Station to Station and Ladette to Lady


dress: ASOS
tights, coat: H&M
shoes: New Look
scarf: Think Twice, vintage
beret: old


Everyone who takes pictures at train stations always looks so fab but my station is dull as hell. Maybe it needs more props! Next time I'll bring some vintaaahge suitcases.

I've been watching a lot of anti-feminist programs lately. Especially make over shows really gets my engines revved up. Somehow watching stuff like Ladette to Lady gets me halfway entertained, all the way appalled. The show is basically about young women who are "promiscuous" (how can any adult with a good head on their shoulders still condone the "SEX IS EW" mentality?), too extroverted, too into going out and alcohol or just too WHATEVER ISN'T GIRLY AND SWEET. 

I give the show one thing though: at least they're honest about the main deal being chicks who act like dudes (FYI: Ladette < Lad). And that's really all this is about: transgressing silly gender norms apparently makes us unworthy of respect. Seriously about every episode of this show revolves around the point that acting a certain "tacky" way gives others the right to belittle, disrespect and abuse you. 

The sad thing is, these girls were just being taught to exchange one demeaning situation for a more socially accepted one: "Ladette" Nicole evidently came from an abusive home and had become a stripper. After weeks of telling her she should "cover up and respect herself" (I don't necessarily condone this message in general, but it might have been true for this particular girl), she had made significant progress and was supposed to be a host at a dinner party with some older upper class guys. 

The "Gentlemen" were rowdy, downing alcohol by the pint: basically everything the girls weren't supposed to do. But to drive the point home even more, the men started making gross sexually demeaning comments a la "I'll use my horse-riding whip on her!". This triggered some trauma in Nicole, as she stormed out of the room speaking her mind about how those guys weren't gentlemen, and how were they supposed to be ladies when men weren't held up to the same high standards?

Yes, you would say the girl made an excellent point, no? A girl that didn't even finish highschool apparently had more rational, clear ideas about gender relations than the team of sophisticated ladies who were pruning the ladettes. However, the moral lesson of the episode ended up taking a whole different direction: Nicole should just get over herself because she was the hostess. She should have nodded and smiled,  comply, play coy and giggle. Basically all the shit she probably used to do back when she "didn't value herself enough", while she was still "a slut". Message: you're only a slut if someone judges you.

Maybe I'm reading too much into a simple entertainment show, but I don't think I am. Popular culture is most people's main source of info regarding gender related issues, so I'm taking a stand. Ladette to Lady is ridiculous, genderbinary oppressive television. I'm rooting for the sluts.

39 comments

  1. I loved reading this. Most of my undergraduate and graduate research involves gender in media representations and how these images affect identity formation for minority youth. While I have not seen the show you mentioned, I do feel that these "storylines" are quite common. I am most interested in the psychological ramifications of reinforced gendered expectations for young girls.

    Media attempts to categorize identity based upon age-old stereotypes about gender, sexuality, race, and class. I don't find this entertaining whatsoever. In fact, I find it to be damaging and offensive. I am glad you started a conversation on your blog about this show!

    And of course, I love your outfit! You have my dream Mary Janes!

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  2. Loving this outfit!!
    and I know what you mean! In some ways I agree with makeover shows, but in others I don't. I like when they take a girl who obviously dresses in barely there clothes to a sexier, more classy version. But I don't like when they make people think that it is only about clothes. So I'm for and against it I suppose... *sigh* haha....
    http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

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  3. Before I'd even read this post, I jumped straight up to go and find my red tights. I am so going to be copying this outfit very soon!
    I love reading about your opinions. I think you are definitely right about the last part- she should not have been expected to put up with that. The media is so messed up.

    Charlotte x

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  4. I only condone make over shows when the person that is getting the make over asked for it, not when they are forcing them to become chic. SAY NO TO OPPRESSIVE CLASS! :D calling someone tacky is just as bad as calling them a slut imo.

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  5. I SO love that my fellow bloggers/readers are smart women <3 I really adore you! Did you read I might be able to continue researching for my university? I'd love to do something gender related!! if you have any hints as to things that are currently very relevant in gender studies, let me know, I might do research here in Belgium!

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  6. Ken de show niet, maar popular culture just turns into hate culture. A lot of people judge me, I'm such a slut and I love it!
    Looking fab with the red tights and the scarf <3

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  7. Ok, I'm going to bow out of talking about that show because I never watch TV and the title alone is ridiculous. Might've worked well as a satire though.

