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Women Who Own Nice Belts

amoores Icon Posted by Anne Elizabeth Moore

July 17th, 2008

A piece on Salon this morning called Cracking Code Pink featured a number of criticisms of the women’s anti-war organization (that, I confess, I’m doing a little work with) that were on target and worth some in-depth discussion. But I’m a bit dismayed by the writer’s continued assertion that poor fashion is a reasonable excuse for political inaction. Or, for that matter, disdain for the political actions of others.

In describing one protest, Cintra Wilson writes: “I love peace, but why would any adult human who ever owned a nice belt want to be seen with this eyesore? Why does the peace movement have to dress and act like an irritating children’s birthday party?”

Her call for a more respectable looking and less loud protest is all fine and dandy, if you’re into that sort of thing, and the article’s worth reading for her moment of redemption at the end (kicked off by Medea Benjamin’s comment on her fishnets, no less). And the points she raises are excellent ones, albeit she raises them obliquely: what is an effective strategy for political action in a time when everyone’s exhausted?

But. Calling Code Pink out on crazy prom dresses in favor of sensible shoes reinscribes a classism I want neither in my protest methods nor my criticisms of them.

Keep the niceness of your belt to yourself, please, Cintra.

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