September 22, 2008


Why Whoopi Goldberg's New Dresses Piss Me Off...

All this week, The View is making Whoopi Goldberg wear dresses and skirts. WTF? Whoopi today, on the show, was basically telling the other girls she found her dress less comfortable than her regular suits, because it's not as easy to move around. Sherri Shepherd, whom I swear is one of the world's most tragically ignorant people, told Whoopi what she likes about dresses is that you have to sit primly and are restricted. She said THAT makes her feel feminine. Being a woman means being less free to move and less comfortable? That's buying into the old BS gender performance BS that we've known for years is BS, but for some reason, is still promoted by mainstream Woman-focused television, like The View.

I wear dresses and skirts about 70% of the time. I wear them because I actually find them more comfortable (I'm not usually wearing the tight skirts that restrict movement) and I usually have no problem running in them (They aren't that short, and if they are, I typically wear them with tights). I also like the way they look on me. But my femininity - and Whoopi's - is not contingent upon the fact that I wear dresses, and it doesn't change when I put on a pair of pants. Why are we in this society still so afraid of androgony, even on shows like The View, where all the panelists are women and they themselves should realize that putting on a more traditionally male wardrobe does not automatically incapacitate your ovaries?

Women telling other women they should wear traditionally girlie clothes with features like "Whoopi Wears Dresses" is the type of judgmental anti-feminist behaviour that says in order to be a woman, you have to work hard to perform your gender and differentiate yourself from the men, who are not gendered at all, but merely normative human beings. The View is a show about current events. Why does it matter what the fuck Whoopi wears? Well, that's easy. It matters because for many people (myself included) fashion statements are profound and important part of the way one expresses oneself. Whoopi Golderburg is like this. She wants to make a statement with her clothes, a statement that says she's ready to run anywhere and doesn't have to cross her goddamn legs to keep from exposing herself and won't be cold walking down the street in the winter. By changing her clothes, the view is fucking with her image and her message. It's distorting her message that we should wear whatever makes us feel the most functional and the happiest as women. So, I'm mad at both The View for creating this assinine feature, and Goldberg for agreeing to participate in it.

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