An amazing piece by Diana Zlomislic in the Toronto Star actually suggests that one department store’s choice of six guys as top fashion designers is evidence of sexist discrimination in the world of ladies’ fashion.

The most ridiculous thing you’ve heard all day? Probably, because these guys are teh Gay. Even if they aren’t (hold that thought for a moment), ladieswear designers of all descriptions spend their every waking hour beautifying women. Surely this is as much a hotbed of sexism as, say, a rural construction site in the 1970s.

Or did Zlomislic’s own sources explain what was really happening?

Jennifer Halchuk, 36, the co-designer of Mercy…, says she knew she had to decide early between having a family and having a career. “It’s like a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week career. Most women decide if they want to have a family and children, this is not the right option. I know I’ve had to give up those options to make this happen.”

Exactly. Those who fail to learn the lessons of Susan Pinker’s The Sexual Paradox are doomed to repeat them. Men, on average, are more willing to go the distance and put in unreasonable amounts of work on single topics, on single projects, or in a single profession. Women, on average, are reticent to place all their eggs in one basket, literally and figuratively, and at almost exactly the same point in their lives get tired of the rat race and want to have kids.

In this respect, fashion design is exactly comparable to engineering and geology. (This pattern repeats itself in every field from high finance to advertising. And type design.) Predispositions for these behaviours manifest themselves in the prenatal brain; it’s nature, not nurture. (Check a useful segment on The Agenda.)

It would be more interesting to examine why we are not celebrating male ascendancy in this ostensibly female (Zlomislic: “feminine”) field, since the entire discourse about wymmynz in the workplace revolves around the male standard. Our culture is clearly a failure because women do not hold down half of men’s jobs like engineering and geology, but we never even bother talking about the (surely obvious) failure of women’s jobs, like teaching and nursing, to attract men.

We don’t actually want equality in the workplace; we just think men’s jobs are the standard and women should have half of them.

So I called Zlomislic up and told her all about this. The best part of our conversation? She denied that “all” the featured designers were gay, but refused to out the straight one. I complimented her on her inversion of the 20th century.

Here, then, is Vince Talotta’s photo of Kirk Pickersgill, Mikhael Kale, Stephen Wong, Philip Sparks, Jeremy Laing, and Denis Gagnon.

Six guys in black, each seen through a latticework of silver tubes

Based on hearsay and rumour, I openly accuse one of these guys of not being queer. You tell me which one.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2009.03.17 14:34. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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