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coronavirus empathy deficit gender policing lgbt misogyny TERFs transmisogyny transphobia

Gender Critical Redditor: The coronavirus could destroy fashion … and also “the whole stupid concept of transgenderism”

Working from home, not wearing pants

By David Futrelle

So-called “gender critical feminists” can become quite ingenious when it comes to working their transphobic obsessions into conversaations that have nothing whatsoever to do with trans people or trans issues.

Consider a recent post in the GenderCritical subreddit that’s ostensibly about “fashion in the time of coronavirus self-isolation.” The author, calling herself itsnotaboutewe, sets forth a relatively straightforward argument: since people are dressing like slobs while working from home, maybe they’ll get used to this new sartorial freedom and won’t bother to dress up after the lockdowns come to an end, this bringing about the end of fashion.

“With so many people now working from home,” she writes,

it doesn’t take too long to figure out what to wear to work anymore. Some people wear sweatpants to sit in front of the computer while others don’t even bother to change out of their pyjamas. …

The clothes that our culture dictates we wear to look the part for our jobs are no longer needed. It doesn’t matter if we don’t dye our hair or shave our legs in order to look professional for clients if they can’t see us. There is no boss enforcing an uncomfortable dress code on women of high heels, tight pencil-skirts, stockings, makeup, and push-up bras.

No, but some people are continuing to dress up, even if they know no one will be seeing them, because it makes them feel more normal, more connected to the world before (and presumably after) the lockdowns.

I mean, I personally am dressing like a slob while I work at home during lockdown, but I was doing that already.

Even doing the weekly trip to buy essential groceries doesn’t require us to dress to a certain standard anymore.

No, but again I know that some people who are now making a point of dressing up when they go out, even if it’s just to the grocery store People seem to be divided down the middle on the whole dressing-like-a-slob-because-you-can question.

It’s like we are in survival mode but instead of wearing cammo we are in knitted jersey and crocs with socks. I haven’t worn a bra since February and quite frankly I can’t think of any person or situation I consider to be bra-worthy anymore.

itsnotaboutewe wonders if these habits will stick after the lockdowns come to an end, and concludes that they probably will.

Is this the end of fashion as we know it? By the time we are allowed back in public together again we will have missed at least three fashion cycles. We will all be wearing last years styles but I don’t think anyone will be able to make us care about it anymore. Who will honestly give a rat’s arse if they are wearing last seasons colours?

Either that or they may jump back into fashion even more enthusiastically than before because they’ve been deprived of it for so long.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with itsnotaboutewe’s argument — I obviously have some issues with it — it is at least a real argument. The premises may be a little off, I would argue, but it makes a certain logical sense.

That can’t really be said about where her argument goes next.

“I hope this massive societal upheaval goes some way to destroying fashion as a way of forcing women to conform to stereotypes,” she writes.

Perhaps cross-dressing men will at last realise they can wear whatever they want without having to pretend to be women, and we can leave the whole stupid concept of transgenderism behind us.

What the hell? This is what you might call a stretch, and then some. Trans women don’t dress the ways they do — in clothes ranging from traditionally feminine to androgynous — in order to “pretend to be women” like the stereotypical drag queens that itsnotaboutewe clearly pictures when she thinks about trans women. Trans women dress in these varied ways because they are women. Maybe some trans women dress in more conventionally feminine ways than this particular “gender critical feminist” would like, but so do some cis women.

Indeed, so do some cis women who consider themselves “gender critical feminists.” Though itsnotaboutewe’s post got nearly 80 upvotes from her colleagues in the GenderCritical subreddit, quite a few of those commenting on it disagree mightily with her argument.

“I work from home in general, as well as during the pandemic and I still get up every day, put on makeup, shower, shave and put on leggings and a t-shirt,” notes one commenter.

I find I’m more productive when I like the way I look and feel more “ready to go”. I just feel so BLAH when I pass the mirror and see under eye bags.

No need for pencil skirts and heels (although I live in a city where no one really wears that anyway to work but lawyers because it’s too cold and everything is casual) but spending some effort (to whatever you standard is) I think it still really important because WE see us.

