I do laundry in pants, so am I now sexist? - Argus Column Friday 28th January 2016
Posted Monday 1st February 2016 By Ericka Waller
When I saw the window display for Boux Avenue my first thought was ‘Oh good their bras have been made to survive the washing machine’. I thought it was a positive thing and instantly went and bought one. Nothing worse than the wire in your new bra pinging out in the first wash. Not that I wash my bras that often, who does? Perhaps the same people who get offended at window displays, in this instance Brighton student Sarah Derby, aged 23 who said "I understand sex sells but this window displays a picture of women as sexualised domestic beings. They seem to be saying that to be sexy you also need to be able to do the laundry.” Poor Sarah seems overwhelmed by the task of being sexy. I must say I don’t feel under the same level of pressure and can often be seen standing near the tumble drier naked waiting for my favourite pair of pants to dry. (Marks and Spencer, seamless range. All the comfort of large knickers, but with no visible line showing through leggings.)
Actually I don’t even stand still. I hop from foot to foot because the tiles are cold. I have never once considered what I look like whilst doing this. I couldn’t give a hoot.
Is Sarah suggesting I am letting the side down because I do the washing in my birthday suit? What would she think if I told her sometimes make breakfast in the buff, then load the dishwasher ( I shut my stomach in the door once, sooo sexy). I’ve even been known to go and scoop up dog poo in the garden wearing nothing but my dressing gown. GASP
Derby questioned why the firm had not chosen to display attractive women in the House of Commons, laboratories or succeeding at sport. She added that the display "undermines the respectable and admirable academic, scientific and physical achievements of women."
Perhaps she would have been happier if Boux Avenue had recreated that classy 70’s Athena ‘Tennis Girl’ poster (leggy blonde walking towards tennis net, racket in right hand, left hand lifting her short tennis dress to show she is not wearing any underwear). Boux Avenue could have put pants on her and added the slogan ‘Her new Boux pants were so great she went on to win game, set and match!’
Or they could have had Caroline Lucas wearing a Boux Avenue bra over her ‘No more page 3’ t-shirt with the slogan ‘Cover up ladies!’ (In our great new range of lingerie, which is machine washable at 30c.)
What was Derby worried about? Men buying up all the stock in Boux Avenue in the hope that their football kits might be washed a bit quicker?
Can’t we get offended by things that actually matter, like the fact a student’s complaint makes the front page of the paper, but vital news stories with a far more serious impact don’t?
In other serious news today a man clad in only his boxer shorts stopped a thief from stealing his car in Norway by clinging onto the roof for a hair-raising ride in minus 17 0 C temperatures.
He’s been hailed as the hero of the hour. He didn’t stop to think about the sexualisation of preventing car crime by chasing a man in his pants. In his mind, maybe he was Superman. Maybe, much like me and my M&S apple catchers, they were his lucky pants, and he felt SO invincible when wearing them that he truly believed he could do anything… and so he did.
Perhaps this was the message Boux Avenue were trying to put out there, that their underwear makes you feel so comfortable and sexy you never want to take it off, or put anything over it?
I feel more sexy with each layer I put on. I peak when under three heavy duvets with a foot poking out the bed in a ‘come hither’ fashion. I am not sure I feel the same since reading about the Norway knicker. I’m going to start wearing my pants over my tights like Superwoman. I think it will give me a new edge when doing housework tasks.
This ‘get offended at anything trend’ seems to have come of the back of the ‘Is your body beach ready’ campaign (sexy woman in bikini, advertising a protein shake for weight loss).
Unlike Boux Avenue (but probably in light of it) Protein World received death threats about the campaign, but remained unrepentant with chief executive Arjun Seth likening feminists to “terrorists”.
Katie Hopkins called the protesters “angry chubsters” on Twitter – a comment that prompted Protein World’s head of marketing to say it was “great” that the columnist had got involved.
It’s sad that campaigns and protests like the above get linked to the word Feminism, making it synonymous with words such as 'angry' 'radical' and 'lesbian' instead of Feminism’s actual meaning, 'equal', 'rights', and 'opportunities'.
Anyway, I’m off to return my bra, fell apart after the first wash. Sexist pigs.