Skip to comments.'GIRLCOTT' TELLS AN UNEXPECTED TALE IN VARIOUS SHADES OF GRAY (co-belligerency alert)
Posted on 11/12/2005 8:27:32 PM PST by Lorianne
PITTSBURGH -- A remarkable story unfolded in this community this month, with implications far deeper than even the brave principals in the event realized. It was the successful "girlcott" of offensive Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirts mounted by a group of young women who showed more character, more intelligence and ultimately more ingenuity than the apparel manufacturer.
These protesters, part of the Women's & Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania, took their indignation to the public, and before a week was out they took it nationally. It's important to remember that this is not your father's Abercrombie, which created the sort of buttoned-down fashions you might have seen amid the raccoon coats and the tailgate boola-boola of the Yale-Princeton game in the Coolidge years and then, hours later, in evening wear under the Biltmore clock. This is your twisted sister's Abercrombie, which once produced thong underwear in children's sizes.
These young women got Abercrombie to admit that even the shameless can be shamed, thereby learning a lesson. They proved, to start, that brains are more powerful than breasts, thereby refuting the credo printed on the most notorious of the T-shirts. They reminded us all that an entity that thrives by publicity can also be destroyed by publicity, a lesson that Paris Hilton and Terrell Owens regretfully have yet to realize. And, if they were watching very carefully (and given the sense of purpose and the abiding intelligence of the young women involved, I suspect they were), they discovered something important about contemporary political culture that most of their adult parents, teachers and associates have missed.
The heroes of this piece are smart, driven, independent and, let it be said, liberal. (Let it also be said that those four words are not mutually exclusive.) They were cheered on by their parents, who tend to identify with those four words as well. But there's more to the story.
The first prominent adult to rally to their side was someone they never heard of, an Illinois state senator named Steve Rauschenberger. They were delighted to win the support of someone with a big-time title and, it might be added, someone who aspires to an even bigger title. He's running for governor. But the Pittsburgh girls didn't know that at first. They also probably didn't know that Mr. Rauschenberger is a devout conservative. Or that he opposes abortion rights. Or that he supports the rights of gun owners. Or that he opposes same-sex marriage. Or that he supports school vouchers.
The only thing that is important in this episode, and the only thing that is important in this column, is that on one issue Mr. Rauschenberger and the Pittsburgh protesters found common ground. They found something -- a very important something, it turns out -- to agree upon. There are lots of ways to describe it, but here's one that is as good as any: the dignity of women.
"There's a co-belligerency among these kinds of groups," says Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. "They're both against the degrading of women."
There is a lot more co-belligerency -- or congruence of thought -- between the right and the left than the people who tend to see the world broken down into liberals and conservatives -- or, the ultimate expression of simplistic identity, red states and blue states -- dare admit. Indeed, some of the more extreme (and, to my view, more urgent) issues have just this sort of congruence.
The other day Jimmy Carter came out with a new book called "Our Endangered Values," and it got a lot of attention because it is not every day that you get to see one president of the United States criticize another one, and a lot of people who deplored Mr. Carter's presidency nonetheless took great joy in the way he attacked President Bush. But let us not forget that Mr. Carter was the first modern religious conservative to be president, and his book on values includes a strong chapter on the environment. His emphasis on environmental issues is less political than spiritual.
But he is not alone. The environment is regarded as a liberal cause, but just this month the National Association of Evangelicals, whose mission statement is "to extend the kingdom of God" and "demonstrating the unity of the body of Christ by standing for Biblical truth," began circulating a draft policy statement calling for laws controlling the carbon dioxide emissions that liberals are so fond of saying cause global warming.
If you don't know why the evangelicals are doing this, you have not been paying attention to what they say (about being good stewards of the Earth) or to what the Bible says (man was put in the Garden of Eden to "take care of it and to look after it").
Some members of the animal-rights movement -- sometimes regarded as anti-corporate extremists from the left -- are finding some support on the right from religious conservatives like Matthew Scully, who in an article this year in The American Conservative described huge factory farms as a "serious moral problem" and argued:
"Conservatives are supposed to revere tradition. Factory farming has no traditions, no rules, no codes of honor, no little decencies to spare for a fellow creature. The whole thing is an abandonment of rural values and a betrayal of honorable animal husbandry -- to say nothing of veterinary medicine, with its sworn oath to 'protect animal health' and 'relieve animal suffering.'"
