how bad do you want to be good?

I was on the subway, in high school, with my best friend.  Above her was an ad for a for-profit college.  “How bad do you want to be good,” it asked.  I snickered.  “How badly do you want to do well (Steve Jobs)/good (Gandhi)?”  Who the hell wants to be good, anyway?  I’m sure that Katherine Gibbs or whatever it was had soon tanked—on those very grounds, no less.

A few years ago, I was watching The L Word, that old bastion of realism and truth, and heard Max tell a story about crabs.  Apparently, you put a whole bunch of male crabs in a barrel and they build a ladder to get themselves out, but the female crabs are the reason why everyone holds one another down.  I don’t buy it, neither does Google, but I was reminded a bit of this when my favorite Tidbits sent me this Man Repeller piece on women in fashion.  Why is fashion so male-dominated?  Well, is fashion male-dominated?  How are we defining male-dominated?  Are we talking about the male-female ratio of designers, creative directors, stylists, assistants, models, editors, CEOs, the people who sweep up afterwards, WHO?  Oh, we’re talking about designers.  Good.  Why does the Man Repeller writer zero in on designers?*  Would you believe that a favorite professor has accused me of always answering questions with questions?

Dries van Noten FW15 (Vogue)
Dries van Noten FW15 (Vogue)

I find her line of reasoning problematic for a few reasons.

1. Head designers are just that.  Heads.  There are necks and loads of other moving parts that make a design house what it is, and while a creative director and/or head designer is a centrally important component he or she is most certainly not the only thing that is keeping the house running.  Zeroing in on the head designer, an area where we happen to have a preponderance of males, reminds me of the art v. craft debates.  Is being a designer the art where there happen to be a lot of males, or is designing an art because there are a lot of male designers?  There are seamstresses and beadworkers and stylists and magazine editors who are wiling away at their crafts, never to ascend to the much-vaunted level of artist, of maleness.

2. There are several layers to look at here, and I think that LS scrapes the surface.  Are female names being “discarded” during boardroom talks about who helms a label, or are men producing better work?  If so, why?  This, for me, is the central question.  For years, I thought I was a literary misogynist because I didn’t like any of the work I was reading from female authors.  The answer to my concerns was pretty simple.  I was reading female-authored work that sucked.  Plain and simple.  I read better male work.  Nowadays, it’s actually the reverse.  We’ll talk about that another day, though.  If the work is bad, why is it bad?  By which rule is it being measured?  Who sets the standards, and are there problems inherent in them?  Let’s say it’s not about the work: Are men socialized to view ambition differently, and to assign themselves a different (say, more active) role within their self-constructed view of their careers, and thus navigate the workplace differently?  Is that what this is?  I read ski books all the time, and Ski Woman’s Way critiqued Skiing from the Head Down for dismissing as absurd the influence of your mother telling you that doing something was improper.  Nice girls are not the ugly sort of ambitious.  They are good friends, good daughters, good people, good girls.  Good girls don’t ski hard.  There are also probably a lot of other, useful-in-the-workplace things that they don’t do, either.  It’s unbecoming, after all.

Banana Republic FW15
Banana Republic FW15 (

3. She’s looking at high-fashion, high-concept houses.  I’m not saying that they are beyond the intellectual grasp of the everyday woman, but they certainly are beyond the means of your average person.  Marissa Webb helms Banana Republic’s creative team, Jenna Lyons is at J. Crew, Lisa Axelson is at Ann Taylor.  Zara was cofounded by a woman.  Why focus on luxury?  While they do, to a certain extent, set the tone, the Internet means that we’re moving beyond the age of Miranda Priestly’s cerulean speech.  

Furthermore, the people who own the conglomerates that control luxury houses are frequently not self-made.  Luxury is often the product of the snowball effect of antiquated European succession laws, (some of) which only recently shook off their gender bias.  So, yes, males like Pinault and Arnault were able to head PPR (which I think is now called something else, isn’t it?) and LVMH, and now Delphine Arnault gets to benefit from selective placement the way that generations of men did before her.  Let’s not even get into the influence of male perspective on the selection of which houses got bought and thus preserved, or which designers got hired.  I’m not saying it’s fair, I’m not saying it’s right; I’m just saying it is.

