Exploiting the P-Word

The Wall Street Journal’s Fall Fashion Issue was irritating this morning on so many levels.

We get the newspaper free in the elevator because our octogenarian neighbor did not cancel his subscription when he went north for the summer. We reported this oversight to the condo management twice. They called him, and he took no action. So now my man gets to read the Journal without paying for it.

Today it seemed highly appropriate that it cost us nothing.

Fashion issues have always been filled with pictures of women in clothes that no normal person would be inclined to wear. Especially in our part of Florida where the standard attire is bathing suits, white shorts and casual tops. Except for the occasional chilly day in January when you need to throw on a sweater.

But, shame on me, I did flip through it for a good laugh as much as anything. In the end, I wasn’t amused.

The Journal’s magazine featured the recycled 70s vibe from Chanel. The who-would-be-caught-dead rugby look from Louis Vuitton. The laughable strapless evening dress with oversized green leather bag and combat boots from Alexander McQueen. The Obi Wan full-body camel-colored outfit with giant back-breaking purse by Michael Kors. And so much more. Dare I call it a waste of good fabric?

If they want to publish a magazine that is solely advertisements, that’s okay. I can flip through it in five minutes, recognize that it has no bearing to my life and then pitch it. It’s when they try to sandwich in “meaningful” articles that they often get in trouble.

We children of the 60s and 70s all remember Playboy Magazine and its so-called literary contributions. Nobody bought the girlie publication for its articles by Kurt Vonnegut and James Baldwin. No one, no matter what they wanted us to believe.

Having said that, today I did stop flipping through the ads when I came to the article on Page 124 – A New Side of Zoe Kravitz. I stopped because the subhead referred to her “provocative” directorial debut in a new movie named Pussy Island. Really? The P-word and the C-word have never been acceptable to me. I find their use particularly troubling in today’s world. If people can get exercised about someone using the wrong pronoun, then these derogatory phrases about women should send all of us over the edge.

In no form are they right or acceptable. That includes art and music.

Ms. Kravitz told WSJ writer Hunter Harris that the script for this movie “was born out of a lot of anger and frustration around the lack of conversation about the treatment of women, specifically in industries that have a lot of money in them, like Hollywood, the tech word, all of that.”

Where has this woman been? Apparently, Ms. Kravitz started the script about five years ago and before the #MeToo movement after hearing stories about powerful men inviting women to remote island for hazy hedonist free-for-alls. Sorry to tell her that the ship to the remote island with orgies has already left the station with Jeffrey Epstein at the helm.

Apparently, the fact that her personal enlightenment is somewhat old news hasn’t deterred Ms. Kravitz’s enthusiasm for promoting the hackneyed story of a cocktail waitress who accepts an invitation to be whisked away to a tech mogul’s private island – and all of its tired implications that only a woman who is a cocktail waitress would be so stupid as to accept the offer, etc., ad nauseum.

“To sell the movie to MGM, Kravitz directed a sizzle reel with original and found footage to capture the tone she wanted: dark, funny, sexy, frightening,” Harris wrote.

What’s frightening is that some rising young movie star would want to exploit the abuse of women and package it as some cutting-edge revelation under a title that every female and male should find offensive. And, apparently, fill the movie with a lot of titillating scenes to make her point.

Why didn’t some enlightened Hollywood big wig take Ms. Kravitz under her wing and encourage her to work on something more meaningful. Like a movie about the fallout from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, who else was involved and why they’ve been shielded from public scrutiny. They would have been doing her a big favor

Please, dear WSJ, don’t waste paper and the energy it takes to print those supplements unless they are about something that is relevant to all our lives. And the next time, may I have the good sense to throw it into the recycling bin before wasting part of my morning on it.

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