All this may seem surprising, but only because we have been conditioned to see the world in a binary fashion: You're either liberal or conservative (no agreements possible), or maybe Republican or Democratic, or maybe feminist or traditionalist.
But as the Abercrombie episode shows, it was feminists who were standing up for traditionalist values, or, if you prefer, it was traditionalists standing up for feminist values. It doesn't matter which way you shape the sentence, which is an astonishing lesson, even to the fellow who just typed it.
Somebody from "Main Street Republicans" had something to do with the planting of this article!
Where is Rodney King.. paging Rodney King..
Can't we all get along sort... of since George Soros money has been exposed?
Uh, where's the pictures? What kind of a thread is this without the pictures?
I'm looking forward to the protest next week about the continual defamation of American men constantly portrayed as incompetent, helpless buffoons or insensitive boors and women haters. I won't be holding my breath.
"But let us not forget that Mr. Carter was the first modern religious conservative to be president"
It's hard to take this article serious with lines like that.
Not to mention it's women making the choice whether or not to wear these clothes... it's not the vendor making the choice - but the women's groups don't want to simply attack other women for their choices - they would rather try to censor the vendor.
This article makes no sense - the author has strung together a totally unrelated set of events.
Jimmuh Cahtuh's book connected to a boycott of A & F on the thin connection that the girls that started the boycott are liberals??? Jimmuh is a bozo and the worst president in modern history. He's just hoping people will forget the 18% interest rates and the failure of his administration to get the hostages out of Iran.
That being said, Abercrombie and Fitch is a scummy corporation and I hope the boycott spreads until the company's bought out by.... K-Mart.
"The heroes of this piece are smart, driven, independent and, let it be said, liberal. (Let it also be said that those four words are not mutually exclusive.)"
Actually, the last one is exclusive of the first three -- but this guy doesn't sound like he's old enough to know that.
"The dialectic backorder to claims of morality"
This article is the dialectical back door to claims of morality.
I'd like to know why this despicable company is still in business? They used to be a marketer of traditional, high end sportswear. Now they just grovel in the gutter.
Last week I was serving as a Eucharistic Minister at my church (that is distributing Communion for those who are not Catholic). A child stood before me wearing an Abercrombie polo shirt -- a nice one, no offensive slogans. But, I couldn't help from looking at his mother and wondering exactly WHAT she was thinking -- to dress her son in a garment from a company intent on deliberately sexualizing and scandalizing the youth of America.
I wouldn't have anything from that company in my house if they were giving it away free.
FACT: There are NO such things as liberals who disliked Carter's presidency. Liberals may say that today because it is universally known that his head was up his butt, but then, they aren't really "liberals" either. Communists still need to revise truth and hide their true identity."
The liberals in my family more or less universally admit that he should not have been president.
Which reminds me -- how come W's approval numbers are always compared to Clinton's, Reagan's, and his pop's? Didn't they have those polls back when President Malaise presided over double-digit inflation, interest, and unemployment rates?
nonetheless took great joy in the way he attacked President Bush. But let us not forget that Mr. Carter was the first modern religious conservative to be president,
What parallel universe does this guy live in where Jimmy Carter is a conservative? With all of his chiding today's Democrats for their slavish devotion to Roe v. Wade, I don't remember HIM breaking away from the pack when the decision was still in its first decade of existence!
That's it in a nutshell.
"that is distributing Communion for those who are not Catholic"
I think you meant something other than what you wrote, right?
"The liberals in your family may say that now, but I'll bet my bottom dollar they didn't then"
I misread your previous post - I'm sure you are right that they supported Carter at the time.
I think you meant something other than what you wrote, right?"
I think he meant, at the very least, to have used a comma or two.
The almost universal response I hear from lefties today is: "I voted for him because I thought he was a good man but he may have been too good a man for that job."
Uh huh. He's all love and sunshine. Makes you wonder what their excuses will be in 30 years for all the RATs they've voted for since.
Krinton: 'Well, I just thought he was a real friendly man who maybe stretched the truth once in a while in the service to good goals.'
Algore: 'Well, I voted for him because he really cared about the whole world. In retrospect, I suppose he was just too smart for the job.'
JF'ingK: 'Well, I voted for him because I trusted him as a real war hero and we need that kind of man during a time of war. All of the military is so corrupt and he is so smart and nuanced, no wonder they all hated him.'
The preferred wording would have been something closer to "For the benefit of those readers who are not Catholic, a Eucharistic Minister assists the priest in the distribution of Communion."
I'm sure that was the intended meaning.
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