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War, Torture, & Other Fashion Statements
P eople and you gals, welcome to Hotel Satire where gals learn their god-given roles, i.e., to service men and look good doing it.
Recently, we gals were reading all about Prince Charles and Camilla in the Sunday NYT (we hate her, but we can’t wait for the televised wedding) when we happened on a fashion article titled “Au Courant Camouflage.” It seems that Bryan Bradley, a clothing designer who caters to wealthy gals, presented a “fall collection during New York Fashion Week that included an orange camouflage vest and maroon camouflage pants.” The article asks, “Were warriors becoming fashion plates or was fashion responding to war?”
Fashion, it seems, was responding to war, as other designers have added epaulets to their jackets and blouses. Also, the U.S. Army has issued new fatigues, replacing the old green, brown, or tan with “muted shades of brown, gray, and green broken into one-centimeter segments.” The new design, according to the AP, allows them to move more easily from desert to city “in the same day.”
Similarly, Bryan Bradley’s camouflage design allows his customers to go “straight from the office to a charity ball or to a romantic dinner after a day of carpooling.” His outfit features a bright orange cargo vest trimmed with a fox collar and pants “roomy enough for cell phone and keys.” A vest dyed in a camouflage pattern is used for special occasions. The outfit, while for camouflage, is designed to stand out in a crowd (hey, we’re not making this up). The price: $80 for the pants, $2,100 for the vest.
After reading about war as fashion statement, we gals wanted to develop our own fashion statements, to help gals be gals. We rushed to get our husbands’ permission and they gave us the go ahead, as long as our “little hobby” didn’t take time away from serving their needs 24/7.
One of Satire gals, Mrs. Richard, designed what we call the “Abu Ghraib” (it comes in 16 different colors), with optional fur trim. This sells for $3,000, but includes a gift of stock in Haliburton and a jeweled handbag in the shape of an electric prod for the first 100 customers. There is a mink version for special occasions, such as Bush meetings to discuss tax cuts for the rich and privatizing everything he can get his hands on.
M rs. Geoffrey, one of our wealthier Satire gals, has designed a line of clothing under the “Hand Over Fist” label. It seems she was vacationing on Jekyll Island, Georgia during a G8 meeting her husband Geoffrey was attending. She was spending the hard- earned money that Geoffrey inherited, when she was confronted by packs of angry protestors yelling something about capitalism and something called imperialism (whatever that is, can it be bad?). She was so terrified she purchased a $10,000 armoire to calm her nerves. When Geoffrey came home, she told him about the experience and her fears that they would be reduced to a mere $4 billion a year and have to (God-forbid) pay taxes on it to boot. Geoffrey told her not to worry. “Since the Reagan/Bush years, nothing can make a dent in the amount of wealth we’ve been able to accumulate,” said Geoffrey.
Mrs. Geoffrey told him about the protestors and something called oppression (whatever that means). Geoffrey told her it was all nonsense; that capitalism was a spiritual, moral, economic system concerned with bringing universal wealth. Geoffrey explained that people don’t earn money, they deserve it so those who are poor are those who are undeserving, that’s why we can ignore them and still be caring people. Mrs. Geoffrey glowed at the beauty of capitalism. “I feel strangely uplifted,” she said, “as though God and I and my money were one.” “Bleep,” Geoffrey responded.
Which brings us back to “Hand Over Fist” fashions. Mrs. Geof- frey’s dresses are made out of money—larger bills for more formal occasions; fives and tens for casual. Men’s suits are made from stock certificates, Fortune 500 listings, and CEO salary checks. Next, because of the spiritual mission of capitalism, as detailed by Geoffrey, she designed a line of travel wear for gals, which features dresses with pictures of cash, God (a cross between Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, and Dwight Eisenhower), and relevant corporate logos. If a gal is traveling to India, say, she could wear her Coca Cola/God/cash dress, with matching sandals, as Coca Cola is busy helping that poverty stricken country by polluting the water, then using it all up, then selling it back to the people as bottled water (produced by Coca Cola).
third line of clothes is called: “The Desperate Mystique.”
