-Tavi Gevinson continues to create, impress. As well she should - WWPD is pro-Tavi. It does strike me as strange, though, that we are only just now meant to recognize that the brilliant tween-now-teen is also conventionally good-looking. She has been all along, which is why amazing photographs like this have happened. We-the-public only want to see "ugly" fashions on the young and pretty. The difference with Tavi 2.0 is that this is more overt, if in a subtle, almost rockabilly way. Says a Slate commenter, "As a male in his thirties, I naturally clicked on this because of the babe in the photo. It would have saved me a morning of psychological trauma if it had clearly been stated on the home page that she's sixteen." Yes, that would be the difference between then and now.
-I just (finally!) read Katha Pollitt's Learning to Drive, and in one of the essays, "Webstalker," she offers quite the telling-it-like-it-is take on heterosexual open relationships. This, in reference to learning that an ex-boyfriend had been telling women that she "accepted his need for other women."
Still, it astonished me that she'd believed that business about my permitting his philandering. The only people who seem to know such women firsthand are the men who are cheating on them. You never hear a woman say, 'Whatever George wants is fine with me - I just want him to be happy!' No woman has ever passed on to another the riveting news that Miriam understands that Joe needs variety. It is only men who seem to possess this bit of intimate knowledge, which apparently is so instantly credible, so obviously true, that no one ever asks the woman herself about it.What struck me about this passage was how far removed it felt from the world presumed by Dan Savage's philosophy of negotiated open relationships, "monogamish." One can present "monogamish" in gender-neutral terms, but then there's reality to contend with.
-And I just listened to the WBUR show on Mary Kay, the cosmetics tupperware party that may or may not be a pyramid scheme. The issue is basically that the company doesn't keep track of whether the women who buy thousands of dollars' worth of wholesale inventory actually sell the stuff. In the company's defense, a guest on the program - who of course couldn't get around the fact that women are either going into debt or making under minimum wage under the banner of prepackaged girl-power entrepreneurship - explained that it doesn't matter if these women are making peanuts. Why? Because (in order of least to most patronizing) for some, it's just a way to supplement their husband's income, for others, to learn business skills (while never standing to make more than peanuts), for yet others, it's about the social component (of demanding your 'new friends' buy makeup from you???) and for others still (including, evidently, dude's own sister), it's just about getting a whole bunch of makeup for yourself at a discount. 'Cause you know, women, shopping...
While the last item really gets at the gender specificity of the product itself, the first three reminded me of the connection I'd made earlier between the housewife and the unpaid intern. There are, in society, those who need to work and are generally recognized as needing to do so; those who straight-up don't and can volunteer or ride horses competitively; and finally, those who do, but maybe not desperately, maybe more for independence than subsistence, if only for the time being, but who will at any rate strike potential employers as not in need of an income.
When a for-profit, not-plausibly-charity-type employer offers "work" that doesn't pay - or maybe pays one peanut and no more - what's happening is, the would-be employee is assumed to have some other source of income, that the alternative to paying this person is not the employee showing up for work straight from the homeless shelter. The employer can then pay less than what the work is worth, comfortable in the knowledge that the employee will neither starve nor (well, there is OWS) protest. It's one thing to realize, hey, at this point in my life, my basic needs are accounted for (or could be with part-time work plus loans), so maybe now's a good time for school, for some part-time pursuits, for bettering myself or the world, and for those who run universities or organize do-gooder internships to meet that demand. It's another entirely to go out looking for paid work, only to find that all that's available to you are learning experiences and opportunities for social interaction, with maybe a lipstick thrown in.