Here’s the thing: I love fashion.  I’ve gotten the, “You?! love fah-shun?!” googly eyes before, and the answer is yes.  I look forward to the shows every season, even the weird liminal resort and pre-fall ones, and follow fashion news with great attention.  Naturally, I have strong opinions about this.  When I think about the way that I break up every season, there are two camps: Shows where I think, “Damn, I want to sew those things,” and shows where I want to be that woman.  The latter are usually Dries van Noten, Wes Gordon, Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, Ghesquiere when he was at Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs when he was at Louis Vuitton, and the less-celebrated Italian houses like Max Mara, Kiton, and Piazza Sempione.  Also, Akris.  Always Akris.  I want to sew things from Lela Rose, Oscar de la Renta, Dior, Stella McCartney, Carolina Herrera, Céline, Chloé, Tibi, Milly, J. Crew, and the like.  There are a lot more women on the latter list than on the former.  I have no idea why that is.

Lela Rose FW15
Lela Rose FW15

Self-interrogation time.  Is my aspiration to be the sort of woman presented in male-produced shows the product of my desire to reflect our culture’s phallogocentric (fancypants crit theory word drop for the privileging of the male perspective) view of women? Do I then “settle” for the feminine?  Do you?  I’m not sure.  I need more time with it.

*The piece itself kind of hops about.  Its URL shortens to female CEOs, it talks about designers, but the title umbrellas out to fashion generally.  I’m not sure where the author stands, quite frankly.

22 thoughts on “how bad do you want to be good?”

  1. This reminds me of the chef vs. cook gender “issue” (I’m using quotation marks because it may not really be an issue, but I’m drawing a blank for the correct word to use…total brain fart day). Anyway, I never understood why so many chefs are male, yet in most households, it’s the female who cooks. I have a subscription to ‘Food & Wine’ and there always seems to be at least one article (if not most of the issue) dedicated to empowering or highlighting women chefs or bartenders, like you normally see in the news for women in STEM jobs.

    If so many women cook in the home, then why is the chef career so male-dominated? I wonder if it’s a similar ‘art vs craft’ situation. The few books or articles I’ve read about working in a restaurant kitchen always paint the scene as extremely grueling, cut-throat. Are most women, by nature, just too good/nice to deal with that environment? Is that why most chefs are male? I may be wrong, but it seems like fashion and restaurant kitchens have a lot of similarities.

    I’m not surprised you would be more inclined to sew things from women designers and be the women from male designers. I don’t think any man can fully understand how it feels to wear a certain garment for the female body unless he actually wears it. That BR outfit looks so comfortable, put-together, professional, fashionable, and accessible. Looks totally doable to sew yourself, although I’ll just add it to the ever growing to-sew list, which means I’ll probably end up buying part of it.

    By the way, I realize I’m being a terrible comment-er, commenting about an old post, but I listened to your video-blog at work the other day and had to stifle my laughter. Hope you enjoy doing them because I would love to listen/watch more!

    1. Oh, we’ll have reached gender equality when female empowerment stops. Sometimes it feels outright patronizing. But then I read Food & Wine features, or Gabrielle Hamilton’s book, and it seems outright grueling. Naturally, I used to want to be a chef (seriously), then I decided to be an economist instead (which is almost as bad, I swear).

      Are things super intense because a whole bunch of men started doing it and decided that it should be intense, or are men attracted to intense things? I suppose with restaurants we have speed, volume, heat, and accuracy/daunting standards of customers. But, all of that is in flux, and not necessary if you have the right volume of cooks in the back.

      I love the BR outfit, and will probably end up buying the skirt and butchering the coat. I’m loving the Marissa Webb years at BR.

      Thanks! I’m thinking that a video a month might be the desirable pace. A video every two months? We’ll see.

      1. I’ve wondered if the whole intense, screaming chef scene in professional kitchens is a product of the apprenticeship model of training.
        In a lot of organizations where there is hazing or ritualized ‘extreme’ behaviour from the top down (e.g. military, sports teams, professional kitchens) the behaviour continues on even if the majority of members don’t like it because: a) ‘I went through it, and now I get the chance to do it to someone else’ and/or b) ‘I went through it, and now I’m good at what I do, so it must be important, even if I don’t understand why’.
        In those cases I think it’s the structure of the organization itself that is a bigger factor than the gender of the participants. Just look at sororities and all-female sports teams. Being the ‘fairer sex’ definitely hasn’t prevented them from treating each other just as badly as any corresponding group of males.