One of our gals—Mrs. Jerry—has been keeping tabs on the
growing number of femlesgals trying to survive without being attached
to or subsumed by a man (one gags at the thought). Recently, Mrs.
Jerry informed us femlesgals were losing ground. How did she come
to this realization?
Well, two bits of news: First, Lawrence Summers, president of the prestigious Harvard University, recently attended a working lunch, part of an invitation- only economics conference. During a discussion of why only 4 of the 32 tenured jobs in science and engineering at Harvard went to women, Larry (he’s a dear friend) offered the following explanations: (1) reluctance or inability of gals with children to work 80-hour weeks (excuse me, it takes at least that much time to supervise the maid and shop for expensive items, but we digress); (2) fewer gals get top scores on math and science tests, but rather than the cause being socialization, behavioral genetics is now pointing toward, well, genetic gender differences (finally!); (3) the statistic of 4 out of 32 does not indicate discrimination on Harvard’s part, because, argues Larry, if that was the main factor, then schools that don’t discriminate (unless, of course, there weren’t any) would gain an advantage by hiring science/math gals away from those that did discriminate . Wow! Hotel Satire gals, not being genetically primed to understand science, math, or logic of any kind, don’t really get what Larry is talking about—plus who wants to work 80-hour work weeks, we know Larry doesn’t. No matter. We can see why he is deserving of such a prestigious job and the cash that goes with it.
Predictably, femlesgals responded that gals are good a sci/math. But who cares; that’s not the point. The point is that gals are not appointed to science and engineering jobs because their presence would be annoying to men. These gals would either be seducing men or outsmarting them.
The other inspiring bit of news came from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana. The 9th Circuit has determined that it’s legal for a female employee to be fired for refusing to wear makeup (if her work uniform includes makeup). The ruling is not considered discriminatory because this ruling is equal to a rule forbidding men from wearing makeup.
Hey, we're not making this up. We like the ruling because it requires gals to be appreciated for their looks and nothing else.
Fashion-wise this translates into a beautiful line of clothing we call “The Desperate Mystique.” Mrs. Jerry got that name from her study of the subversive femlesgals’ book The Feminine Mystique by Mrs. what’s her husband’s name, which is all about how middle to upper class educated gals felt unfulfilled in their married-with- children suburban lives in the 1960s. Says the book, “The problem lay buried, unspoken for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century United States. Each suburban housewife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night, she was afraid to ask even the silent question, Is this all?”
These 1960s housewives refused to be domestic appendages (albeit well educated) and they rebelled. Thankfully, we have a 2005 rewrite of the feminine mystique in that current hit TV show “Desperate Housewives.” This is a show where the female leads are all gorgeous, either by nature or appearances on “Extreme Makeover.” They’re thin, they’re wealthy, they live in a beautiful neighborhood, and they have gorgeous husbands, yet for some reason we Satire, they’re desperate. Also, inspite of being gorgeous, etc., their husbands sleep around, probably because each gal is more gorgeous than the other. These gals shop, bake, chauffeur, criticize the maid and their husbands, snipe, and never talk about world events or anything significant —ever. Audiences and critics have called this show feminist because these gals try to get their husbands not to sleep around and to sort of help with housework.
Duh!? Of course it’s feminist. That’s why these housewives are desperate. They have been brainwashed by feminism to expect a modicum of help and fidelity from their husbands. Fortunately, the Bush agenda, and efforts by others of like mind, will force these gals to realize that men need to be in charge and that, once and for all, the answer to The Feminine Mystique ’s silent question, “Is this all?” is really “Well, no, but we’ve got money and we look good so who cares.”
Fashion-wise, Mrs. Jerry has developed a look to match the malaise. It says “I’m desperate, I’m not good at science/math, I don't need a revolution, I need a man with a large charge account who can take will treat me like the passive, yet sexy twit I was born to be .” Oh, and gals, be sure to slather on the makeup. It’s the law.
Lydia Sargent is co-founder of South End Press and Z Magazine (where she has been a staff member since 1988.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; email@example.com; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; firstname.lastname@example.org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: email@example.com; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; email@example.com.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; email@example.com; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: email@example.com; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.