Sunday, September 24, 2017

dressing down sex

So, there I was walking through Ross Dress for Less in Salem looking for a black linen unstructured jacket.

My friend Nancy swears that great bargains are nestled amongst the dross. I have yet to find any. But I often find great photographs.

Just like this one.

The sign on the wall quite clearly declared I was standing in the boys section. But I was surrounded by frilly dresses, patterned pants-top outfits, and garishly-colored boots.

Before I could catch myself, I asked: "What self-respecting boy would wear something like this?" Fortunately, I did not say it out loud. One never knows where the thought police lurk.

I will gladly confess I am a card-carrying purveyor of the cisgendered heresy. That, of course, would put paid to my dream of entering Reed College. If I ever had one.

Reed, if you did not know, is known as being one of America's more liberal and studious campuses. If you have a great Wittgenstein pun, this is the place to exercise it. As long as you do it with caution.

Reed is under siege. Not from the right. Why would they bother? But from the left. For going on two years, a small group of radical Reed students have been shouting down or closing lectures attended by their fellow students.

The crime? Humanity courses are "eurocentric." A poetry course, taught by a multi-race lesbian, because she was a "race traitor," "anti-black," "a sex crime ableist," and "a gaslighter." She now claims to suffer from post trauma stress disorder and doubts she can teach the course again.

This is all old news. It is the type of self-indulgent behavior that rich countries exhibit when they no longer have true daily problems.

Mexico does not have time for that nonsense. This is a country where a young woman can call her best friend "La Gorda" because she is fat or a man can call his chum "El Chaparro" because he is of diminished stature.

And they do. No one cries or ends up in therapy. (Mind you, I would be careful not to use certain appellations in the company of drunk men of any nationality.)

But there is a similarity to Mexico. I suspect the sign at Ross did not get changed because the store needed additional space for girls' clothing. And no one bothered to change the "boys" sign.

And the same can (and does) happen in Mexico. It is not unusual, at the Manzanillo Walmart, to find cases of beer stacked under the sign for automotive supplies.

Come to think of it, that may not be a mistake. 

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