“Getting dressed helps me keep from getting too depressed,” writes another.

Today I wore a dress with happy tropical fruit on it. It keeps the feeling of the world being totally out of control at bay.

Huh. I wonder if it has ever occurred to any GenderCrits that maybe some trans women dress the ways they do for the very same reason: it makes them feel like themselves?

Just a thought, GenderCrits.

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'mantha
'mantha
2 years ago

Yeah, I’ve had people say to me “Why don’t you just wear what you like, you don’t need to pretend to be a woman”. Telling them I was wearing skirts in public for over 20 years – trying very hard to be a gender non-conforming man as a means of resolving my confusion – before eventually realising that I had to transition because I’m actually female made no difference. Because as usual they’re not interested in evidence.

Believe me, I interrogated my own motives for far longer and more stringently than any GC or anyone else is ever going to!

Also, I like nice clothes (usually from charity shops) but have never had a clue about what’s supposed to be ‘in fashion’ at any given moment. This can’t be uncommon, surely.

Tyke
Tyke
2 years ago

My nonbinary self enjoys fashion as a hobby. I enjoyed it before, I’m enjoying it now, and I’ll enjoy it when the madness is over. I hope more people are able to opt out of fashion in the future and just wear what they want, because freedom of expression.
Her commentary on transpeople is nonsense, of course.

Isn’t this the same person who hoped the pandemic would make transwomen sad?

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

destroying fashion as a way of forcing women to conform to stereotypes

I’m all for ending stereotypes and enforcing them on women (and men and NBs and everyone else), but I don’t think it’s necessary to destroy fashion. In fact, I can see how fashion can be liberating. Since cracking my egg, I’ve realized that I do like fashion, I just hated having to wear men’s clothing, so I’ve been learning more about the world of fashion. Obviously I can’t buy more for my wardrobe right now, but I plan to when it is safe to do so.

Perhaps cross-dressing men will at last realise they can wear whatever they want without having to pretend to be women, and we can leave the whole stupid concept of transgenderism behind us.

I don’t know who this TERF thinks she’s kidding. Even if we ignore trans* people for a minute and entertain this horrible argument, we all know that TERFs relentlessly mock GNC cis people (like how they harassed a teenager who was doing drag).

I find I’m more productive when I like the way I look and feel more “ready to go”. I just feel so BLAH when I pass the mirror and see under eye bags.

Getting dressed helps me keep from getting too depressed

I hate to agree with a TERF on anything, but I can relate with these sentiments. I’ve been showering, shaving, and getting dressed each day because it helps me keep some element of stability in my life. If only TERFs could understand that I’m getting dressed for the same reasons they are.

@Tyke
It does appear to be the same Redditor. Imagine living such a pathetic life that all you do is blather online about why you want bad things to happen to trans* women.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
2 years ago

I was a teenager in the USA when the second wave of feminism hit the shore of my consciousness. This was the late 1960s and early 1970s. Most of the feminists I was familiar with (through feminist meetings, books, and magazines) were young but still much older than me (20s and 30s), and eschewed fashion and makeup as sexist and mainstream. I loved fashion (I read my small-town newspaper for news about the fashion shows in Paris) and makeup, but I certainly understood feminist arguments about women’s restrictive roles, rampant consumerism, and capitalism.

For about five years I didn’t wear makeup. And except on rare occasions I didn’t wear anything fancier than jeans and a T-shirt. But I never lost my love of fashion and makeup. Eventually, I got jobs (low-paying jobs but still . . . ) at companies where most of the women looked more professional, so I did too.

These days, I’m a climate-conscious and socially conscious minimalist. I buy organic, fair trade clothing when possible (Peopletree, Fair Indigo, and Decent Exposures are some of my favorites). And I check the Environmental Working Group online for information on what’s in beauty products.

Fashion has changed a lot since I was a teenager. It used to be that if you wore something old, you were seriously uncool. Seriously. Nowadays, hemlines and colors and fabrics can be worn for quite a while. Decades, if you want to go the vintage route. Nobody wore vintage when I was a teenager. And although I can’t wear vintage clothing (it’s usually dry cleaned and I can’t tolerate those chemicals), it’s the most environmentally friendly way to go.

