Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Misogyny is NEVER a good policy - Why I stopped reading WASP 101

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."

12 comments:

  1. I agree 100%. Though I always take his posts as a bit tongue in cheek. They all seem more like a tryhard trad blog than a blog that happens to be run by a guy with style.

    I hate to use the excuse of the media but go back to mass market advertising even in its infancy and you'd see products being sold to women with the idea of helping them "land a man". The wheel turns but what women need to do or keep doing is not responding to this kind of marketing. If it stops working, advertisers will find a new avenue, that's their job.

    I'd be happy to show you how to unfollow any blog anytime. To quote Julie Andrews in the Princess Diaries 2, "If there's to be any funny business going on, I want to be right under my nose." :)

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    1. I never take his posts seriously either because they're so misguided that I could never taken them seriously. I will disagree with you, however, that this guy has style - he is way too over the top.

      I had a lunch conversation about the role of media in sexualizing everything nowadays - I know that it's what's always gone on, but it needs to change. Saying that won't make a difference, but one day it might.

      I did manage to figure out how to unfollow him ;) Thanks, though!

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  2. Amen. Richard's just insecure because he knows he's a fraud. Misogyny is his sad refuge from his sad life. Likewise with his bungled attempts at elitism. Good for you for pushing it back in his face. He used to comment at The Trad, but was called out on his misogyny there too and told to get lost.

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    1. Agreed - he certainly is. I haven't read any of his comments on the Trad - or anywhere else except on his blog - but I'm glad other people have called him out on his misogyny. I know it's silly to be offended and upset by such an obvious phony, but I was nonetheless.

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  3. I find it pretty surprising and more than a little humorous that Richard's post made you "very upset" and that you were "so offended."

    I wasn't aware anyone took anything Richard has ever posted seriously enough to actually let it ruffle their feathers.

    I mean, good grief, this is the guy who weaves tales about taking his friend's private jet to the Rugby Cafe for an impromptu afternoon jaunt for tea and crumpets.

    The mental image of someone reading one of Richie's blog posts and actually getting upset over it is just incredible to me.

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    1. To be perfectly frank, Anonymous, I was surprised I was so offended too. Richard is a phony, as I mentioned in the comment response above this one, and I was surprised that I was so offended by remarks made by such an obvious fake(that private jet story kept me in stitches all afternoon when he posted that!). I have never taken anything he's posted seriously before, and I don't know why I did this time - though I did address a few possible reasons why it bothered me in this post. Richard's latest post was simply the straw that broke the camel's back, for reasons I can't explain further than a slow but steady accumulation of stupid, misogynist remarks - even if they were by a phony.

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  4. Hope you don't mind the anonymous comment, but: this is one of the best things I've read on the internet this year. Thank you for speaking out about it. (I tried to leave a comment recently along the same lines as the one you quoted, and he never published it. Sad.)

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    1. I don't mind at all! I'm very flattered by your compliment, though of course I didn't write this entry for that. I just felt that it needed to be said, even if no one would read it. I was surprised he published my comment with the link to this entry. I guess he didn't read it.

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  5. I wonder if Richard was talking about English women like this?

    http://www.thelondoner.me/

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    1. Hahahaha! Perhaps - I do follow The Londoner but that's another blog I'll have to unfollow due to some of the pictures from her posts from Fiji. Her recipes are excellent, however.

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  6. As you may be aware, "Richard" of WASP 101 has been outed as North Carolina state representative Bryan Richard Holloway, facts exploded by the folks at Ivy Style. His blog was taken down within hours of its publisher's identity being exposed.

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    1. I am aware! It just makes me so sad that the sexist views spouted by "Richard" are actually those of an elected official.

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