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Sugar and Spice and the Tyranny of Heteropatriarchal Advertising

Ever see that word before, “heteropatriarchal”? My spellcheck plug-in can make neither hide nor hair of it, and doesn’t know what ridiculously wrong suggestions to offer in its stead.

I was introduced to this word by the ineffably brutal Stacy McCain. He glommed onto it via a particularly prickly resident of America’s Hat dropping the word in a Twitter post, vis-a-vis Miley Cyrus’s recent VMA performance. Stacy–as is his wont–had some fun with it. The Canuckistan feminista was not pleased with this. She pasted her angst into a Storify “timeline” which, beyond being stupid, included Yours Truly… which is never something anyone with a whit of sense would do. She went down the “UMBRAGE!” road, which everyone knows leads to Perdition… and by “perdition,” I mean “Stacy doubled down.”

Anyhoos, it seems–as least as far as I can interpret ‘Gender Studies’ gobbledygook–the shoe sellers at Stride Rite are part of the insidious heteropatriarchal cabal:

Margot Magowan, a mom of three girls, wrote a letter to Stride Rite explaining why she will no longer be shopping there and posted it on her site, Reel Girl. “What’s with your gender stereotyping? I don’t get it. Aren’t girls and boys feet pretty similar? Don’t all kids need shoes where they can be active? Please tell me why Stride Rite markets shoes to little kids as if girls and boys are completely different species,” she began.

Magowan was also upset by the lack of female superhero apparel found at the store. There were Superman and Hulk socks, but no Wonder Woman or Black Widow to be found.

Her main concern, is that gender marketing is starting to influence her kids. Her youngest daughter, age 4, usually chooses shoes from the “boy” side, she writes, but mom is worried that will soon come to an end. “Their choices become more limited as they repeatedly see that girls are supposed to be so radically different than boys, only wear certain colors, and behave in a certain ‘feminine’ way,” Magowan writes.

The reporterette over at Zsa Zsa’s House of Preening Moonbats reached out to Stride Rite, which issued a boilerplate PR statement, but the reporterette informs me that this isn’t Stride Rite’s first such marketing trangression; indeed, there seems to be a movement afoot to force America’s wee bairns into heteropatriarchal straightjackets placed upon their feet:

Back in February, Skechers’ “Daddy’$ Money” shoes caused controversy as parents claimed the line and commercial sent all kinds of terrible messages to young girls.

That’s why groups like PigtailPalsPinkStinks and PrincessFreeZone are working to end gender stereotypes for good in order to just let kids be kids.

And so it goes. The ages old “Nature versus Nurture” debate has morphed into something different today. The venerable nursery rhyme, “What are Little Boys Made Of?” has been declared verboten; an antiquated example of heteropatriarchal subjugation of sexual identification as a mean to… well, I’m not sure; I’ve never attended a Gender Studies program, so I guess I just can’t see the nuance involved in all of this.

When I wrote about the Wymmin of Smith back in 2006, I thought is was silly, but the current argument, embodied in the Stride Rite imbroglio, seems something else. The radical agenda to redefine “gender” as something flexible, something fluid, which (it seems) can change depending on how someone feels when they wake up each morning, is crazy enough; to bring the debate down to how shoe stores market their products for four year olds?

That’s beyond nuts; that’s flat-out fucked.





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