10.10.17

THE SECOND TIME AS FARCE.

Donna Karan appears to have excused Harvey Weinstein's piggish behavior by blaming the victim.
“How do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking?” she said. “Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and sexuality?”

The designer continued, “You look at everything all over the world today, how women are dressing and what they’re asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”
She has walked it back.  "My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein."

Forty years ago, a Madison judge got himself recalled for a similar sort of statement.  "Whether women like it or not they are sex objects. Are we supposed to take an impressionable person 15 or 16 years of age and punish that person severely because they react to it normally?"  A juvenile rapist got a suspended sentence.  I cringed, and the ladies I hung out with at the time were ... steamed.

I lifted that quote from a longer essay identifying something called Debased Compassion Syndrome.
Are fashions today often provocative? Yes. Are we supposed to take an impressionable person 15 or 16 years of age and punish that person severely because they react to it normally? Yes. We expect you to deal with provocative clothing styles appropriately, as the price for living in this society. That is what we define as "normal." If you choose not to, we will put you into a setting where you won't get the opportunity to respond inappropriately. Is it difficult? Maybe. Do we care? No. There are rules for appropriate conduct, and you will follow them. There are more of us who support the rules than there are those of you who want to violate them, and our opinion counts and yours doesn't. If it stresses you out, chew your fingernails, scream into your pillow or punch your teddy bear. But you will keep your hands out of places they don't have permission to go, and the discussion is over. Women have a right to go about their business without being assaulted, and how you feel about it is of no consequence whatsoever.
That's a second-order argument: there are rules, and people adhere to those rules, because adherence thereto confers an evolutionary advantage.  There's a lot more at the post I quoted.  By all means, read it, understand it, enjoy it.

Post scriptum: if Ms Karan's remarks get people rethinking the pass trashy fashions and epater le bourgeois authenticity get in the service of Progress, good.

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