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

I still wear a dress everyday because I like dresses. Dressing nice and liking how I look really helped me get out of my depression. And I still wear lipstick most days because I like it a lot. I’m also a cis woman so she will probably claim I’m still brain washed. but to be honest if I get into sweat pants or in pjs all day that means I’m either physically sick or my depression is killing me. If I don’t feel good it reflects on my physically appearance a lot.

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@Lainy

I’m also a cis woman so she will probably claim I’m still brain washed.

I’ve also seen TERFs claim that cis women that don’t agree with them are actually men, so that’s another accusation they might throw out. So much for supposedly being able to instantly tell anyone’s assigned at birth sex without even seeing them.

Bakunin
Bakunin
2 years ago

Once again, TERFs cannot distinguish between GNC men and trans women

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

@Naglfar

I’m not surprised. I can’t think of a single actually “feminists” thing that any terf actually does. I try to stay away from them. Since I am a cis woman that was assaulted in a public rest room by a cis gender man, they love to use my situation for the no trans gender people in their perfured bathroom thing. It’s hurtful and I once told a woman that her doing that sounds like the racists people that also use the same story for their agenda since I’m a white woman who was attacked by a latino man. She did not take to kindly to her bigotry being use against her. Terfs will use rape survivors as token for their agenda and then beat that rape survivor if they don’t fit the niche.

A terf is what I would call a fine outstanding bigeot. There nose so close to the grindstone they can’t even see anything else around them. They stick their ignorance as the world changes around them and their proud of that. and they don’t care who they hurt or get killed.

Snowberry
Snowberry
2 years ago

@Bakunin

Once again, TERFs cannot distinguish between GNC men and trans women

Because trans people cannot exist according to their perception of gender, so they have to find other explanations. “Trans women are just confused gender non-conforming men” is one of their common alternatives to “trans women exist”.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent, Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent, Bard of the New Movement
2 years ago

Nonbinary person here. I’ve mostly been thinking about how I want to get more shirts like the undershirt I’ve been wearing, because it looks really good but I only have one.

Also, out of not wanting to fucking bother, I’ve pulled up a long skirt with an elastic waistband up over my chest and used it as a dress so I can go outside of my room without putting anything more on. (I live with my family, so it’s kind of necessary.)

Not to mention, I also have to dress up for online classes–at least wearing a shirt and something below.

That being said, I haven’t worn bra nor binder in weeks now.

What a life we live.

rv97
rv97
2 years ago

Speaking of clothes, I just find myself envious of cis women I consider attractive and what they can wear openly and in more situations. Quarantine kind of isn’t helping that since I’m stuck with parents who are not very accepting of this sort of stuff.

The fact that TERFs piss on GNC men pisses me off as someone questioning their gender and as someone with a ton of self hate for it and other regards too.

An Autistic Giraffe
An Autistic Giraffe
2 years ago

Now I’m not one of those MLP fans, but I did like the show when I gave it a chance and I can’t resist posting my one of my favorite bits

Watching that episode made me realize that fashion is an art form like any other, and that love of fashion isn’t the shallow nonsense that I’d internalized and no different from love of painting, music etc. The reason it’s looked down upon is probably just because it’s associated with women and gay men.

Now I’m not saying that fashion doesn’t have problems, but I can’t help but think this TERFs hoping to see the end of fashion has some internalized misogyny to it. Other forms of commercial art after all have all the same problems but nobody is calling for the end of music or movies.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
2 years ago

I read a thing where a woman said she’d started to pay more attention to her appearance once she started working from home because when she’s in a video conference, she can see herself on the screen. I don’t remember if she said that it made her self-conscious or if she just thought it was nicer to look at herself when she put in more work, though.

I’ve been unemployed since before all this started. The only recent change in my routine is that I’ve started putting my hair up in a bun, because it’s getting to be very long and having it out of the way makes it easier for me to not touch my face. I’ve been thinking I should probably get a beanie or something for when the shaved portion soon gets too long for comfort (though I worry that might be too warm).

