Monday, November 17, 2014

Australian News Anchor Goes Full White Knight With Wardrobe Stunt

Karl Stefanovic from the Today Show, Australia, deceived the world with his wardrobe stunt when he revealed that he wore the same suit for a year and no one noticed.

Flickr Creative Commons photo, Alpha
Stefanovic claims that this reveals sexism, and the implication is that men are sexist. Judging by twitter, and CBC News, his viewers were fooled by this nonsense. They love him for pandering to their need to feel oppressed: "Brilliant, unanswerable highlighting of sexism" gushes Tom Chatfield, and "My hero! ... proving point about sexism," says Becky Quick, clearly smitten by Stefanovic's patronizing stunt.

This clearly demonstrates how thoroughly the public has been trained to see the false feminist narrative of the "oppressed woman" in every story, and little else. Oppressed by the big bad patriarchy, meaning "men," of course.

None of the commentators point out that it is almost exclusively women who criticize other women's wardrobe choices, or, perhaps more importantly, that men are expected to dress in the same, or similar suit every day so why would anyone notice? We are more likely to notice if he doesn't dress the same every day.

Our culture considers men to be interchangeable, and disposable. Imagine the criticism a male news anchor would draw if he dressed in some costume that drew attention to his muscular shoulders or cycling thighs. He would be criticized, maybe even fired, for the audacity of presuming himself to be an individual, whereas a female anchor would be praised for her individual style. A woman is sufficiently important that her appearance is expected to signal that she is unique and separate from the crowd of common people, like royalty. Women are praised when they demonstrate personal style, whereas men are more likely to be criticized for standing out, and it's no secret that most women absolutely love changing outfits (Anne Hathaway wore eight different dresses in one evening to host the Oscars) --- pity the man who tries to make a woman wear the same outfit to two events.

Moreover, the story quotes tweets that demonstrate Stefanovic had been subjected to hatred from female viewers. Yet this was of so little concern to the author that it was not even noticed, much less mentioned ... even in an article ostensibly about equality.
This blindness inadvertently demonstrates the male anchor's status as worthless and disposable. He is male, hatred directed at him is not worthy of comment.

Herein lies Stefanovic's deceit: Why would anyone notice that a man wore the same suit every day when he is expected to do just that!

Men are disposable, and will be criticized if they attempt to strut like a peacock presuming themselves to be unique, whereas women are valued as individuals and are expected to appear unique and irreplaceable. Both genders face social expectations, and criticisms, based on their gender roles in society.  Is it really a privilege to be interchangeable and disposable? Are women not also rewarded when they display a unique sense of fashion?

The mainstream media has programmed the public with the feminist narrative of female oppression so thoroughly that this demonstration of "interchangeable, disposable male" versus "unique, individual female" is instantly and uncritically interpreted through the feminist lens of "oppression of women by men," even to the point of ignoring that it is primarily women who judge and criticize other women's fashion.

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