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Oh, Canada. . .

Date: August 7, 2007 | Posted By:

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Normally, I look up to Canada as an example — I even talk about moving there if the next election goes sour. I find their publicly-funded health care system and their official position of non-involvement in the war on Iraq both refreshing and laudable. I tend to think of Canadians as peaceful, level-headed, practical Midwesterners. After reading about Canadian-based Plain Jane Couture, I fear I’ve been brushing with too broad a stroke.

The Plain Jane Couture line features a large logo of a woman’s silhouette. Now, before you envision the reclining silhouette typically gracing the mud flaps of an 18-wheeler, think again. This silhouette is of a woman standing with a pair of underwear around her ankles. The logo is about the size of a hand, so there is no missing this degrading detail.

The Canadian designers, Hardip (hard-up?) and Zoum state that they make clothes for the kind of women they like. (I would tend to believe that this logo represents the kind of woman they never get, but that is just my speculation.) They define their kind of woman as “cute, fun, witty and wild.” I challenge you to find a single model on the website that fits that description. On the contrary, I would suggest spineless, malnourished, pale and angry. Additionally, I know a lot of witty women — and none of them would consider wearing such a demeaning image of women on their clothes.

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But it gets worse; these two go on to say that their patrons “hold the new voice of feminism.” Shortly thereafter, they state, “Jane permanently has her panties around her ankles.” And quite frankly, that’s where they want them to stay. Sure makes getting around difficult for poor Jane, especially if she plays hockey up there in Montreal. C’mon boys, no one is buying your attempt to sell feminism with permanent sexual availability.

Again, and I’m quoting: Their line is nonchalant, fun, cheeky and likes to “take the piss.” I’d like to offer my editing services again in order to make this sentence more accurate: Their line is adolescent, degrading, pedestrian and likely to never get off the ground.

I’d like to remind Hardip and Zoum that there are a lot of young girls who are inundated with hundreds of humiliating images of women on a daily basis. It’s time to man up, boys. Do either of you have sisters, nieces, daughters, or girlfriends? If you answered yes, why not be true to them, honor them even, and be a different kind of company? Be the clothing company whose advertising doesn’t disgrace, offend, or confuse girls and women. Be the company that refuses to have a size zero. Be the company that cares about what women think. Be the company that actively demonstrates that how and what a woman thinks is far more important that how she looks. Be the company that acknowledges the intellectual contributions of women. You could even use a brain as your logo – now that’s sexy. –Amy Scott




What Do You Think?

15 Responses to Oh, Canada. . .

  1. Hannah on 08-08-2007

    Well said, Amy!! Thanks for showing these body-snatchers the power of witty women!
  2. aboutfaceisretarded on 08-09-2007

    "spineless, malnourished, pale and angry."

    Just another example of thin hate from aboutface. Hey, i'm impressed. You continue to portray all thin women as vain and shallow and anorexic, stereotyping a large group of women even though you tell others that is exactly what not to do. If youguys think you are true feminists you are WAY off. Feminists accept ALL women, regardless of bodies, not stereotype a large group of them just because some are misguided.

    Such hypocrisy
  3. aboutfaceisretarded on 08-09-2007

    And, sorry not done:

    "the company that refuses to have a size zero."

    Because all people who NEED to wear a size 0 because they are small are encouraging anorexia. But how about a size XXXXXL? I mean, doesn't that ENCOURAGE obesity? Why should we provide those shameless fatties with clothes? They should just walk around in their underwear!

    I understand the idea behind the post, because the company is kind of disgusting, but by dismissing all of us small girls as anorexic and vain and terrible human beings, you are degrading ME. And that is just as low as hardip and zoum
  4. You had me at... "retarded" on 08-09-2007

    Hmmm.... use of the word, "retarded" in what was almost a good point.

    Use of that term is hate speech. "Retarded" is degrading terminology used as common slang. What was once used as a medical term to describe people with disabilities should long be extinct in daily jargon. How "degrading" of you. You do exactly what you profess to dislike.

    Looks like you fit in perfectly. You are the perfect size.
  5. aboutfaceisfullofhypocritea on 08-09-2007

    hmmm...anyways i changed the name, but you cant take back what you just said, showing your thinly veiled thin hate...further making YOU a shameless hypocrite by judging people by size. But hey, then i guess it should be okay to call every fat woman is sedentary, and shoving Big Macs down her throat. Its mostly true. And, on the term of stereotypes, I guess all femists must be evil jealous hypocrites who cant stand people who point that fact out. Right?

    I agree, my use of the word retarded could be taken as offensive though that was not my intention, but you were worse for doing exactly what I hate. At least my posts attempted to be civilized. And I was pointing out a deliberate attempt on the part of the author of this post to bash thin chicks. My word choice was poor but not deliberately meant to bash those who have mental handicaps


    I don't know what your purpose for reading this blog is, but i'll cover both:

    Fat Acceptance: if you act like a cow towards thin people, why would they EVER treat you kindly? Because you think you are better than them, and therefor eyou must be? Because everyone who is thin isn't a "real women" in your eyes? Because I could make the EXACT same argument.

    Feminism- The modern day feminism advocates for acceptance of all women regardless of size or looks, and for women to stop degrading each other and treat each other with acceptance; because the biggest battle faced by most women is not from men, but from each other.

