Normally, I am a fairly big fan of The Chive. They have some pretty cool photo entries, including my personal favorite. . . Cat Saturday! However, last week this photo post (that may not be appropriate for work or where children are present) really got me thinking.
The Chive, in addition to hilarious cats, could be coded as pretty dang sexist. Daily features include “Hot Girls in the Middle of Nowhere,” “There are Sexy Chivers Among Us,” and more. Usually I just ignore these and focus on the funny cats. What can I say? I love the weird things cats do, haha. But with a title like “Wearing a bra is 7 years bad luck” I was sucked in. And this is where the thinking came into play.
This post features women who have (in their words) burned their bras and submitted bra-less photos of themselves for The Chive. So, here is what I’m wondering. . . When did bra burning become something coded as “sexy” rather that something coded as “screw the patriarchy”? When did wearing a bra become an act of defiance? When did it become the “unsexy” thing to do?
One thing that really stood out to me in this particular post was that a lot of the women were saying “I burned it for The Chive.” Taking something that has been traditionally associated with being a feminist and being against institutional patriarchy and saying that you did it for “the man”?
Yes, I know that feminists today don’t typically burn their bras (I certainly don’t. Those suckers are expensive!). So really, it’s more of the attitude, rather than the activity that I think needs some examination. Why are people doing this? Why the shift from trying to tear down institutional patriarchy to pandering to it?