Friday, December 19, 2008

Rant Break: Relevant Retail Recoil

We interrupt the news, for news...of my ranting:

I'm a notorious procrastinator when it comes to things I really hate doing...like shopping...in crowds...while doing mental budgeting gymnastics. Waiting in lines is high on my avoid at all costs list as well, and salespeople who mess up gift receipts also are the target of my holiday exasperation. Before you get all indignant on their behalf, let me remind you I WAS one of those folks once upon a time, and I know when someone is just phoning it in. I understand it, I just don't endorse it. Why don't I shop online? Besides a strange aversion to frequently meeting the UPS/FED Ex driver in my jammies on a regular basis, as I said, I procrastinate, which then leads to increased shipping charges, which leads me back to...mental budgeting gymnastics.

So it is this negative cycle of retail avoidance that landed me in the girls section of JC Penney's today looking for cute outfits for my niece (Yes, you can find cute outfits at JC Penney, I had to work at it, but it can be done, and no this is most definitely not a paid post-I don't do them). The budgeting issue was happily in check, as it seems just about everything was $7.99 in the department. Check, the economy sucks, as evidenced by the blaring sale signage verging on liquidation levels. I realized then that it is occasionally good to get out to get my sociological news; Internet news postings can be so "clinical."

Other than an economy in decline, here also staring me in the face was the evidence of a parenting culture out of whack. Tucked in amongst the plethora of Hannah Montana and High School Musical trademarked everything, were bedazzled, sparkly t-shirt after t-shirt bearing messages such as "It's all about Me, Myself and I," "Spoiled Rotten," "Because I Said So," and some vaguely disturbing "Daddy" messages that sealed the deal, and caused a full scale feminist recoil. Seriously? People send their daughters out in this stuff? This extremely glaring and narcissistic messaging is considered hip?

Listen, I'm not a cultural reactionary, hairy-legged feminist, whatever pejorative moniker you would like to assign to me, but I can't help but think that THIS is a part of the problem of why women have such an issue getting ahead. And why do we wonder where we went wrong in raising generations of kids that are largely defined and motivated by what they want alone, who get indignant when an employer doesn't quite see that their view of things is worthy of constant praise, and a hefty raise on their second day? We are quite literally setting these girls up for failure and disappointment, because when they encounter "the real world" they are in for a jarring world view readjustment. Or they just marry a sugar daddy and star in the Housewives of... And while I'm at it, why do we wonder where our politics of "exceptionalism" comes from, when we put "exceptional" billboards on our kids, and raise them with this mindset? Where does the line lie between harmless cute snarkiness with sequins and glitter, and crass commercial cashing in on the erosion of our daughters and society?

I'm just saying...that's the beauty of a blog, it's all about me.

The news will return shortly.

1 comment:

growingupartists said...

I agree, you don't see the same type of advertising or prostitution in the boys department. Well, except for the "School is for losers" and "Skateboarding/Snowboarding is the path to freedom and wealth".


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