    Either way, whichever reason you came, you lose on both fronts. So I hope you dont consider yourself a femenist or fat acceptance advocate because that would make you a hypocrite (dontcha love that word?)
  6. blah on 08-09-2007

    http://www.therotund.com/?p=11

    I am not prejudice towards larger women. I have a good deal of friends, who by their own terms are plus sized. But if I acted like you just did to me but in reverse, that would be considered fat hate. So you are far worse than I am, honey.
  7. hey on 08-09-2007

    The fact that you are unwilling to have me voice my opinions just proves that you know I am right and you don't want to admit it. The thing about opinions blogs is that you have to be willing to argue opinion. The fact that you can't proves that you have a weak argument that you can't defend.
  8. Amy on 08-09-2007

    Regarding thin women. . .

    Thanks for your comment and trust me, there is no "thin hate" implied. I am a thin woman and have never concerned myself with sizes. In fact, I even used to do some modeling.

    I'm happy to see we agree on this company being disgusting, but I am afraid you are missing the point.

    I'm certainly not bashing women who wear a size zero - I've coached plenty of gymnasts, divers, lightweight rowers, etc. . and have never thought of them as "vain" or "terrible human beings." I don't know where you are getting that. I'm asking for companies to think outside the airbrushed box, that's all. I'm not blaming women for whatever size they are - that is ridiculous. I'm sorry you misinterpreted this. You read a lot of misplaced anger into this that simply wasn't there.

    I do accept women of all shapes and sizes - what I don't accept is the spinelessness of taking on a modeling gig for such a company. (And greed is not an acceptable reason.)

    I know I'm an idealist, but I feel that we are tasked to contribute to our communities and leave this world a better place. Trite as that may sound, it is true. I also believe that I am a role model for girls and I take that very seriously.
  9. hey on 08-10-2007

    Alright maybe I did misread it. But I didnt misread that middle comment, illustrating the exact problem with people who frequent this site (I frequent it because i think the concept is okay, but needs a hell of a lot of tweaking)

    "Looks like you fit in perfectly. You are the perfect size."

    Thats as rude as teling a fat person after they make a mistake that, hey, its because all fat people must be stupid. They are "the perfect size." Its bitchy and catty, and what she said almost made me cry. But hey, who cares right? Skinny girls deserve to made fun of and beat down. Its like a game
  10. Hannah on 08-10-2007

    Thin, fat, everywhere in the middle, the advertising displayed on this website shows me that, no matter what the size of a woman's body, there are many people who will exploit it in order to make money.

    Here, here for careful language that ensures all people in this movement are included. Here, here, also, for self-awareness and careful listening that promote peaceful discussion.

    I believe it is important to recognize when anyone is feeling angled-out, hurt or attacked. AND, I also think it is important to believe the best in each other. In the eyes of advertisers, we're all in this together. The post below shows us that fat women are used, just as well as thin, to promote a very particular, very limited image of women. Maybe we can recognize the need for careful language and inclusion, and also recognize that Plain Jane Couture is using the bodies of thin women to create an image that degrades us all?
  11. Amy on 08-10-2007

    In regard to your earlier comment:

    “Looks like you fit in perfectly. You are the perfect size.”

    Thats as rude as teling a fat person after they make a mistake that, hey, its because all fat people must be stupid. They are “the perfect size.” Its bitchy and catty, and what she said almost made me cry. But hey, who. . ."

    I didn't write that entry. Apologies for any confusion.
  12. hey on 08-10-2007

    no, i realized afterwards that wasn't you, and i apologize for any of my thoughts up there that were directed at that commenter because i wasn't sure who i was addressing. I realized after your post it wasn't you though.
  13. molly on 08-21-2007

    Fat, skinny, whatever- Plain Jane is just trying to rip off Abercrombie and their line wont go much further than this blog post.
  14. traceesioux on 09-07-2007

    My favorite part of the actual article, was "attempt to sell feminism with permanent sexual availability."

    This is one of my pet issues, how girls are told that to be always sexually available is a powerful position. As a young woman, I often tried to find my value in that, do to the strongly marketed message, but ultimately it didn't feel empowering, just degrading.

    As a mother trying to empower a daughter, and writing about it, I'm increasingly disgusted that she is already being marketed to, by Bratz and Barbies and other girl culture like Disney Princesses on clothing, that to be permanently sexually available is the key to happiness. To be desired is success is the girl-message of our sexualized culture.

    Now that I'm a grown woman I realize - uh, no it's not. Having my panties around my ankles is not what being a desirable and empowered woman is all about. But, it sure as hell made it really easy for men to get laid.
  15. Danielle on 10-21-2007

    Yuck. This company reminds me it's not always as wonderful as I think it is up here in the North. We're just as sexist and exploitative as anywhere. And actually, along the same lines (though not related to this post) I just found out last night that if a Canadian commits sex crimes in another country they can be a) put away for life in most other countries or b) tried for up to 14 years here in Canada. If a Canadian commits sex crimes right here in Canada s/he can receive up to 10 years in prison. How much sense are we making? Not that I believe in our court/justice systems anyway, but they could at least make sense on paper, non?