Monday, September 10, 2007

Runway muddle

I'm surprised Wendy Shalit's gang at Modestly Yours hasn't picked up on this one ...

A 23-year-old Hooters waitress is threatening to sue Southwest Airlines for attempting to toss her off a flight unless she changed into something less revealing than her micro-miniskirt and skintight top — the latter beneath a peekaboo sweater. The male flight attendant who confronted her about her clothing ultimately allowed her to remain on the plane, provided she keep her sweater closed and her hemline pulled down as far as it would go. Said Hooters gal is now parading her too-hot-for-Southwest ensemble on TV shows such as "Today" and threatening a lawsuit.

The epidermis exhibitionist has sealed her 15 minutes in pop-culture history. Previously, no one knew her name. Now, a tiny handful of reporters know her name — while the rest of America will know her as That Big-Chested, Long-Legged Hooters Hottie Who Almost Got Kicked Off a Plane.

ABC News' coverage of the story (yes, someone actually went to journalism school for this) reports that TBCLLHHWAGKOP was "she was left embarrassed by the situation, which she said played out in front of fellow passengers -- so embarrassed she requested a blanket to cover herself for the flight":

"I was humiliated, I was embarrassed," Ebbert said on "The Today Show." "I felt like everyone was staring."
That embarrassment is a gift, TBCLLHHWAGKOP. Instead of suing the airline, you should be paying it out of gratitude for showing you the truth of what you are doing every day — treating yourself as a walking commodity, and others as consumers.

TBCLLHHWAGKOP was no doubt weaned on the V-Monologues brand of feminism — the brand that takes inspiration from diatribes like "My Short Skirt," which participating coeds around the world shout in staccato blasts each year on "V-Day":
My short skirt.
It is not an invitation
a provocation
an indication
that I want it
or give it
or that I hook.
When I hear that, I think, sure, lady. And your cruciferous foliage, axillary buds, and shallow root system are not an indication that you are a Brussels sprout. Look, all I know is that if I don't want to invite muggers, I don't walk around flashing the contents of my wallet. I cover it up. Everybody knows I have one — it's not something I have to advertise. Likewise, if I don't want people to treat me like an object, I cover up.

As a woman, I realize that I could be covered head-to-toe in a burkha and a man could still leer at me. I can't prevent that. Some less-than-a-gentleman stared at me just the other day on the Metro when I was wearing an ensemble that would have made Phyllis Schlafly look like a trollop. But I can make an effort to show I am conscious that my body belongs to me — and no one else. That is true feminine power — not putting one's body on display and then getting all humiliated and embarrassed when accused of crass commercialism.

TRACKBACK: Alive and Young says it's a clothes call.