    Anyway, don't you dare come back with vintaaahge suitcases. I like a dose of real life on my blogs and am getting really sick of all the dreaminess and non-functioning vintage suitcases that keep popping up everywhere. But I LOVE this outfit. I had a winter a few years back where I basically just wore black dresses with bright tights and scarves. It was a sartorially great winter. Too bad the dress and most of the tights died at the end of it. : D

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  8. hahahaha I'm just the same. I mean I like a good vintaaahge suitcase but who uses those anyway? I mean they look nice in your living room I guess as a sort of coffey table, but I won't be dragging my coffey table along for a photoshoot just yet. Makes me feel just a bit TOO silly for someone who voluntarily takes their picture every day without really getting paid to do so.

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  9. btw in the Dutch voice over they call the ladettes "mangirls" or "manmeiden". Srsly, makes me snort everytime.

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  10. Heel interessant om te lezen! Ik volg dit jaar communicatiewetenschap als keuzevak en die genderstudies interesseren mij echt, hoe de media man-vrouw verhoudingen en verwachtingen bepaalt en feminisme etc.
    De meeste van die programma's zijn soms echt hypocriet, sommige mensen zoals jij beseffen wat er achter zit, maar de meerderheid van de kijkers vindt dit zomaar 'normaal'...

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  11. Het is net omdat ik me herinner hoe onwetend ik vroeger was dat ik nu met zoveel vuur erover nadenk :)

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  12. Annebeth, ik heb les van één van de architectuurcritici van ons land en zij heeft zich gespecialiseerd in gender, ik weet niet in hoeverre dit domein van gender je interesseert, maar misschien ben je er iets mee. ;) Ze heet Hilde Heijnen. :)

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  13. Ik heb die tip nog al eens gehoord, dankjewel! Ik ga haar eens googlen :D

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  14. I think it's funny that you say "maybe your reading too much into simple entertainment", and I agree that you're not. As women, we're expected to not go against the status quo, and if you take something seriously, you don't have a sense of humor, or you don't understand that it's just "simple entertainment", but the ideas that they're based on come from real life, and it's true that women are held to different standards. I wish you'd post stuff like this more often!!

    PS. I just put up a giveaway for Betsey Johsnon clutch that you might like!

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  15. I wish I could too! I talk about this ALL the time in real life and on facebook etc so sometimes I forget not everyone who reads my blog knows about all of this as well! :D I need to push myself some more, but sometimes I feel like I'm just stating the obvious while I'm obviously not.

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  16. That is a pretty funny word. I like Dutch. : ) Was just chatting with a Flemish girl yesterday in fact.

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  17. actually, I just came to the conclusion "dudechicks" is probably a more accurate translation. It's seriously that silly.

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  18. I am so excited about your research prospect! My research has diverged from "tv and print" media to the Internet. The Internet fascinates me, especially in regards to how adolescent girls develop gender and sexual identity via the web. I think doing gender-related internet studies is quite cutting edge. It should yield publishable data...

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  19. I love that you aren't afraid to talk about issues of racism and feminism on your fashion blog! It's always so disappointing when bloggers I like post ignorant things or showcase a product or advertisement that is problematic without even acknowledging the problems. Your blog is really refreshing in that way- thoughtful and unapologetic about being critical when the situation calls for it. I also enjoyed your post on Zwarte Piet.

    And an emphatic yes to your point about popular culture and entertainment being legitimate things to dissect. Popular media is both a mirror and product of society. The ideas behind what we do and watch and say for fun don't just disappear when we do things in earnest.

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  20. That sounds like a fairly ridiculous show, I think it's sad when girls in abusive situations end up getting involved in situations where they could be re victimized, but it's not their fault!! And it's so true, even "nice guys" use the excuse to be disgusting because "they're guys" so fucking stupid.
    I love this look!!! The plaid scarf is so beautiful with your black dress and bright red tights. Such a great look with your blue tips
    xJenaD

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  21. You are absolutely right. Those types of shows bank of the fact that other women might feel better about themselves if they watc

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  22. love the scarf and the tights

    http://yajairasfashionnotes.blogspot.com/

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  23. oh my gosh you are my hero. i can't remember how i found your blog but not only am i inspired by your outfits but also your ability to so eloquently call out these issues. your blog has swiftly become a favorite of mine <3

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  24. ugh i cant watch shows like that! i mean i can for entertainment in a way but like you i always get worked up. i think there needs to be some sort of line when it comes to changing a person on these shows. anway! your hair looks rad here and i love all the red

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  25. Nog niets van die show gehoord of gezien, en ik denk dat ik het zo maar probeer te houden. Het triestige is dat de meeste make-over shows wellicht wel ergens vanuit goede bedoelingen vertrekken. Trinny en Susannah zijn bijvoorbeeld vast oprecht overtuigd van hun missie en werkwijze. Ik heb er ook geen enkel probleem mee wanneer ze vrouwen helpen die daar zelf om vragen, maar vind het vreselijk hoe ze vrouwen totaal afkraken die voorheen niet echt belang hechtten aan hun uiterlijk. Mochten ze ooit op zo'n manier tegen mijn mama ofzo praten, ik denk dat ik ze - op z'n Gents - met hun muil tegen de Dampoort zou plakken. (Of is dat te Ladette?)