I don’t know if that’s me not wanting to look bad in front of people or if it’s just that I keep my hair the way it is for reasons of personal comfort and I’ll have to come up with something else since I can’t maintain it during this pandemic.

occasional reader
occasional reader
2 years ago

Hmm, does it not occur to itsnotaboutewe that for people who have windows opening on streets, you can not wear anything you want when shutters are open ? I know there are far less people in the streets, but even for the occasional passerby, i would rather not to be seen in pyjama (or less).

Ah, nevermind.
This year easters are going to be a tad sad.

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@An Autistic Giraffe

nobody is calling for the end of music or movies.

TERFs haven’t called for the end of music yet, but their attempts to make music are so awful they might make people want an end to music.

Another long-time lurker
Another long-time lurker
2 years ago

Trans women don’t dress the ways they do — in clothes ranging from traditionally feminine to androgynous —

… and masculine. Let’s not forget butch trans women exist. You’d think that would blow TERFs minds, but sadly no. They hate trans women no matter how they look or what they do after all.

Also, this is not going to kill ”fashion”. A lot of people have always cared about their looks and clothes no matter when. The world has seen even more deadly epidemics throughout the ages, yet people didn’t suddenly abandon dressing up for good. This will be true even if the fashion industry collapsed tomorrow.

vaiyt
2 years ago

But if women and men are free to look however they want, how will the terfs play femininity police?

Cats In Shiny Hats
Cats In Shiny Hats
2 years ago

@vaiyt
They’ll base everything on what they see as far as breasts, hips, and facial features; there by perfectly categorizing all people accurately forever. /s

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@Cats in Shiny Hats
There’s also a very present racial aspect in the patriarchal sorting of body shapes and parts. Very often the “perfect proportions” selected arbitrarily are those of wealthy white women, and very often cultural indicators of femininity are based on whiteness and being wealthy.

This might be part of why I can only think of one TERF who is a POC (Linda Bellos), and the rest are all white. You don’t attract many POC to your movement when your movement is white feminism.

Yet another reason TERFs are in the service of the patriarchy, whether they know it or not.

Cats In Shiny Hats
Cats In Shiny Hats
2 years ago

@Naglfar
This is true, and my white privilege is showing since that didn’t occur to me. Thank you for calling me on it, I will strive to do better.

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@Cats I’m Shiny Hats
I wasn’t calling you out, I was calling TERFs out. No worries.

rv97
rv97
2 years ago

@Naglfar

I feel like the sort of entities who want to end music and movies are those who lock them behind DRM, use them for profit, aggressively file infringement lawsuits and lobby for more restrictive copyright law including longer and longer terms. This includes companies like Disney and Nintendo.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
2 years ago

@An Autistic Giraffe:
I first saw that clip when it was shared by a sketch and comic book artist I know who did a fair bit of commission work, and the whole ‘dealing with commissioners who are either wildly over-detailed or under-specific but expect you to be a mind reader’ aspect of that clip was what people were talking about.

(Sadly, said person had issues with nerve damage in her hand and is no longer drawing as a result.)

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

Sort of OT: I found a tool that analyzes subreddits and finds out how much overlap between subreddits there is. I put in r/GC and the results are somewhat interesting. People who post on r/GC are most likely to also post on r/femaledatingstrategy, which is ostensibly dating advice for women but is anti-casual sex and seems to be rather racist and transphobic (e.g. trans* women are not allowed to post, multiple cross-posts from r/GC, posts complaining about going on dates with trans* men who didn’t say they were trans* first, bashing r/twoxchromosomes for not being transphobic enough, etc). The next subreddit on the list of overlap is one mocking the Duggar family, which was somewhat random but not too strange.

The third, however, is r/PurplePillDebates, which is in theory for red pillers and non-misogynists to discuss for middle ground, but in practice is another red pill subreddit. I just find it illuminating how TERFs on Reddit spend more time on MRA/red pill subreddits than any actual feminist subreddits. Not surprised, but interesting to note.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

“The apocalypse will destroy everything I hate, and leave everything I love untouched” seems to be an evergreen fantasy among reactionaries.

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