And the best hat goes to…

Beatrice! It’s like fallopian tubes meet Mickey Mouse ears:

beatrice

I’m trying to track down a photo of her crying during the ceremony, which was my favorite moment of the whole wedding, but no luck yet.

Author: has written 5288 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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226 Responses

  1. andrea
    andrea April 29, 2011 at 11:10 am |

    Excuse the expletives, but what the fucking fuck is on her head?

  2. gretel
    gretel April 29, 2011 at 11:19 am |

    I love it. It’s like a Rorschach test on her head.

    It makes me think of sperm burrowing into an ovum.

  3. Angus Johnston
    Angus Johnston April 29, 2011 at 11:20 am |

    All the Whos down in Whoville like weddings a lot. Apparently.

  4. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable April 29, 2011 at 11:22 am |

    I’m pretty sure Angus won this round.

  5. zuzu
    zuzu April 29, 2011 at 11:37 am |

    I want to know how she’s keeping it on. It’s at the front of her head, and it’s front-loaded with weight.

    But apart from that, the cracktasticness of it makes me happy. You go, Beatrice!

  6. Macha
    Macha April 29, 2011 at 11:37 am |

    OMG YES!

  7. Esti
    Esti April 29, 2011 at 11:45 am |

    I think it looks like an Alice in Wonderland shout out. You’ve got rabbit ears and a looking glass.

  8. preying mantis
    preying mantis April 29, 2011 at 11:47 am |

    “I want to know how she’s keeping it on. It’s at the front of her head, and it’s front-loaded with weight.”

    They’ve got to have some wire-and-bobby-pins rigging going ’round the back of her head under her hair. I wonder if she wrote to Lady Gaga’s costume engineer for tips.

  9. bhuesca
    bhuesca April 29, 2011 at 11:50 am |

    A beribboned toilet-seat lid cover taking flight.

  10. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage April 29, 2011 at 11:53 am |

    I didn’t know Cthulu designed hats.

  11. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley April 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm |

    Damnit I was hoping to avoid all coverage but lol what the fuck is that

  12. Hugo
    Hugo April 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm |

    And the mascara adds a certain charm. I like what Beatrice and Eugenie did, which was inject a note of fun and playfulness into the occasion. In that sense, they were like Harry with his jokes — sending a message that this is a family with a sense of humor.

    And bless those young women, they are their mother’s daughters. Shame mama wasn’t there.

  13. Verity Khat
    Verity Khat April 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm |

    Okay, everyone in my office was already in tears of laughter over this awesome hat, but now I’m reading all your comments out loud and we’re positively useless with glee! ^_^ Thanks to Bea and the Feministe family!

  14. iiii
    iiii April 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm |

    I blame Dr. Seuss.

  15. Nimue
    Nimue April 29, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

    It looks like an octopus to me. I like it!

  16. Diana
    Diana April 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm |

    I think it’s supposed to be a ring with a ribbon bow tied through it, but mostly it looks a bit like a sperm and a ton of WTF. I kinda love it.

  17. chava
    chava April 29, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

    River Song to the Doctor:

    What in the name of sanity are you wearing on your head?

    I wear a fez now, fezzes are cool.

    Clearly, this is a nationwide issue.

  18. Ruchama
    Ruchama April 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm |

    Same princess, different royal wedding, several years ago: http://www.trendhunter.com/images/phpthumbnails/19/19489/19489_1_600.jpeg

  19. Ruchama
    Ruchama April 29, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  20. Colleen
    Colleen April 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm |

    It looks like she’s wearing a pink toilet seat on her head.

  21. Cactus Wren
    Cactus Wren April 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm |

    Nearly fifty years ago Peg Bracken observed that all milliners’ shops are equipped with special patented mirrors that make you look twice as good as you really do. This, she said, explained some of the funny things seen on the streets in the early 1960s.

    Clearly, those mirrors have been hauled out of storage.

  22. Florence
    Florence April 29, 2011 at 2:40 pm |

    Ruchama @18: DAMN.