    Snog Marry Avoid is nog zo'n ramp. Ken je dat? Vertrekt op zich ook wel vanuit goede bedoelingen: overgemaquilleerde (en over het algemeen nogal schaars geklede) meisjes laten inzien dat ze geen extensions, valse nagels en spray tan nodig hebben om zich mooi te voelen. Geen slecht doel, ware het niet dat die meisjes eerst heel wat beledigingen naar hun hoofd geslingerd krijgen, dan een meer 'normale' look aangemeten krijgen en hun wordt gevraagd 'of ze nu niet veel meer zelfrespect hebben'. Alsof een gebrek aan zelfrespect samenhangt met valse nagels, en je dat kan oplossen door die af te knippen?

    American Princess was in hetzelfde bedje ziek. Amerikaanse meisjes omvormen tot 'prinses', waarvoor ze alles over etiquette en polo moesten leren. Want dat doen elegante meisjes. Nergens werd elegantie ook maar impliciet in verband gebracht met empathie, respect, zelfzekerheid en op eigen benen kunnen staan.

    Tof dat je het over zo'n dingen durft hebben hier - subtiele volksverheffing, haha :)

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  26. Great point you make there :) I've seen the show a few times and it's a bit exaggerated (of course it's reality TV so I guess that can be expected). P.S. What are you talking about, I love these pictures! Not boring at all.

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  27. Wauw, this looks good on you :) I'm really loving red these days so I'm a big fan of your tights + scarf :D and your ombre hair is nice as well, it doesn't really stand out but it's still quite original, I like that!
    www.fashion-freaks.be

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  28. yessss ik ken de shows, en ik ben het absoluut totaal eens met dat van trinny and susannah: moesten ze bij mij komen aankloppen zou ik ZO kwaad zijn op de vrienden en familie die me hebben voorgedragen :-D I mean, MOET iedereen nu echt geobsedeerd zijn door elegantie en stijl? Mag je niet gewoon ANDERE prioriteiten hebben? GOSH :D En als ik kon zou ik elke dag zulke stukken schrijven, maar ik wil echt geïnspireerd zijn, anders is het zo geforceerd en prekerig.

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  29. red is what i like in this outfit the most ;)) great mix! love the scarf, it reminded me of X-mass :)

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  30. Loving the combo ! Gorrrgeous :)

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  31. Het gedrag stelt zich overal in elke klasse, alleen op een andere manier! enfin, eigenlijk niet op een andere manier, het wordt anders gepercipieerd! Tuurlijk dat het slechte televisie is en wetenschappelijk onverantwoord! Daar heb ik mij al lang overgezet. Je moet zeker eens naar ladybird ladybird kijken… ook de onwetende meester van ranciere moet je eens lezen

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  32. YES I have actually written papers about that subject and in my first year at uni I was convinced I'd be writing my thesis on teen girls developing sexuality on the internet :D awesome!

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  33. what are you saying, your train station is awesome! you should see how dull mine is :)
    anyway, lady, you've got some great tights there and a great outfit going on!

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  34. yeah I think that girls who are in an environment like a strip club have seen and been treated in ways that people who are not normally in that environment don't really understand, so they need to be caring rather than "YOU NEED TO DO THIS" about it. It is horrible how a man would treat a woman they don't know just because they are horny and expect something where they take no feelings into consideration. anyway, I am glad that I don't have T.V. channels because I think this show would make me cry.

    Love your outfit and your tights/stockings are great!!!

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  35. I love that your hair matches the blue in that plaid :p And that show sounds absolutely appalling. I actually know a young woman who worked as a stripper for several years. She was also a children's piano teacher part-time and an active feminist. I wish people would stop plastering labels over everything. Being a stripper does not mean you're a slut. Just because something's high class doesn't mean it's not demeaning. Like somehow being treated like crap by someone is okay because they've got expensive champagne and wear suits. And what's the big deal with sleeping around anyway? So long as everybody respects each other and themselves, and takes the necessary precautions... have at it I say! We need more lovin' in the world.

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  36. This look is so so precious! I love it! great blog! New follower!

    Hugs,
    E.


    The Hearabouts

    http://thehearabouts.blogspot.com

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  37. tooootally agree. In the case of this girl, she really wanted to get away from that lifestyle because she had entered it for attention and because of a lack of family support and confidence, so for her the lifestyle was wrong. But people should get over shallow, biblical era moral judgement.

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