A response to a post

The original post: “Oh, my Uggs, yoga pants and Pink hoodie make me a white girl? And here I was thinking my white skin and female gender made me one….”

One stunningly articulate reply: “And don’t tell me girls don’t wear yoga pants to show off or make their asses look better cuz there’s no way everybody who wears them in public is coming for the gym or just got done running; in ugg boots”

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Why people prefer to use arbitrary physical criteria as a judgment of moral character over, y’know, one’s actions, is a phenomenon that evades my comprehension. Reducing people to their class and cultural signifiers is a great way to feel superior to them, but tends to have the unfortunate side effect of dehumanizing them in the process. What would be beautiful is if we could stop making conclusions of worth based on material identifiers and start making them based on people’s actions.

In addition – it is one thing to use satire and parody to make fun of the privileged and powerful. However, this sort of thing is hardly intelligent enough to qualify as either of those. It’s another variation of the ragging-on-hipsters game – both stereotyped white girls and hipsters are acceptable targets of derision that are easy to rip on without having to formulate thoughtful criticism or face the societal backlash that comes with singling out a group of people and being a dick to them. It also comes with the pleasant side effect of making you feel superior without any intellectual effort expended on your part. While parody and satire contribute to the cultural conversation about certain behaviors and seek to change, discuss, or level the playing field, taking cheap shots at people because they conform to a certain stereotypes does none of the above. What it succeeds in doing is making people hyperaware about not being derided for conforming to that stereotype just because they like the things they like. (Incidentally, this is similar to one of the many problems with racism, although that’s more insidious because of the centuries of terrible oppression behind it. These are conceptually similar, but very different when played out in the real world).

I think the main point I want to get across, though, is that – why can’t we treat people as people? And why do we struggle with feeling good about ourselves without hurting other people?

[In addition: a reply to something said above, paraphrased as “Why would women wear certain clothing for something other than its intended purpose if not to demonstrate their body for male pleasure?” If I may respond: Because, remarkable as it may be that everyone is not in love with your penis, women are people that are not solely defined by being an object of attraction. As hard as it may be to comprehend, not all (in fact, most) women have no interest in being ogled by lechers who think their only valuable quality is that of a glorified sock. Amazingly… sometimes people wear clothing because that’s what they bloody felt like wearing. Also, for the record – if you remark upon a girl’s ass in public, you are not paying her a compliment. You are sexually harassing her.]

Thank you and good night.