  23. Margie
    Margie April 29, 2011 at 2:53 pm |

    Seems almost as dangerous as running with scissors…

  24. Shakatany
    Shakatany April 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm |

    Ruchama:
    Also loving the frowning flower girl: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/grace-van-custem-the-frowning-flower-girl

    Poor thing she’ll never live it down. Fifty years from now she’ll probably still be known for her expression in that photo.

  25. Natalia
    Natalia April 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm |

    Grace Van Cutsem FTW!

  26. Michele
    Michele April 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm |

    Note the photobomb moment –the guy’s face behind her. He’s all, “Ah canna fecken believe it. I’m gonna piss meself laffin’ ” Ya know all British-y…

  27. Jim
    Jim April 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm |

    Shakatany: Poor thing she’ll never live it down. Fifty years from now she’ll probably still be known for her expression in that photo.

    She could do worse. I love that smile – “OMG! I totally got away with wearing this shit in public!”

  28. Karen
    Karen April 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm |

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who saw that and thought “Mickey Mouse!”

    “Now that my cousin is married, I’m going to Disney World!”

  29. Nahida
    Nahida April 29, 2011 at 7:38 pm |

    I want to use that hat like a frisbee weapon.

  30. Lis
    Lis April 29, 2011 at 9:13 pm |

    Millinery and performance art in one! I love it. And I want that butterfly hat like burning.

  31. FelineCyclist
    FelineCyclist April 30, 2011 at 1:00 am |

    I actually really liked the hat. It was a bit arty and challenged the concept of what is a hat. It’s not at all practical, but that’s the point! There were plenty of other hats that were blatant attention-seeking – Beatrice was just honest about it.

  32. Yonmei
    Yonmei April 30, 2011 at 3:31 am |

    I think the best moment was when two pensioners were arrested because they planned to do street theatre mocking the Royal Wedding. Gosh, where would we be if Americans weren’t able to gush over the hats and the flower girl without worrying about the creepy social implications?

    THS report:Two academics said to have been planning an anti-monarchy mock execution at Westminster Abbey were arrested ahead of the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton in London.

    Chris Knight, 68, a former professor of anthropology at the University of East London, was arrested outside his home in southeast London at around 6.15pm on 28 April.

    Video of the arrest

  33. Florence
    Florence April 30, 2011 at 7:33 am |

    Gosh, where would we be if Americans weren’t able to gush over the hats and the flower girl without worrying about the creepy social implications?

    Exactly where you are right now.

  34. Avida Quesada
    Avida Quesada April 30, 2011 at 9:47 am |

    Ja ja I will never have think of Fallopian tubes :)
    For me it was more than Hippie Mouse :)

    Avida

  35. R. Johnston
    R. Johnston April 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm |

    The only thought that comes to mind upon seeing that hat is that PZ Myers would be shocked and appalled that six legs are missing.

  36. junk
    junk April 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm |

    I wonder if the UK taxpayers also paid for her hat? Nice way to add insult to injury.

  37. Vigée
    Vigée April 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm |

    I love it. I like to read it as just the right amount of mocking that I think the entire business deserves.

  38. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines April 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm |

    If anyone’s wondering why there are so many bitter Brits, it’s because while 20million pounds (at least) of taxpayer’s money was spent on the wedding, organisations like this are having their funding cut:
    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/poppy-project-support-for-women-centred-services.html

  39. Hugo
    Hugo April 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm |

    I found this YouGov poll of British public opinion.

    When surveyed, a majority of respondents (56%) said that they were either not very interested (30%) or not at all interested (26%) in the wedding. However, men and women were divided on the issue with over half of British women saying that they were either very or fairly interested (57%), but the figures fall to fewer than three in ten (29%) for British men.

    Joe Twyman, Director of Political and Social Research at YouGov, said ‘Although the Royal Wedding may not have captured the interest of the entire nation, it is clear that there is support for Prince William and his bride to be. There is a strong feeling that their marriage is a good thing for both Britain generally and the monarchy specifically.’

