Originally Posted by annettemarie
By labeling certain behaviors diva, bitchy, or slutty, I do think we're adopting the same female-negative language as the marketers. A shirt says "I'm the center of the universe," and we (collective we) label it bitchy or diva. A shirt says "I have lots of boyfriends" and we claim the shirt is for "future sluts." The shirts that actually say "diva" or "bitch" or "slut" on them, that's one thing. But taking the saying and extrapolating that the girls who wear them are future bitches, divas, or sluts (among other things) is quite another. I just find the language, even in a discussion like this, to be negative, disturbing, and counterproductive.
Would you prefer "Outrageous, quasi-sociopathic narcissism"?
The problem, Annettemarie, is that "Outrageous, quasi-sociopathic narcissism" is TOO gender-neutral. These marketers are creating the princess/slut/diva identities for girls specifically
, and they are capitalizing on thousands of years of misogynist stereotypes of women as vain, materialistic, self-centered, sex-using gold-diggers to do it. These stereotypes being marketed at Claire's, Old Navy, A&F, and so many places elsewhere are specifically
female, not gender-neutral at all. Therefore, it would blur the definition of what these marketers are doing to call it "outrageous, quasi-sociopathic narcissism," though it is also that. To do that would be to ignore the fact that "diva" (for example) is being sold as a POSITIVE identity, something you should want to be if you are a girl
There is no comparable stereotype (or even label, not even the infrequently-used "Divo," which gives me bad Eighties flashbacks anyway) for boys.