Monday, December 08, 2008

WWPD: the women's mag edition

Is it better for women to:

1) Wear girdles,
2) Diet themselves into the shape a girdle provides, or
3) Think of something better to worry about?

Daphne Merkin's ability to stretch (pun intended-ish, given the topic) the above possibilities, minus possibility #3 which apparently does not exist in her universe, into a lively, readable article for me to consume along with an almond croissant is, let me just say, impressive.

That said, Merkin (indirectly) called me zaftig, and while I'm a firm (pun intended-ish) believer in #3, I will not have it. She explains, "[...] the era of zaftig was over, except in the subordinate boroughs." From the joggers in Park Slope to the chain-smokers of Williamsburg, the 'new Brooklyn' is hardly pro-zaftig; the 'real' outer boroughs neither. Merkin's "subordinate boroughs" apparently consist of communities unchanged since the 1940s, in which Old Country mothers urge their daughters to down an extra helping of schmaltz. (If zaftig's not italicized, does schmaltz need to be? Discuss.)

Merkin lost me with the following: "[...] I’ve since passed the smaller of the two [girdles] on to my 19-year-old daughter, who had been eyeing it for its erotic potential." I can't decide if it's worse a) that this happened, or b) that the NYT readership gets to hear about it.

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In other girly news, via Arts & Letters Daily, here's a fun piece about the "Toxic Wife," a lady with her banker man only until the market crashes. Actually, the article's kind of bizarre--what author Tara Winter Wilson calls a "toxic wife" is what's traditionally referred to as a "trophy wife." Certain men want to parlay their financial success into well-maintained women, which works out because certain women enjoy spending lots of time at salons. The agreement is such that if the woman lets herself go, or the man loses his kesef, party's over. The term "toxic" is Wilson's way of taking male agency out of the equation. Well, not entirely: "Men, it seems, have got wise to the potential Toxic Wife and don't want to end up with someone who is going to bolt the moment they experience some financial bad luck." Yet these same men, when finances were good, declared themselves worthy of a league they'd otherwise not have a shot at. There are no trophies "for richer or poorer." That's kind of the point. Again, a strange article indeed.

2 comments:

Petey said...

Today is the day that Fran Drescher throws her hat into the political ring, and you're blogging about something else?

blogs! said...

Oh no, there's one of those "page break lines" in your post!