Not sure what the reasoning is there. Does she mean this?
She was 90, though parts of her were considerably younger.
“She went on to hold a string of secretarial jobs — 17 by her own count — and discovered the measure of security that sex could bring. At every office, or so it seemed, there were bosses eager to fondle and dandle. In exchange, there might be a fur or an apartment or the wherewithal to keep her family going a little longer.”
“Ms. Brown was not shy about disclosing the fact that in her 32 years with the magazine, her husband wrote all the cover lines.”
In the 1990s, when prominent men like Justice Clarence Thomas and Senator Robert Packwood were facing accusations of sexual harassment, Ms. Brown publicly disdained the charges, arguing that sexual attention from men is almost always flattering.
Should no woman ever be criticized under any circumstances, even if that woman spent a long lucrative career in the beauty-industrial complex? Is it antifeminist to say that Brown made big bucks by sleeping her way to the top, “serving her husband like a geisha”, and inducing anxiety in readers in order to sell them expensive, useless beauty related shit? While insisting that the sex class is nothing but happy fun times?
Is it “snide” if we point out some of the many ways that Helen Gurley Brown made the world a shittier place for women?
Margalit Fox, the obit writer, states: “Ms. Brown routinely described herself as a feminist, but whether her work helped or hindered the cause of women’s liberation has been publicly debated for decades.”
This isn’t all that hard to understand, unless you’re one of those women who think things like stripping and wearing high heels liberate you. If you’re one of those, congratulations! You’re the same kind of “feminist” Helen Gurley Brown was.
And if you’re one of those, everything looks confusing when you’re wandering the shadowy maze of self-delusion. A simple clue that may help: If what you’re doing is so empowering, why aren’t the men lining up to do it? Don’t they love to feel powerful? So why aren’t they tottering around in five-inch heels? Why don’t they slap on a layer of clown paint every day? Why aren’t they engrossed in magazine articles with titles like “How To Trick Her into A Commitment”? Would a man brag about how he serves his wife “like a geisha”?
When you have little or no actual power, and have to get by on crumbs of attention or approval from those who do have it, it’s a sufficiently painful situation that it’s very tempting to lie to yourself about it. When you start to lie to others about it, you’re throwing those others under the oppression bus.
Helen Gurley Brown may not be to blame for struggling to get by in a world that hates women – but she didn’t just survive, she prospered by the perpetration of oppressive beauty standards. She took pride in an emaciated figure that other women kill themselves trying to attain, and made endless body-shaming comments about other women. Her magazine is full of overpriced luxury crap, stupid sex tricks, and endless articles advising women to do whatever men want, no matter how humiliating or degrading it is.
So when a handmaiden of the patriarchy shuffles off this mortal coil, are all women obliged to bow their heads in reverence, or be stung by the “antifeminist” lash? And if so, is it because Brown really deserves respect for keeping women down, or is it because we’re expected to love our oppressors unconditionally?