - actually accurately portrayed any aspect of WASP/prep/trad culture, he has been on my Google Reader for quite some time. I will admit that I occasionally enjoy some of the pictures he posts - although not the commentary that goes along with it. I've always found his "preppy girl theater" posts to be incredibly disturbing (and often the pictures don't depict women dressed in "preppy clothing", but that's neither here nor there - the objectification of women is what alarms me, no matter in what style they are dressed). However, his blog remained on my Reader - primarily because I wasn't sure how to remove a blog from it, and the posts he was posting didn't offend me enough to go to the effort of figuring out how to unfollow WASP 101. Today, that changed.
I went to an all-girls' boarding school and it took me until after I had graduated and left to truly realize that women aren't treated equally. I was lucky enough to spend my formative years in an environment where I felt comfortable being who I was naturally becoming, and certainly lucky enough to live in a place with very few negative influences. Perhaps growing up in such an environment made me more acutely aware, once I had left school, of society's negative view of women.
Getting back to the topic at hand - perhaps it's because the Steubenville case has been so recently and prominently featured in the news, but today, when I read Richard's latest entry on WASP 101, entitled Why Can't Women Just Be Old English, I was very upset. This is yet another post in a long line of degrading, misogynistic, posts - culminating in the question (although it was not punctuated as a question) "Why can't women today realize that this drives men wild".
At the time of writing this entry, one anonymous commenter had responded to this, saying "Uhhh because women aren't always trying to dress for men? Plenty of
women don't care about trying to lure a man with their outfits; it's not
all about you." Anonymous is right. It's not all about Richard. More importantly, women aren't always trying to dress for men. When did society start thinking women dressed they way they did only to ensnare a mate? Women can dress how they want because they like the way they look, because they feel comfortable with what they are wearing, because they are expressing themselves. Not everything a woman wears is because she wants to attract or impress someone. I do realize that we live in a time when images are overly sexualized, but we don't have to perpetuate this culture.
I've stopped reading Richard's blog because I am so offended by his overt misogyny. I know this isn't a rare occurrence in the world - particularly in America - but that doesn't mean I have to stand for it. I know that, on my own, there is very little I can do, but, as Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can
change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."