October 10, 2017

"How do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?"

Donna Karan actually uses the phrase "asking for it" as she defends her friend, the "wonderful" person, Harvey Weinstein.
"Yes, I think he's being looked at right now as a symbol, not necessarily as him. I know his wife, I think they're wonderful people, Harvey has done some amazing things. I think we have to look at our world and what we want to say and how we want to say it as well.... You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble."
What's all this "look at our world"/"everything all over the world" business? It might have something to do with the fact that she was at a benefit for an outfit called Children Uniting Nations. The benefit was in L.A. and she was getting a Designer Icon Award. Her remarks — from the red carpet in L.A. — had a preface that purported to take the viewpoint of "the world":
"I think we have to look at ourselves. Obviously, the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified. Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it's been a hard time for women. To see it here in our own country is very difficult...."
Maybe she imagined herself on high ground where she could spout critique about white privilege.

43 comments:

Michael K said...

She will retract it tomorrow.

David Begley said...

Doesn't Donna Karan design clothes? Maybe burkas are the new thing.

Kevin said...

She should have said if you drag a script with a part for a woman through Hollywood you never know what you’ll find.

Tank said...

Bill Clinton Syndrome !

The Bergall said...

Face palm............

MadisonMan said...

This must be one of those New York things that Lorne Michaels was talking about.

Humperdink said...

Apparently her desire is to follow ol' Harv into purgatory.

donald said...

50 years of screechy fierce wimmmenzness slapped down in a second.

MadisonMan said...

Further down in the article, I see Karan already walking it back:

Last night, I was honored at the Cinemoi Fashion Film Awards in Hollywood and while answering a question on the red carpet I made a statement that unfortunately is not representative of how I feel or what I believe


Translation: I was really really drunk last night. Now I've sobered up.

Meanwhile, Rose McGowan is calling her Deplorable.

Richard Fagin said...

Excusing the inexcusable or at least covering it up when the perpetrator is a liberal icon has been going on at least since Ted Kennedy's act of negligent homicide at Chappaquiddick. To paraphrase Churchill, this rank partisanship and obfuscation of criminal behavior has only to be prolonged to kill this American republic stone dead.

LordSomber said...

First World Problems.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Donna Karan is really an islamic male.

rhhardin said...

There's little signs of people thinking something's wrong with all this but not anticipating the mob reaction.

Beat them all into submission, is the mob dynamic.

Raging uncuriosity.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Do some females in Show-biz/Hillarywood dress like prostitutes? Yes.
Who asked them to dress that way? Who expects them to dress that way?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Any of Donna Karan's designer clothing overly sexy or display prostitute qualities? If so - perhaps Donna is to blame?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Are women dressing to attract sexual attention and is that in some contexts inappropriate?
Let's take a closer look at those breasts, shall we?

Ahh, just kidding. DK ought to get KO'd on this one--at least be smart enough to not use the phrase "asking for it" without first rigidly defining what "it" means...and really not even then. That's just common sense.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

So much for that sisterhood thing.

I don't think she had internalized that Weinstein is no longer a power broker in Hollywood. But man, that was a stupid, stupid, stupid thing to say.

Also, words I never thought I would type. I agree with a lot of what Rose McGowan is saying on twitter.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I will say, though, that ol' Donna is in a pretty ideal position to "facilitate dialog" as part of thinking deeply about fashion and the role fashion plays in interactions & power dynamics between the sexes.
That can't actually happen, of course, because any such discussion has the possibility of concluding that some choices women make are wrong, or bad, or just suboptimal for a given women or for women in general. Since we can't allow that idea--since everything any woman does is automatically empowering and must be praised (from dressing in a burka to dressing in the skimpiest "slut walk" costume) there's not really much to say.
Not that the correct angle to take would be "some of the bad behavior by people like Wienstein is explainable/excusable because of women's fashion" anyway, of course. That's a bad "way in!"

Assrat said...

I'm looking forward to South Park's take on this.

