patriarchy, hierarchy, mansplaining oh my!

more cowboy boots

“mansplaining” yo!

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, perhaps from someone in your own family. “The old white men don’t get it, they’ve had their time, and they need to go.” Most often this sentiment is voiced in regard to the government, where indeed, the “old white men” do continue to rule.

The same group occupies the seats of power in business, media, academia, and every other place considered a desirable place to spend a lifetime wielding power before retirement.

When I hear this sentiment, that verges on vicious, I cringe because I more or less belong to the same cohort. But while I’m very well aware of the danger of generalizing and reducing people to stereotypes, I do believe we should be able to criticize.

I believe that all of us, as members of different interest groups, should in turn be open to criticism, and more importantly, practise self-criticism.

“Yo, is this ageist?”

There’s no doubt that this sentiment is ageist. My friend Ashton Applewhite, the author of the great book “This Chair Rocks” and the website “Yo, is this ageist?” would calmly and eloquently eviscerate anyone for this kind of denigration. 

But I, always willing to voice the unpopular view,

I’m tired of the men myself, the men who have attached themselves, like barnacles, to positions of power and authority for decades, espousing ideas and opinions that are very clearly of another, less evolved era.

They appear to be speaking only to each other and their immediate cliques. Even when they attempt to expand their horizons, there seems to be some gate, invisible to the rest of us, that they do not dare open lest they see our side of the fence. 

There’s this incessant explaining, expounding, condescension and secrecy: “you couldn’t possibly understand,” they slyly insinuate when questioned or confronted.  

More often than not though they are speaking of things that the rest of us see, do, put up with and experience daily: the actual 2 hour commute on lousy roads, the insurance rigmarole, the search for good schools for our kids and then the cost of college.  

Some shake their heads and roll their eyes at the old senators and CEOs the ones with all the “gravitas,” but that too is an attitude of another era. 

These guys are angering, alienating, and making it hard for old women and young people; and that’s a large percentage of the population! That’s me.


Have you ever tried to pry a barnacle off a rock?

These men’s behavior is not benign. And, as we may now understand better than ever, they  are not simply “doddering old fools” who need to be tolerated until they decide to resign or retire. They are actually quite dangerous, and they always have been. 

But they are being confronted, called out, set back on their heels. There’s a whole new era of young people coming, and although it might not be able to save everything worth saving, they are bringing change. 

We need the regeneration the “youngers” will bring.

I believe that people go through stages in life with some distinct characteristics. Of course not all older people become set in their ways as they age, they don’t live back in a prior era, I don’t. But those who do, man or woman, they need to practise some self-criticism and take a back seat if they can no longer lead. 

the boot

As promised, more boots. For me, boots have always been in. They’re my go to footwear from fall thru early spring. While the cowboy, or “cowgirl,” as my friend at Style Nudge calls it, isn’t my favorite boot I do own a pair of Frye cowboy booties.

If your feet are wide though, like mine, you might have to search for the right boot, but it will be worth it.

To follow-up on an earlier post, where I talked about fierce fashion, you can add boots to the list of fierce stuff.

The angled heel is what makes the cowboy boot for me and the angle on the Givenchy boot above is extreme and definitely fierce.

It’s not of course a real cowboy boot, but it is one of the many different “cowboy like” styles out there.  

I like these Tecovas for those who want a more classic cowboy look. I don’t know if the stitching is genuine cowboy style, but I like it, it softens the look a bit. 

These black boots with red decorative “inserts” are the heights of fierce. The price too is probably killer. Cowboy boots, especially the more original ones, can be expensive. That’s a good reason to go thrifting for them. I’ve seen really nice boots in thrift and vintage stores.

I didn’t choose this picture solely for the boots though. I really love the top in this picture. It’s from a company called Oats, in Melbourne, and it comes in several different color combinations. 

My friend’s camel and black hybrid “cowgirls.” The same Givenchy boot you see above. 


“I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.”

-Ruth Bader Ginsburg



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