    We can disagree about the monarchy, but it’s not as if this wedding was forced onto a largely hostile and republican population.

    It’s not causation nor even much correlation, but it is worth noting that some of the most egalitarian societies on earth (Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Belgium) are monarchies. None are perfect, but judging by European standards alone, women seem generally better off in countries with monarchs than in republics. In other words, monarchy is not the solution (no one says it is) but it sure as heck isn’t the problem. (And if you know recent Spanish history, you know that Spain might have had a much bloodier transition to democracy had it not been for Juan Carlos. Just sayin’.)

  40. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines April 30, 2011 at 5:59 pm |

    Hugo – One poll doesn’t negate my argument, or my dislike for the monarchy.

  41. Hugo
    Hugo April 30, 2011 at 6:05 pm |

    Safiya Outlines:
    Hugo – One poll doesn’t negate my argument, or my dislike for the monarchy.

    Of course it doesn’t. But it does mean that even those Britons who are appalled by the Tory cuts don’t want to get rid of the monarchy. The current government is plunging in popularity, and Labour is back on the rise in the polls — but so is the monarchy. Many progressives do seem to recognize that the royal family is not an obstacle to creating a better society.

  42. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines April 30, 2011 at 6:10 pm |

    Hugo – Says one poll? Can you not see why that’s a pretty problematic argument? Especially in a media that doesn’t really want to hear anti-monarchy viewpoints.

    The fact is that getting rid of the monarchy just isn’t on the table at present, but certainly their approval ratings have been very up and down over the years.

  43. Poeschl
    Poeschl April 30, 2011 at 6:21 pm |

    @Hugo — “the royal family is not an obstacle to creating a better society”

    Kate and William, by themselves, are certainly not obstacles to creating a better society.

    But the British monarchy is an expensive anachronism. The British royal family in the 1990s received a 10-million-pound annual subsidy from Parliament in addition to the royal family’s private wealth.

    I’m not sure whether the royals received any parliamentary subsidy for 2011. But any expense to the British taxpayer to support what is in fact a political museum exhibit cannot be justified, especially in the face of the Tory government’s austerity program.

  44. Hugo
    Hugo April 30, 2011 at 6:35 pm |

    But any expense to the British taxpayer to support what is in fact a political museum exhibit cannot be justified, especially in the face of the Tory government’s austerity program.

    Oddly, as the polls suggest, the majority of taxpayers in Britain do not seem similarly outraged. Perhaps they are simply too smitten with splendid hats.

  45. Yonmei
    Yonmei April 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm |

    “The most watched event in British television history was England’s success in the 1966 World Cup final (32.3m) followed by Diana’s funeral in 1997 (32.1m), a 1969 documentary on the royal family (30.69m) and the so-called Den and Angie episode of EastEnders on Christmas Day 1986 (30.15m). ”

    I count as one of the viewers of Diana’s funeral: it was on in the background as I worked on a story and the friend who was supposed to be assisting me kept saying “But it’s a historic moment!” and telling me about stuff I was entirely uninterested in. But in any case Diana’s funeral is one of the weirdest TV events of the 20th century – as one analyst put it, the broadcasters took the plan for the Queen Mother’s death and wrote in Diana’s name. Plans to televise nothing but the funeral on all terrestrial channels had to be scrapped when angry viewers pointed out they’d miss Eastenders.

    If 24 million Brits watched the royal wedding, it was not a record – and for many, I suspect it was on in the background while they were doing something else.

  46. Yonmei
    Yonmei April 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm |

    Hugo: Oddly, as the polls suggest, the majority of taxpayers in Britain do not seem similarly outraged.

    I love Americans telling me how Brits feel about the bloody Royals. Like I said, Hugo, rather than being grateful to Nazi-sympathising Royalty, wouldn’t it show more graciousness to be grateful to the people who actually welcomed the refugees?

