Seriously? Dear Mamaw returns to print
By Linda Albert | (email@example.com)
‘Dear Mamaw’ returns this week. My alter ego has been dormant for a couple of years but in light of some of the things happening lately, she’s manifested herself again.
As I explained in an earlier rendition of “Dear Mamaw,” this column is a combination of many of the outspoken women I know, some real, some fictional, as well as yours truly, written in the style of Dear Abby. I am poking fun at some serious issues so consider yourself warned — if you’re easily offended, stop reading here.
Dear Mamaw: Do you think we should boycott Abercrombie & Fitch for refusing to expand its size offerings to “redefine cool” in light of CEO Mike Jeffries’ statement that “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong (in our clothes), and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” I think the store excludes plus-size kids and encourages bullying.” — No A&F
Dear No A&F: While we’re at it, let’s force Abercrombie & Fitch to carry clothing for overweight, middle-aged women, as well. ... Are you serious? Yes, the CEO is a jackass. He could have simply explained that the company targets a particular demographic, and leave it at that. To the company’s credit, Jeffries announced on June 11 the launch of an Abercrombie-funded college scholarship program and an anti-bullying initiative, saying, “We are fully committed to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion — one in which no young person should ever feel intimidated, especially at school, whether for the clothes they wear, or because someone perceives them as different.”
Here’s my opinion: I am not going to get my much larger knickers in a knot and try to force a company to expand its product line (or lower its prices) to suit me. Instead, I will shop at a more appropriate store. It’s a free country, at least for right now. We have the option of taking our business elsewhere — or the opportunity to create a business to fill the niche.
A&F has had the same product line for years, plus exclusion and bullying has little to do with what size clothing a kid wears. That’s a much deeper problem, and one entirely out of the scope of a clothing label. If a bully wants to bully, any excuse will do.
Dear Mamaw: Paula Deen said the “N” word and joked about slavery. Should she be boiled in her own vat of bacon grease? — Fair Asea
Dear Fair Asea: Seriously? So, you’ve never uttered a slur against someone “different” from you? If you haven’t, you pick up that first stone and toss it. Besides, does something that happened 20-odd years ago in a completely different setting make Deen a racist? Look at the woman through her words and action since, and then just get over it. And watch your own mouth.
Dear Mamaw: The Supreme Court decision declaring the same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional is going to destroy the sanctity of marriage. What can I do? — Confused
Dear Confused: Seriously? Has the high divorce rate among heterosexual couples not pretty much trashed that sanctity already? (See http://www.divorcerate.org for details, including that the divorce rate in the United States for first marriage is 41 percent; second marriage, 60 percent; third marriage, 73 percent.)
Here’s what I think: If same-sex couples are committed to each other, if they married in a state that recognizes the marriage, then they deserve the same legal rights as those enjoyed by heterosexual couples. As for the morality, let God sort it out. He’s much more qualified than the rest of us.
For a recap on how God expects us to act in this and the earlier examples, Luke 6:31 is a good start: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This short biblical verse is applicable to everyone, regardless of race, sexual orientation, life circumstances, religious beliefs or lack thereof.
Hopefully, readers will take this column in the spirit in which it was intended. Seriously. If not, well, you were warned.
Linda Albert is Sunday Life editor and a staff writer for The Daily Times. Her column runs every Sunday in the Life section. You may contact her at 981-1168 or (firstname.lastname@example.org)