10 January 2012


Talk about interesting and provocative: "Does the New Yorker Belittle Women In Fashion?" I was quite shocked to read, since, The New Yorker is by far my favorite semi-literary publication out there; better to me than The Atlantic or Harper's. And I guess it should be known (have I yet made it known? not sure) that I graduated as an English major, so I'm a major literature NERD.

When I read this snippet of the article featured on Refinery29.com, let's just say I was less than impressed. Not by what was said, but by the piece itself. But I wanted to give "Center of the Universe" the benefit of the doubt. Turns out, there was no benefit to that.

It doesn't seem that Simon Rich's piece is just belittling women who work in fashion/retail, but just belittling all women, including every women that may be currently in a heterosexual relationship. And that ticks me off. Sure it's witty, "Center of the Universe" and all; your annoying, whiny, dependent, flaky, girlfriend is the "Center of the Universe" because she demands it. And of course, the boyfriend here, "God", is expected to grant her her every wish and demand and concede to her, even though he has the universe to create. And then they compare jobs and of course "God's" job is just more important, because he's creating the universe, meanwhile she just sells clothing. I mean come on. This is classic. If this isn't the most "humorous" misogynistic piece to be featured in the New Yorker, than I don't know what is. And please, correct me if I'm wrong.

I'd like to assume that Simon Rich has never worked in retail. Good for you, because if you did, and speaking as someone who has, and does, and not in the fun retail where I'm babysitting clothes and helping customers pick out outfits (please sense my sarcasm) it is HARD WORK. Customers are RUDE, ANNOYING, and most of the time UNABLE to PLEASE.

And some may say the article is funny. Some may even say that customers in retail are just like the girlfriend in this piece, and all women. Yeah, I can see the humor, but I choose not to laugh. I'm not going to laugh at any piece that belittles women, let alone women in fashion. I don't find any type of belittling about anything or anyone funny.

Sometimes laughter is good for a subject; makes people think whatever is being poked fun at is something that just doesn't exist anymore, and therefore we can laugh at it. But the bottom line is, laughter also makes it acceptable. 

And I'm just not going to accept this one.

Rachel Beth