  47. Hugo
    Hugo April 30, 2011 at 6:59 pm |

    Yonmei, I’m a UK citizen and though I live in the States, have spent much time in Britain, studied and worked and so forth… Many of my family live there. And gratitude to the people doesn’t preclude fondness for the monarchy. False choice.

    And the poll is the YouGov poll, Yonmei.

    Anyhow, this thread should be about the hats, and about the charm and style of Beatrice and Eugenie. As Will’s first cousins, they played the right note of whimsy in the midst of solemnity. And I really think Eugenie’s dress was my favorite on the day, even if Bea’s hat won the headgear category.

  48. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable April 30, 2011 at 7:12 pm |

    Safiya Outlines: Hugo – Says one poll? Can you not see why that’s a pretty problematic argument?

    Are you suggesting that the way the questions were phrased is problematic? Or that the pollsters didn’t use random selection for the poll participants?

  49. Yonmei
    Yonmei April 30, 2011 at 7:13 pm |

    And gratitude to the people doesn’t preclude fondness for the monarchy. False choice.

    You brought up the monarchy in a context about how grateful your dad was about being made welcome in the UK. That’s nice, but the monarchy had BFA to do with that: that was the people, not the Nazi-sympathising king and queen.

    Anyhow, this thread should be about the hats, and about the charm and style of Beatrice and Eugenie.

    Ah, because this is a feminist blog, so we shouldn’t be talking about dull stuff like class politics, we should be cooing over two rich women because money is so charming and stylish. Yeah right.

  50. oldlady
    oldlady April 30, 2011 at 7:15 pm |

    Hugo, the thread was broken by you when you commented on the number of Brits interested/not interested in the coming nuptials and then wrote your enconium to monarchy. Just wanted to point that out.

    Royals and weddings are both things I can do without.

  51. Hugo
    Hugo April 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm |

    Oldlady, read upstream. Was responding to comments 32,36,38, all above mine.

    And if you haven’t checked it yet, Bea’s hat has its own Facebook page.

  52. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines April 30, 2011 at 7:29 pm |

    Polls are problematic because they are only ever a fairly small sample group.

    Anyway, judging by the USian royal wedding frenzy, I’m peeved they didn’t make it pay-per-view for you, it would have saved the UK taxpayer a fortune.

  53. Yonmei
    Yonmei April 30, 2011 at 7:56 pm |

    More on the Royal Wedding: two trans people arrested because they were both carrying what the police on the spot decided was evidence the two of them intended to join a Zombie March.

    They went to talk to their commanding officers to run our details, make sure we had nothing outstanding and then we should be free to go, right?

    Wrong, the police officer came back to inform us that we would be being taken to the police station, because if he let us go we would “Disrupt Will and Kate’s big day” and that they needed to get us off the streets, that we would be arrested and charged with a breach of the peace.

    “For what?! Possession of a leaflet?!” Me and my friend exclaimed. Their only reply being we can’t take any chances and that the decision had been made and that there was no arguing with them, the officer who told us this did so very aggressively and with a lot of anger considering we had done nothing that was against any law.

    But Beatrice and Eugenie are so charming and stylish! What does it matter that the Metropolitan Police were arresting people who looked like they were going to “cause trouble” and spoil the nice royalist image? It’s obviously totally inappropriate to talk about that kind of thing on a feminist blog.

  54. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. April 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm |

    Safiya Outlines:
    Polls are problematic because they are only ever a fairly small sample group.

    Anyway, judging by the USian royal wedding frenzy, I’m peeved they didn’t make it pay-per-view for you, it would have saved the UK taxpayer a fortune.

    That would have been ingenious. Probably would have just would have accused us of being classless, consumerist Americans though. Its always good to make fun of USians.

  55. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable April 30, 2011 at 8:03 pm |

    They interviewed well over 2000 people which is sufficient for the numbers to be generalizable to the overall population assuming the questions weren’t leading (i.e. the survey wasn’t designed poorly) and the 2000 people were randomly selected (i.e. they didn’t ask, for example, 2000 of the Queen’s closest friends). The numbers should be representative with a margin of about 3% error, given those two items.