        (Aaah – it feels nice to flex some of those old cultural anthropology muscles again! Thanks for having this discussion!)

      2. I forgot to reply to you! I’m so sorry! You were buried, nested under Kaoru Marie’s comment.

        Okay, where were we? I think that sororities and all-female sports teams are excellent examples, but wonder how much of the institutionalized badgering comes from the fact that the structures are borrowed from formerly all-male institutions (fraternities and all-male sports teams)? It’s the weirdest thing, isn’t it?

        So glad you’re bringing out your anthropology muscles!

  2. such interesting reading. Just recently discovered your blog and am enjoying reading your previous posts. Yes that sentence you saw in the subway would have pained my eyeballs. what were they trying to say? I’m not even sure. As for designers – we have a meeting of the minds with your assessment of designers whose clothes you would like to sew. I think those designers use such beautiful fabrics and prints. and lastly, Akris…..I stalk their website and soak up the clever tailoring details. every season I go into my local Nordstrom and Neiman’s to inspect in person. Always feel slightly odd when the sales person asks if I would like any assistance. I want to tell her no I am just inspecting the sewing…and would she mind if I took out my measuring tape and camera, ha. on another note – how boring would it be to work in those stores, I suppose they are busy on the weekend but wow I have been in there on a weekday and it must be like watching paint dry for the employees in the more rarified departments. also Valentino and a few other labels, so enjoyable to paw at the actual garments instead of looking in a magazine ad. Living here in Calif. I don’t exactly see hordes of people wearing these clothes – where are they all? I imagine NYC.

    More thoughts – I don’t think women or men designers have any advantage, some of my favorite things are from Bill Blass, Kors, the aforementioned Oscar. Givenchy and Valentino give me a thrill…

    Looking forward to your next post 🙂 Beth

    1. Welcome, Beth! It’s nice to have a fellow Akris lover around. I save my sewing inspection for the after-Christmas sale when no one notices me stalking the racks. I’m inconspicuous, relative to the customers elbowing each other in the throat for the last camel hair coat, or what have you.

      I do wish they’d show more tailoring details on websites. Barney’s does a good job of close-ups of things like topstitching on jackets, which I quite enjoy. NYC has a good ratio of people wearing the clothes to people not and, believe it or not, Washington does, too. I’m from NYC, and I think I’ve experienced a higher concentration in Washington, but that may just be because I go to school in the fancy part of town where the tourists put on the ritz.

      Good to have you around. Your blog has always been on my periphery, but I’ve never been able to make it central. I’ve finally added you to my reader.

  3. oh my, Lela Rose – a perpetual favourite of mine.
    I’ve been doing a ridiculous amount of thinking on this topic recently, so in a similar but different context – where I live more than half of university graduates are women. I actually think it’s close to 60%. Then, as we go through the ranks from fledgling graduate to top dog, the percentage of women in the house dwindle into non-existence.
    An article I have saved on my work computer (can’t recall the name or author) was conducting research on how both men and women judged identical CV’s of job candidates, but one with a man’s name – the other with a woman’s. Across the entire survey, female applicants were rated lower in terms of competency and suitability for the role, with interviewers undermining their capability with statements like “but I would need to see how she did it for myself” and the like. This was the case regardless of whether it was traditionally a male or female dominated industry. So there is clearly still a lot of inherent sexism as to how we see women operating any the business environment – particularly in highly visible positions.
    On another random side note – I went to see a doctor a few months back and we got chatting – his sister in law was doing a study on why it is that women don’t chose to enter into STEM careers, and would you believe the initial results of her study was pointing towards the mothers of girls discouraging the need to ‘bother’, because such things were unnecessary, and I’m presuming because you know, they’ll meet a lovely man one day who’ll be doing that. Case in point – a friend of mine posted a picture of her two girls on their first day of school on instagram this year – I commented something along the likes of “onwards to take over the world!” Her verbatim response? “As long as they’re smiling”. I nearly blew a blood vessel.