SDaly said...

It's amazing how many people make perfectly clear, intelligible statements that they later claim "do not represent what I truly believe." It's not like she was giving a comedy monologue, where one could make outrageous comments for laughs.

Curious George said...

Maybe there is a special place in hell....

Oso Negro said...

Do the women involved have ANY moral agency whatever? It is not like they were trying to feed their hungry babies in a time of famine. They were trying to grab the brass ring on the carousel of fame. If sucking a cock was the price of the ride, they were down for it. To my mind, Harvey Weinstein is a repellent character for cheating on his wife publicly.

tcrosse said...

It all comes down to peddling the schmattes.

Bay Area Guy said...

how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?

'And what are we throwing out to our children today about how to dance and how to perform and what to wear? How much should they show?'


Madam Donna - 6 rhetorical questions doth not an argument make.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Do the women involved have ANY moral agency whatever?

Weinstein wasn't just utilizing the casting couch. There is at least one allegation that he isolated a woman and masturbated in front of her without her consent. And the accusations of assault. Finally, I think it is likely, considering the prior behavior, that he forced himself on women who did not consent. Then their is the fiduciary aspect. Where did the money for the payoffs and procurers come from? Apparently in one case the business paid out $400,000 to some guy in Italy to arrange parties with prostitutes. Perhaps it was a business expense? Maybe parties with hookers in Italy is how deals get made.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

A lot of the propaganda put out prior to the French Revolution was pornographic in nature and accused the nobility and royals of performing indecent acts. The idea was to offend the sensibilities of the bourgeoisie and delegitimize the ruling classes. To eliminate their moral authority. Eliminate their moral authority and you eliminate their right to rule.

Ralph L said...

Domino number how many?

Gahrie said...

I hear Donna Karan has a new line of Burqas coming out in the spring.

Michael McClain said...

Heh, Donna Karen revealed her true opinion in that interview. She only walked back her statements due to negative reaction.

Oso Negro nailed it.

darrenoia said...

I'd like to see the Venn diagram of Hollywood celebs who remained silent on Weinstein and also backed the Obama administration's "Dear Colleague" approach to accused campus rapists. Laws are for the little people.

Titus said...

I used to really be into DKNY. that was like in the early 2000's.

Sebastian said...

@Oso: "Do the women involved have ANY moral agency whatever?" Only in theory. Women are equal etc. etc. In practice, they don't, because women are special: specially weak and duped or made to care.

"To my mind, Harvey Weinstein is a repellent character for cheating on his wife publicly." Now, now, there you go again, with your conservative moralism. What's fidelity got to do with it?

@Ron: "The idea was to offend the sensibilities of the bourgeoisie and delegitimize the ruling classes." Less easy to do when the ruling class is itself essentially bourgeois and has already transvalued formerly bourgeois values. No one in the prog ruling class was offended by HW when he did what he did. Even now, the offense taken is strictly situational, a strategic leftist house-cleaning intended to shore up ruling-class legitimacy, particularly with women who strayed from the plantation.

Paul said...

So, does Karan want women to wear Burkas?

Pianoman said...

CNN's Brooke Baldwin could not be reached for comment.

Because BEWBS.

mockturtle said...

Harvey has done some amazing things.

So it would seem!

Krumhorn said...

It was a shockingly stupid thing to say, whether in context or not. However, if we are to think deeply about these issues as she suggests, perhaps her idea was that fat girls shouldn't wear thongs and short skirts, and if they do, they're just asking for it....."it" being eeeeuwww.

Her point being that some things just can't be unseen.

Of course, I could have done without the image of Harvey jerkin' his gherkin into a potted plant.

Just trying to help here. Maybe I can get engaged to work on his new crisis management team. Good times. Good times

Krumhorn

Mattman26 said...

I love that whole lefty thing, some babble about how we have to look at this in the global context, blah blah, Haiti, blah blah, Africa . . . just to show how worldly and above it all she is. Followed by the most ridiculous crap I've heard in a long time (which is really saying something), something that runs against everything that worldly and sophisticated women have been saying for decades. And all without realizing what an awful hole she's driven herself into. And then repeating it!