    That said, even if the majority are happy with the wedding and its coverage – it doesn’t mean you need to be or that your choice is somehow less valid. That’s true for most social justice things, right? If we held popular beliefs all of the time, it would make our work a shit-ton easier.

    Anyway, I don’t know anything about British politics or the monarchy. My contribution to this conversation is limited to “Funny hat.”

  56. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines April 30, 2011 at 8:12 pm |

    Kirsten J – To quote a great USian, “I don’t like to dream about getting paid”, so I would not have minded at all.

    I am minding the presentation of the Royal Wedding as harmless frippery when it’s a massive waste of taxpayer’s money at a time when public services are being slashed to the detriment of many.

    Also, like Yonmei is pointing out, some rather frightening policing went on to ensure no one ‘spoiled’ the party, including pre-emptive arrests, which are tactics the police will surely use again the next time anyone protests against what the government are doing.

    But if you want to see all that as just being mean about USians, rather then critiquing US-centerism, go ahead.

  57. Hugo
    Hugo April 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm |

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, I would happily have paid to watch this. (We do pay to watch BBC America on DirectTV, which is what we had on from midnight until 5:00AM Pacific time.)

    And we contributed here: http://www.royalweddingcharityfund.org/

  58. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. April 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm |

    Safiya Outlines:
    Kirsten J – To quote a great USian, “I don’t like to dream about getting paid”, so I would not have minded at all.

    I am minding the presentation of the Royal Wedding as harmless frippery when it’s a massive waste of taxpayer’s money at a time when public services are being slashed to the detriment of many.

    Also, like Yonmei is pointing out, some rather frightening policing went on to ensure no one ‘spoiled’ the party, including pre-emptive arrests, which are tactics the police will surely use again the next time anyone protests against what the government are doing.

    But if you want to see all that as just being mean about USians, rather then critiquing US-centerism, go ahead.

    Umm…way to misinterpret…I agreed that it would have been a great idea. But I think people would have criticized USians for that too.

  59. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. April 30, 2011 at 8:48 pm |

    Also, somewhat hilarious that its US-centrism when its a British royal wedding, where presumably British people filled the streets of London, and televised at at time when most USians were snug in their beds, getting ready for work or at work. The media seems to be making a big deal about things, but most USians don’t give a shit.

  60. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines April 30, 2011 at 9:00 pm |

    Kirsten – I think I made clear where the UScenterism lay, I did not state that everyone in the US was Royal Wedding obssessed.

  61. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. April 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm |

    Safiya Outlines:
    Kirsten – I think I made clear where the UScenterism lay, I did not state that everyone in the US was Royal Wedding obssessed.

    You said:

    Safiya Outlines: Anyway, judging by the USian royal wedding frenzy, I’m peeved they didn’t make it pay-per-view for you.

    But as far as the polls are concerned…only about 28% of USians were interested in the thing. The live tv rating haven’t come out but since the Friday night specials (combined and over a number of hours) got about the same ratings as American Idol I doubt many watched live…so I’m not seeing a USian royal wedding frenzy anywhere.

  62. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines April 30, 2011 at 9:26 pm |

    28% is quite a large number to be interested in a foreign wedding and of course most people didn’t watch it live, they would’ve caught up with it later. But it is certainly all over the US media, from the big networks to the main blogs.

    But do you know what, I made a point about how the Royal Wedding has affected the UK and I’ve been derailed into a big discussion into how much USians do or don’t care about the Royal Wedding. Not cool.

    I’m not USian, I don’t live there. From the UK, it seems like there is a big USian interest in the wedding, but even if there isn’t, it’s not my main concern compared to what’s happening in the UK now.

  63. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. April 30, 2011 at 9:46 pm |

    Safiya Outlines: I’ve been derailed into a big discussion into how much USians do or don’t care about the Royal Wedding. Not cool.

    lol. You’ve been derailed. Something external to yourself made you comment on the “USian frenzy.”

