Why you should care
Because when the woman behind the shockingly retro 300 Sandwiches blog gets a big bucks book deal, these stories are the perfect antidote.
When OZY’s Lorena O’Neil heard the story about 300 Sandwiches last month, she didn’t just do what everyone else did, which was complain about its unbelieveably anti-feminist outlook. Well, OK, she did that, too. “Her article was a minefield of anti-feminist bombs, from her boyfriend’s quote asking why she hadn’t yet made him a sandwich after she’d been awake for 15 minutes, to her hypothesis that she just needed to show she was wife material to … honestly, there’s just so much material it cannot be contained in a sentence…”
But it also prompted her to take a look at a much deeper issue. To wit: While you’re getting angry and ranting about perceived anti-feminists, the people behind these posts or interviews may be laughing all the way to the bank.
Asks O’Neil, “When something remarkably sexist happens, it can become habit to look toward Salon, Slate or Jezebel — to name a few of the usual suspects — to see what reporters’ reactions will be… (But) should it matter to us if someone wants to make sandwiches in exchange for a diamond? Should we just leave them alone and let their voices die in the forest?” Good questions to consider in light of the news that sandwich-maker Stephanie Smith now has a book deal.
Speaking of rings, OZY asks, Why should women have all the “off-the-market” fun? We take a look at male engagement rings past and present. What most people don’t know is that male engagement rings have a history of their own. Jewelers pushed for them in ad campaigns in 1926. Rings were advertised as an “ancient custom” for “he-men,” and advertisements used images depicting ring-wearing knights going into battle or posing with a cigarette, donning a ring.
Today, jewelers are starting to sell male engagement rings, a 2011 survey by TheKnot.com and Men’s Health says 17 percent of men surveyed would wear a ring, and Details even wondered whether man-gagement rings should be a trend. It’s hard to tell if more male engagement rings are being purchased now than before because straight men want to wear them or because of a spike in same-sex marriage proposals across the U.S. (take that, DOMA).
There was a hole in underwear. It was either sequins-and-bows or boring-and-comfy — nothing in between, according to Lauren Schwab and Marissa Vosper. For them, sexy is most definitely not Victoria’s Secret.
Push-up bras make you into something you’re not,” says Vosper. “And the functional stuff just covers you up and makes you feel matronly.” There was no affordable brand that straddled the line between comfort and style. “We wanted lingerie that highlights women as they are. That says your natural body is beautiful.”
Cue the Dove commercials — and enter Negative, a Manhattan-based online lingerie line, launching in December with a 17-piece collection. And not an ounce of pink. “You won’t see a lot of lace and ruffles,” laughs Schwab. Instead, think nylon lizard print and black micro-mesh, patterns that swap the frouffy-feminine thing for a more unisex appeal.