Joan Walsh is apparently very concerned that Ivanka Trump wore a dress with a bow on it at a meeting where she represented her father. From the interview:
“Right. With big bows on her sleeve. I mean, I don’t mean to sound sexist — it can be dangerous to comment on what women wear — but the fact that she sat in for her father in a dress that was so incredibly ornamental was such a contradiction in terms,” Walsh said. “And I think that what we see is that in patriarchal, authoritarian societies, daughters have great value — they are property. And the message that she is sending about her own value, about her place in the White House, and about the place of women in this administration, I think, are really frightening.”
Apparently walking around half-nude is more acceptable in some political circles than wearing bows on your sleeve at a high-powered meeting.
This is further proof of the haphhazardness of modern feminism. We shouldn’t comment on what a women wears, unless that woman is a conservative. Appreciating the female form is objectification, but Beyonce spreading her legs on the MTV VMA stage is female empowerment. (I love Bey. Just making a point.) Openness and inclusiveness means zero tolerance to dissent. The only guiding principle I see to a lot of this is that feminism is whatever the moral majority allows it to be.
But my biggest lament is that being feminine is now considered anti-feminist. Surely celebrating women’s unique characteristics does not denegrate them—nor can those differences, often attributable to science, be denied. Women are more intuitive, have better communication skills, choose to be in professions that offer more flexibility and safety in the work place (leading to differences in pay), look for different things than men in relationships. Acknowledging these differences, and celebrating them through open nods to femininity (ie. a bow), is not an insult to women—it is a celebration of womanhood.
Perhaps this article says it best:
“The power in being women is precisely that we are not men. …When a woman goes into the boardroom (or takes a seat at the G20 summit) her advantages don’t lie in matching manly quality for manly quality. It is the ‘girlie stuff’ that not only sets a woman apart from her male counterparts, but elevates her.”