  64. zuzu
    zuzu April 30, 2011 at 11:45 pm |

    Safiya Outlines: But do you know what, I made a point about how the Royal Wedding has affected the UK and I’ve been derailed into a big discussion into how much USians do or don’t care about the Royal Wedding. Not cool.

    You derailed yourself; you were the one claiming that Americans should have just had it on pay-per-view and spared y’all the expense, as if all those people camping out for days and cheering were all Americans.

  65. zuzu
    zuzu April 30, 2011 at 11:47 pm |

    Safiya Outlines: From the UK, it seems like there is a big USian interest in the wedding, but even if there isn’t, it’s not my main concern compared to what’s happening in the UK now.

    Oh, Nellie! You get all up in Hugo’s grill for citing a UK poll about UK support for the wedding, but YOUR source for American interest is pulledoutofmyass.com?

  66. Yonmei
    Yonmei April 30, 2011 at 11:58 pm |

    Safiya Outlines: I am minding the presentation of the Royal Wedding as harmless frippery when it’s a massive waste of taxpayer’s money at a time when public services are being slashed to the detriment of many.

    Damn right.

    Prior to the pre-emptive policing – the arrests and raids made to subdue people because they might cause trouble, spoil the picture-perfect image of loyal Londoners *ptui*, the idea that we should be spending millions on a wedding for a couple who are now part of one of the richest families in the UK, was just stunningly irritating. (A multiplication of my usual irritation at people getting gushy over aristocrats.)

    But the pre-emptive policing? That’s ever so bloody scary. David Cameron did a little speech a week or two prior, demanding that people celebrate with street parties whether or not they could get permission from their local authorities or the police – which sounded simply stupidly misguided (you do NEED permission from local authorities/the police if you intend to block a public highway, for obvious safety concerns) but now sounds horribly like a Happiness Patrol – Cameron demanding public celebrations of a Suitable Kind, while the police crack down on anyone who might be planning public celebrations of an Unsuitable kind.

    From Laurie Penny’s blog:

    “It’s to do with the student demonstrations last year,” says officer U4570, nodding and smiling a few feet down the road. “We’re investigating stuff that happened this year and last year – the demonstrations.” Eventually, two or three officers admit that yes, the timing is to do with the Royal Wedding, saying, ‘We’ve got to protect people.” Despite protests from neighbors,eventually all the occupants of Ratstar are arrested, and the royal couple can rest safe in the knowledge that they are being protected from cooking workshops and mother-and-toddler yoga sessions.

    As squatters and anti-cuts protesters were being dragged out of their homes all over the country, pupils at my old Alma Mater, Brighton College -an exclusive private school on the coast – were celebrating Britannia Day. The entire school gathered on the north lawns for a picnic to mark the happy occasion of the marriage of one terrifying proto-royal automaton to another. Patriotic red, white and blue dress was mandatory*, as was the case at many schools this week. So was participation in the college’s first ever flash mob.

    Yes, that’s right. Flash dance events are apparently the done thing amongst the youth these days, and everyone wants to be down with the kids, particularly if they’re trying to train them to run the country – so Brighton College decided that it, too, should have a flash mob. The college had arranged special hip-hop dance instructors to teach its pupils some groovy moves, and on a given signal, every proud member of the school, from the Master and prefects to the lowliest fourth-former, began to gyrate embarrassingly to the strains of ‘I’ve got a Feeling’ by The Black-Eyed Peas. In the rehearsal video, which was distributed amongst pupils to make sure everyone got the steps exactly right, two serious girls in leotards jive and thrust in an enormous private dance studio with studied, joyless grace. It is, without question, the whitest thing I have ever seen.

  67. Natalia
    Natalia May 1, 2011 at 2:23 am |

    I love it. I like to read it as just the right amount of mocking that I think the entire business deserves.

    That’s how I read it too. Considering that she’s Sarah Ferguson’s daughter and all. Subtle and gentle mocking (not mean, “fuck you, guys”-style mocking), but mocking nonetheless.

