Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Smart Women...

Last weekend, while we were at a bookstore in Legacy Village, I saw an absolutely darling collection of office products called "Smart Women." All of them had retro drawings of women and slogans like, "Smart Women Read between the Lines," "Smart Women..."etc.

Smart Women Store

I realize that this company is more or less using a marketing ploy, but I just love the products anyway.

And I won't feel guilty because:

"Capitalism isn't about welcoming women into the fold, or using our newfound economic clout to make changes in the way the system works. It's about making money. It's about tapping into what really is a very new and powerful phenomenon - the woman who makes enough to pay the rent and several credit card balances, but is young enough to be free of major money-sucking responsibilities - and channeling her for its own ends. So go on, go buy cute things. Buy cute things you want. But make sure you know why you want them. Retail therapy works only if you know what you're trying to cure." - Rita Hao, "And Now a Word from Our Sponsors - Feminism for Sale," BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine.

I know why I want to buy the products: because they are cute, not because I'm under any delusion that the company cares more about feminism than it does money.

Anyway, I think Smart Women actually is -at least partly - more than a marketing ploy, because they are affiliated with the League of Women Voters, and that's something, and they have rather decent links on their Web site. But they're still trying to make a profit.


Joshua said...

"But they're still trying to make a profit."

You say this as if it's a terrible thing, or at least as if it's something fundamentally non-feminist. Then again, I've always been of the mind that the intentions of the author should never be taken into consideration when judging the value of a product. If terrible things can happen with the best of intentions, it makes sense that good things can be born from the worst of intentions.

Stefanie said...

Oh, I didn't mean it was a "terrible" thing. I just tacked that on as an afterthought, because I didn't want people to
think I was being naive about something (this partly stems from an essay I just read and partly from an explanation to another friend who might read this, so there's some back story), that
just because they make something I find worthwhile and like doesn't mean they are necessarily thinking about me or aren't taking advantage of something.

I like your thinking, though:
"I've always been of the
mind that the intentions of the
author should never be taken
into consideration when judging
the value of a product."

Except sometimes I think they should be. Like if you think by buying something you're supporting some kind of movement or idea, but really the profits go toward the opposite, and this does happen. I know of one, but it keeps slipping away.