    1. I don’t think very many people realize the subtle gradations of language, and the difference between, “As long as they’re smiling,” and “As long as they’re happy.” I had a cab driver the other day notice my limp, ask me what happened, and then ask me if I’ll ever ski again. Dollars for doughnuts, he would have asked a man when he’d start skiing again. (My mum says no, but I’d bet on it. This is a woman who constantly tells me to be a young lady. “Be a young lady, clean your apartment.” “Do your hair!” “You look better with makeup!” I don’t magically have more time because I have ovaries. I’m dog tired at the end of the day, and those expectations weigh heavily.) Or the randos who say, “You look much prettier when you smile.” Fuck off. I also get told I’m cocky all the time. And bossy. I prefer to think of myself as self-assured on both counts. Anyway, I obviously need to get some stuff off my chest.

      I think too many people assume that women in well-placed positions were actually placed well, rather than having earned their spots. Hell, I just accused Delphine Arnault of benefitting from nepotism, and she went to the LSE. Affirmative action! Same goes for people of color. Forget it, if you tick both boxes.

      I’m not surprised about the CV thing. At all, actually. There is so much bias that goes into it for names and fonts, I can only imagine how much gender works as a false signaling device.

      Ugh. No, why bother doing something you’re not genetically inclined to do, like a STEM career.

      1. Language really is everything – how we use words to describe something defines how we think of something before we even come across it. It’s why I decided in my early twenties that I would never change my last name should I get married. I did and I haven’t.
        I find it the most depressing part of being a feminist – how people write off the importance of words and their use to define women and what any woman would contribute to the society she is a part of. I think that’s also why I enjoy reading your posts so much – your skill with language is far superior to my own.

      2. I’ve been debating being obnoxious enough to quote Wittgenstein, but I’m going to do it anyway. Remember “The limits of my language are the limits of my world”? I think it sums up everything. It’s that weird, Copernican turn thing where we construct the world we live in, so *of course* seemingly small changes in language ripple out into enormous changes in life.

        Glad about your last name, Mel. I, on the other hand, am itching to change mine so that it can fit on my credit card. And so that my identity can be subsumed by another. Same difference.

      3. I think that’s a wonderful quote – so much is said in just a few short but meaningful words. And yes – my bff who is also a hardcore feminist – couldn’t wait to change her name to her husbands because she really didn’t like hers but loved his. She also adores using the Mrs prefix where as I will accept nothing but Ms. And you know what? I’m totally cool with that. My brand of feminism sees everyone being able to treat others and their choices with the same respect you would demand in return for yourself.

      4. I need to chime in here because it’s such a great discussion! Poppykettle, I think I read the exact article you mentioned. Very fascinating read indeed. Did you read the article about how male bosses/managers who have a working wife are more likely to promote female workers or at least groom them for development and those who have a stay-at-home wife are less likely to do so?

        I changed my last name when I got married and I didn’t really think twice about it. But I got married before 30 and now that I’m over that mark, I’m pretty sure f I got married after 30, then I wouldn’t have changed it. Even though I’ve had my new last name for over 5 years I still cringe when I see the Mrs. or someone refers to me as Mrs. [new last name]….ack! that’s my in-law’s name, not mine! {oh wait, that is my name…..} I, too, would much prefer the Ms.

      5. The comments section of your blog deserves its own blog!
        Just my two short thoughts on all of this, as right before the new year there was a huge debate in Belgium about the gender-stereotyping and gender-roles, I am still recovering from sharing my thoughts…
        Language is important! There is so much ‘invisible’ sexism (and racism, definitely) in our language and social discourse, not just in English but also in Dutch (my mother tongue) and Spanish (where I live) so I’m thinking it’s pretty universal. If you don’t train yourself to recognize this, you just aren’t aware and the unconscious discrimination just continues… So I loved your quote.

        Changing your last name when you marry, is something that I do not understand. In Belgium you simply can not change your last name when you get married, it never was. I also don’t understand why someone would want to change their name just because they get married (if you have a horrible name, maybe, but even so). My last name is mine, it is part of me, and I am part of it. Also, why does the female partner have to change her name and not the male? (or is this possible, but just not done?) I remember my first birthday after my wedding. My in-laws sent a birthday card to Mrs. Last Name of Husband. I took the card with me next time and told them that they had sent the card to the wrong address because nobody in my house went by that name. (the relationship between me and my in-laws could be better, BTW)

  4. Hmm. Well. I’m going to apply my own feminist lenses to this one–it looks like we’re coming at this issue from different directions (which is cool) and different sets of knowledge.

    So, there’s this thing where a field that used to be predominantly male becomes predominantly female, and thus contaminated, and men stop doing it.

