Be a Lady They Said
February 25, 2020 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Be a Lady They Said Your skirt is too short. Your shirt is too low. Your pants are too tight. Don’t show so much skin. Don’t show your thighs. Don’t show your breasts. Don’t show your midriff. Don’t show your cleavage. Don’t show your underwear. Don’t show your shoulders. Cover up. Leave something to the imagination. Dress modestly. Don’t be a temptress. Men can’t control themselves. Men have needs. You look frumpy. Loosen up. Show some skin. Look sexy. Look hot. Don’t be so provocative. You’re asking for it. Wear black. Wear heels. You’re too dressed up. You’re too dressed down. Don’t wear those sweatpants; you look like you’ve let yourself go.

From an amazing piece of writing by Camille Rainville in 2017, this well-produced video with narration by Cynthia Nixon, "Be a Lady They Said," powerfully juxtaposes exactly the kinds of images that saturate our culture with messages about what it is to be a woman. This is a campaign for Girls. Girls. Girls. Magazine.
posted by amanda (8 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
Men: We can’t control ourselves.
Also Men: Women are too emotional to be leaders.

posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:31 AM on February 25, 2020 [61 favorites]

Seeing this film earlier today made me think of my favourite Mash Report sketch.

Alternative YouTube link.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:35 AM on February 25, 2020 [5 favorites]

Just an FYI, this gets into some fairly NSFW territory in spots.

Whether images of women's bodies should be considered NSFW is part of the issue, mind you, but as long as they are, you might want to watch this at home.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:49 AM on February 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

A link to the original written piece by Camille Rainville at Writings of a Furious Woman.

This reminds me a bit of Jamaica Kincaid's excellent piece Girl:
...always eat your food in such a way that it won’t turn someone else’s stomach; on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming; don’t sing benna in Sunday school; you mustn’t speak to wharf-rat boys, not even to give directions; don’t eat fruits on the street—flies will follow you; but I don’t sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school; this is how to sew on a button; this is how to make a buttonhole for the button you have just sewed on; this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming...
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:54 AM on February 25, 2020 [10 favorites]

Amazing video, thanks for sharing!
posted by CPAGirl at 2:36 PM on February 25, 2020

Thanks. This was just what I needed to see today.
posted by rednikki at 5:50 PM on February 25, 2020

This reminded me of Wanda Coleman's amazing piece Wanda, Why Aren't You Dead:

wanda when are you going to wear your hair down
wanda. that's a whore's name
wanda why ain't you rich
wanda you know no man in his right mind want a ready-made family
why don't you lose weight
wanda why are you so angry

Video of the full poem
posted by mogget at 6:47 PM on February 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

Man, I wish Cynthia Nixon had won when she ran for governor.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:12 PM on February 25, 2020

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