Asking for it . . . wow.

Night Owl said...

Lena Dunham's article yesterday combined with Donna Karan's comments, has reminded me of the post about how Ta Nehisi Coates' rhetoric empowers white supremacists. The rhetoric of the left instills a victim mindset onto minorities and women. This mindset conflicts with the feminist goal of empowering women.

Dunham, in her piece, said women are seeking a message from men, and that men have more power to shift the narrative. In saying this she puts woman in a subordinate position. Women in Hollywood would be empowered if instead of putting the responsibility on men, they took ownership of the problem of workplace sexual harassment* and took the lead in solving the problem.

Of course that assumes all women really want the problem solved. Many women are more than willing to get ahead using their looks and sexuality. We women certainly own some of the problem, and it won't ever get solved if women refuse to even acknowledge the role we play. Karan's comments seem like a very inartful** attempt at acknowledging that role. In her defense she is a fashion designer, so perhaps one shouldn't be surprised that she puts such emphasis on how women dress and present themselves.
___
*Obviously, rape is different. Men are physically more powerful than women so it's hard for women alone to address this imbalance, unless we issue a weapon to all young women and train them how to use it.

_____
**(Spell check doesn't like the word "inartful". If it was good enough for Obama it's a good enough word for me.)

indiana118 said...

You can't just answer a question once and accept everyone to accept the answer "because we already decided, you weren't there but you're still bound by what we decided". Or "because we already decided, and who cares if the decision-making process that time was based on information that you may think is different than the information you have today."

If the question is really being asked, you have to answer it. Again and again if necessary.

That was why we don't have equal rights for blacks today. Because instead of convincing everyone, we told racists STFU, until somehow they wouldn't STFU anymore. And now racism is back with a vengeance. Partly I blame race-baiters (like Obama) but also I blame all those people who responded to often legitimate grievances not by hearing the arguments, but by shaming people for wanting to have the arguments. And then came the point where people wouldn't be shamed any more, because the arguments have changed enough that it now just looks to them like the rich white people are the ones who get to enjoy all the privilege and the poor white people are the ones who are expected to give ever more stuff to blacks so that the blacks don't behave in ways the rich people dislike. (Bonus points if it means the poor whites and the poor blacks are too busy fighting each other to question why the rich white people still hold all the power.)


Saying "we had that discussion, it's over" is not good enough. If women are so powerless, how did Oprah get so powerful? I don't think anyone deserves to be assaulted, but when Rose McGowan showed up naked - err, excuse me, in a see-through dress to that awards ceremony - that is relevant information about intentions and motives, and saying we can't discuss it is too arbitrary IMO.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Why do I continue to be reminded of that Australian imam who said that you can hardly expect to leave raw meat on the counter without the cat getting at it?

Women are raw meat, and men are cats. And underaged girls are fair game if you get them hopped up on wine and 'ludes and into your Jacuzzi, and actresses are fair game if you ask them to watch you shower and give them massages and, oh, every so often the odd rape. And interns, associates, random women in Arkansas are fair game, too. But no pussy grabbing. Pussy grabbing is right out!

indiana118 said...

"underaged girls are fair game if you get them hopped up on wine and 'ludes"

I hadn't heard about underaged girls. I thought we were talking about adult females who voluntarily agreed to meet a Hollywood exec in his hotel room, accepted the consequences, and were rewarded handsomely in return.

Krumhorn said...

"underaged girls are fair game if you get them hopped up on wine and 'ludes"

I hadn't heard about underaged girls. I thought we were talking about adult females who voluntarily agreed to meet a Hollywood exec in his hotel room, accepted the consequences, and were rewarded handsomely in return.

It was undoubtedly a general statement about what has become acceptable in certain leftie circles if you are, say, Roman Polanski.

- Krumhorn

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