Uncoupling consumerism and high femme.

Being an avid flea-market-treasure hunter and coupon-wielder myself, it’s taken me a while to realize that frugality alone doesn’t do much to combat consumerism. All those newly minted recessionistas are still spending money they don’t have on things they don’t need.

Nope, sorry: just because you don’t spend as much money on material goods doesn’t mean you’ve escaped the cycle of obsession and possession.

There’s a disturbing tendency in our culture to equate happiness and self worth with purchasing power. And while everyone is in danger of identifying too closely with the objects that allow them to feel comfort, confidence, and contentment, women have been the targets of particularly damaging and divisive marketing campaigns.

Magazines, billboards, and commercials conspire to make us believe we aren’t lovable or desirable without certain beauty products, clothing, accessories, and other items – and, as if that weren’t harmful enough, many ads propagate the myth that women must compete against one another to prove our value in the world. One of my dearest hopes is that women, and femmes, can work together to challenge and dismantle these frameworks over time.

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One Response to “Uncoupling consumerism and high femme.”

  1. undercoverpunk Says:

    Hey, new friend!!!!!! 😉

    AMEN, women MUST overcome the ugly competition that society encourages amongst us.

    I attribute most of it to the subordinate role that heterosexuality relegates women to. The new sexual expression opened the door for women to compete for male attention from many men, under many different circumstances. A woman’s worth is undeniably supported by both the quantity AND quality of her relationshipS with MEN–not just her sexual conquests or her romantic liaisons. Viewed this way, it’s a reason for women to compete. Not a good one, but I can rationalize it this way (and not get soooo MAD at the women who do it). Not to mention that the fruits of heterosexual privilege–don’t get me started!!!—are greater with some men and lesser with others.

    I too, DREAM of a lesbian sisterhood that rejects the power dynamics of domination/submission. I couldn’t care less what the 2 partners LOOK like; I care only how the players ACT and how they TREAT each other. If lesbians adopt a power dynamic similar to the heterosexual one that posits one KIND of person as better than another, we shall not escape internal competition (which itself implies the legitimacy of an underlying hierarchy that will be “revealed” by the competition at hand).

    HOWEVER, if we can CREATE NEW VALUES characterized instead by the beauty of “feminine” qualities such as inclusion, patience, and support, we just MIGHT be on to something NEW. That’s my DREAM. Awwww, ye-ah!!!

    Kindred feminist bloggers unite!

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