    Examples: Names. Alice, Claire, Leigh, Alexis and more all used to be boy names. Then parents started giving them to their daughters (because male names have cachet for girls, kind of like a promotion). Then parents stopped giving them to their daughters (because female names are contaminating for boys). Then they became girl names. This never–NEVER–happens in the reverse.

    Careers are the same. Secretaries used to be prestigious male-dominated positions. Then women started doing it. Wages and prestige plummeted and now it is the lowest point in most corporate hierarchies. Same with teachers, particularly elementary-level. We’re seeing it now with some fields in medicine: specialities, particularly family, that are dominated by women are now perceived as less prestigious and with lower wages than specialities that are still dominated by men.

    I think we are seeing the same thing w/ education now, though I haven’t seen anyone tackle this subject seriously. School and academic achievement used to be seen as male domains. Then girls got into it. Then girls really got into it and started performing as well as boys. My guess is that this “achievement gap” for boys is boys checking out of something that has been contaminated by girliness.

    Of course what this all boils down to is a pervasive, mostly unconscious and still tremendously strong bias for the masculine and against the feminine. If you don’t believe it affects you, ask yourself seriously whether you would rather name a baby son Alice or a baby daughter Michael. Or just look around at the fawning that happens over men active in the craft domains, compared to the aggression towards women in STEM or construction.

    (It affects me too. I see it but I’m not immune by any stretch.)

    Also, even in fields that are predominantly female, the heads tend to be male.

    Elementary schools: teachers are mostly female, but male teachers are much more likely to be promoted to principal.

    Nurses are mostly female, but male nurses are more likely to be promoted to manager.


    So these two together–I think it is extremely unlikely, so unlikely as not to be even worth considering, that sexism is not the main reason why women are not heads or designers in fashion.

    Sure, ambition is part of it, because it’s part of the sexist packaging of femininity. But when study after study confirms that all hiring managers, regardless of whether they themselves are male or female, privilege male candidates over female ones, well … that’s pretty conclusive. (I’m talking about things like instituting blind auditions in orchestra hiring–I doubt this cause female musicians to be more ambitious, but it solved the hiring inequalities nicely. Or the studies showing that the likelihood of a candidate getting an interview or job, and how much they are likely to be offered as a starting salary, depends quite a bit on whether their first name is perceived as male or female.) I can’t see fashion as being immune from this.

    And I’d bet you a million dollars (if I had a million dollars) that if women ever start making up the majority of high-prestige fashion designer jobs, a few things will happen: 1) men will stop. It will be perceived as girly (which it already is, but because it’s mostly men doing it it doesn’t contaminate their masulinity. But it will become contaminating.) 2) Wages will drop. 3) Prestige will evaporate.

    Wow, that was a novel. This is what you do to your readers, Charlotte!

    1. [slow clap] Yup. I’ve been trying to think of a longer answer to your comment, other than “I completely agree. This is the art v. craft debate, and if men get there first, then damn it, it’s effing gold.” But, then I started thinking about the Ancient Greek concept of technē, and the way that you possessed technē to either make art or craft. I suppose language and codification are much easier when women don’t get to do stuff. I actually have a comment on the name stuff that I shall send you via email.

      I do love reading novel-length comments, too. Thanks, Andrea!

  5. Hey Charlotte. In commenting, I mostly want to wish you well with your surgery and recovery!

    I don’t know the first thing about design houses, so I can’t comment specifically on how those function, although I like some of your suggestions, especially the one about inherited wealth. The one about quality of work and wanting to see what that is is very interesting. I used to feel the same about much writing by women – you’re not alone. I’m sure you’re familiar with Larry Summers’s infamous speech about the upper tail of the talent distribution in the hard sciences…

