Friday, February 20, 2004

From Today's Dallas Morning News

Re: "Jersey Girls," the Fashion!Dallas cover story in yesterday's Texas Living.

So this is The Dallas Morning News' idea of "fashion": the big color photos of the teenage girls? The clear message is: "It's hip to look like a drugged-out, hostile jerk. Show how callous and hardened you are; quit looking like a decent, pleasant girl."

What's the point? Who poses these girls, urging them to look sullen if not trashy? Why isn't someone with good judgment and common sense involved?

If your Fashion!Dallas editor thinks these pictures are so good, take them out on the street and ask passers-by: "How would you feel if your daughter or sister or niece looked like these pictures?" You'll hear words like "disgusted," "ashamed" and mostly "worried." No, not their clothes--the looks on their faces, the character and personality they reflect. If my daughter had ever worn expressions like this, I'd have been deeply worried, for her sake. Does anybody on your Fashion!Dallas staff have a daughter?

What's the point? What's the message?

William R. Wilson, Dallas

Sexist and Nonsexist Literary Practices, Part 11

One final note: throughout this book I shall use the colloquial plural pronouns 'they' and 'their' in impersonal contexts, in place of the masculine singular 'he' and 'his' required by strict English grammar. I believe that grammar needs changing in this respect, since it contrives to give the appearance that only men ever do or think anything worth mentioning.

(Peter Carruthers, Human Knowledge and Human Nature: A New Introduction to an Ancient Debate [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992], viii)

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