Thursday, December 28, 2006

"lingerie Stockholm syndrome"

...a striking phrase from today's NYTimes article on strapless bras.

For those who don't know what Stockholm syndrome is,
according to
People suffering from Stockholm syndrome come to identify with and even care for their captors in a desperate, usually unconscious act of self-preservation. It occurs in the most psychologically traumatic situations, often hostage situations or kidnappings, and its effects usually do not end when the crisis ends. In the most classic cases, victims continue to defend and care about their captors even after they escape captivity. Symptoms of Stockholm syndrome have also been identified in the slave/master relationship, in battered-spouse cases and in members of destructive cults.

I would say that the entire fashion industry for women is a kind of Stockholm syndrome.

There's a reason that men don't wear strapless stuff - it's cold, it's silly, and it makes you look vulnerable. But of course 95% of women's fashion is about looking vulnerable, whether it's stick high heels or short short skirts or long fingernails or corsets or foot-binding. Strapless clothing is just one more variation on the theme.

Interesting to note that virtually all bridal dresses these days are strapless. As if to say, "don't worry honey - I earn my own money, do weight-training, can divorce you if I want, but I'm still just a helpless vulnerable lil woman!"

That's why I'm all for gay marriage. But heterosexual marriage, with its history of women-owning and women abuse is just a bad bad idea.

The very quintessence of helplessness is on display by the writer of the Times article in this section:
But Danny Koch, the owner of Town Shop, a Manhattan lingerie boutique that fits women with cup sizes A to G, said there is no reason for that.

“There is a definite stigma attached to strapless bras that no one will ever find one that works or fits,” he said. “But it’s just not true.”

Spoken by someone who does not have to wear one

Guess what Stephanie Rosenbloom? YOU AIN'T GOT TO WEAR ONE EITHER!

How sick is it that Stephanie Rosenbloom recognizes the symptoms of Stockholms syndrome, yet blithely wallows in it?

But so many female writers push that helpless girly-girl bit at the Times, from Maureen Dowd to Judith (my husband would rather watch TV than talk to me) Warner to the dread Daphne Merkin, I'm starting to think of it as the NYTimes syndrome.

And then they whine about girls wanting to be princesses without any acknowledgement of the role the NYTimes plays in pushing traditional gender concepts. Duh.