    All that said, you’re probably familiar with Claudia Goldin’s work. It’s been a while since I’ve been in that literature but I seem to recall quite a bit of evidence, especially among professional women, of selection of specialties etc. that have more flexible work arrangements, hours of work, etc. This is not to say that there is no gender discrimination in the labour market (and one can’t broad sweep apply the US situation to other developed countries), and there is discrimination inherent perhaps in the fact that high-powered workplaces don’t adapt to women’s desired work arrangements…Still, I find the selection aspect interesting, especially as it applies to my case. I’ve never felt limited in my career progression or success by my sex, although I sometimes think of slowing down my career simply because I don’t want to work all of the time on one specific thing. I already work more than enough and under plenty of pressure and after a point money doesn’t grab me that much (gasp, I know!). I’ve always selected what I do on the basis of interest rather than status, which has meant that I have halted my career at different points. I actually don’t think I’m unique in this, and I definitely don’t fit the “nice” girl model that you describe. I am known for asking the difficult questions if I think they’re pertinent and when I was a competitive distance runner I flat out tried to beat men in absolute terms. Not a shrinking violet…just someone who knows herself and her priorities…and I don’t even have the excuse of a husband or kids. 🙂

    Actually, and I’m not saying this applies to you, but your comment about the woman you want to be when you see certain collections versus what you want to sew reminds me of an epiphany I had many years ago. I realized that I had been dating men I wanted to be. So I stopped dating them and became who I wanted to be. When I started dating again I dated very differently. Interestingly though, I might not want to be who I thought I wanted to be. Life is exciting because we’re allowed to change! I always think the interesting part is asking oneself why one wants what one wants.

      1. I didn’t think you meant that at all! Plus, I just chose female-authored duds for too many years. Shall answer your primary comment in a bit.

    1. I have to open with Goldin, because on I was just talking to a professor about the U-curve for female labor force participation on Wednesday. God, I love economics.

      Sometimes I wonder—and I’m totally not directing this at you, Stephanie—if anyone thinks that they’re the nice girl. I don’t think that I’m nice at all, but sometimes I find myself making concessions that I don’t think my male peers would, and I wonder why. I want to be decent and kind, but I wonder if I conflate those things with nice. But that’s neither here nor there.

      Oh, I want to beat men in absolute terms, so we’re on the same team there. One of the things I hate about skiing is that a man of the same height and weight as a woman will get a longer pair of skis based on the assumption that he skis more aggressively. Absolutely not. *Absolutely NOT.* I refuse to buy that.

      One day, if I’m ever in your neck of the woods, we need to have coffee. By “coffee,” I mean a long talk about your career. I want to hear everything. Down to the florals and Ferragamos. Everything.

      I only date the men I want to be. Period. I actually went out with an economist/novelist the other day. He bored me to tears, and I questioned my life decisions.

      Thanks for the well wishes on surgery! I look forward to having the time to rest up during recovery, believe it or not.

      1. Charlotte, You make a very interesting point about self-perception as “nice” and actual behaviour. I will ponder that one. I don’t think you’d find my career very interesting. I enjoy my life and have enjoyed my detours though… 🙂

  6. You know, so much to comment on, I can’t possibly collect my thought…but trying to zero on one little thing and relay an anecdote…not that that ever answers anything but…just a thought on male vs female designers of women’s clothes.

    A couple of years ago Vogue had a one page photo comparison of a female and a male swimwear designer. Just a couple models wearing each brand. (Should have ripped out the page, don’t know who they were.) Anyway, the male designed triangle slide tie bikinis in bold prints. The woman’s showed just as much skin but were more corset style–underwire, visible structured seams and subdued fabrics, maybe beige and pastels. I spent some time looking at them and convinced myself I liked the woman’s better–offered some support, the drab color was sort of counter intuitive, I dunno. (I wasn’t in the market for a suit and have seldom worn bikinis so the exercise was as hypothetical as picking out my favorite runway item.) Then I asked my husband and with no hesitation he chose the male designer, hated the other. Now, I know, it sounds like, yeah the string bikini is more overtly sexual and that’s why, but I decided there was a lot more to it. I went back to looking at the pictures and decided he had a good point. The string bikini is actually more accepting of a woman’s body as it is, and, yeah, probably even celebratory. And I started thinking why, when I’m contemplating wearing almost no clothing, would I insist that the scraps of fabric that are left cram in all the structure of a suit coat? And, guh, why should a swimsuit be an ironic color? It’s an efeing imaginary beach, let it go, right?

    Anyway, yes, sometimes men just sexualize women but sometimes they have an eye for what’s inherently beautiful or powerful about women. Female designer’s know what it is to wear women’s clothes and may be better at selling us what makes us feel a given way but sometimes that plays to our own hangups and insecurities, too. Totally side stepping privilege and ingrained expectations, I know. Agree with all that’s been said and don’t think anything’s cut and dry.

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