    I’d wear peacock feathers to an event like this (hey – I look good in blue). Or a military jacket with a sparkling headscarf. And then I’d totally stick a garrison cap onto the headscarf.

  68. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines May 1, 2011 at 4:26 am |

    I would like to know how pointing out that the Royal Wedding is 1)Big waste of public money, 2)The excuse for some very dodgy policing tactics (in a force with a long, long history of dodginess, both past and recent), makes me someone with no joy in their life.

    That when I pointed this out here, the only concern was that I’d stated that the US had a very high interest in the wedding, well to me that does seem UScentric. If that makes me joyless so be it.

  69. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 1, 2011 at 4:30 am |

    I would like to know how pointing out that the Royal Wedding is 1)Big waste of public money, 2)The excuse for some very dodgy policing tactics (in a force with a long, long history of dodginess, both past and recent), makes me someone with no joy in their life.

    Because obviously, if we were joyful people, we’d be happy flag-waving subjects of the Queen, not dodgy rebelious types.

  70. gretchen
    gretchen May 1, 2011 at 5:46 am |

    i liked the description “cat flap with antlers”

  71. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 1, 2011 at 6:10 am |

    Ignoring the derail (my sympathy, Jill – I wouldn’t want to moderate this blog)…

    Clearly Beatrice is trying to tell us that she is a fan of Lovecraft, and intended to bring the wrath of Cthulhu down upon whoever banned her mother from the wedding (presumably Gran). See that smile? That smile says “I will video you getting eaten on my cell phone and send it to Mum for a laugh”. She is also upstaging her auntie Anne, who appears to have tripped and dropped an Easter basket on her own head. The only people there who are directly involved who actually look good (rather than comical) are the Middletons, so yay commoners – we win the sartorial challenge, as usual. (Posh and Becks looked pretty good, too.)

    (I’m no lover of the royals either, but seriously, people – it’s a post about a ridiculous hat. In England, so if anything shouldn’t we be calling it Brit-centric?)

  72. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. May 1, 2011 at 6:46 am |

    @Safiya,

    Nope. When someone agreed with you that it was expensive and free riders should have to pay, you went off about US centrism.

    Because obviously, if we were joyful people, we’d be happy flag-waving subjects of the Queen, not dodgy rebelious types.

    This would be situational irony right?

  73. Randomizer
    Randomizer May 1, 2011 at 7:28 am |

    Insofar as the taxpayer is concerned, the Royals continue to be a great investmnent generating untold millions of pounds through tourism. For my part, all the fashion frippery and wedding fetishism are probably detrimental to the interests of women who might better celebrate actual accomplishments of independant women than the occasion when one girl wins the grand prize in the heteronormativity sweepstakes.

  74. ellid
    ellid May 1, 2011 at 7:30 am |

    Yonmei:
    I think the best moment was when two pensioners were arrested because they planned to do street theatre mocking the Royal Wedding. Gosh, where would we be if Americans weren’t able to gush over the hats and the flower girl without worrying about the creepy social implications?

    Sorry, but protesting a wedding with a mock execution is in excruciatingly poor taste. There are better ways to show disapproval that don’t symbolically wish for the deaths of the bride and groom.

  75. Hugo
    Hugo May 1, 2011 at 7:35 am |

    Protesting a wedding with a mock execution is in excruciatingly poor taste. There are better ways to show disapproval that don’t symbolically wish for the deaths of the bride and groom.

    And in the very small republican (small r) USA, we might not permit street theater showing the execution of the president. At the very least, it would (and should) invite a visit from the Secret Service.

    Still waiting for the counter-poll that shows anything above 25% of the British public is upset with the wedding, its expense, or wants to do away with the monarchy.

  76. Hugo
    Hugo May 1, 2011 at 7:47 am |

    Oh, and the more I think about it, the more I think of Bea and Eugenie playing the jester role: court jesters both mock and sustain the monarch through their mocking. They remind the ruler of his (or her) humanity, speaking truth to power not to unseat that power but to ground it in something better. These young women love their family, I suspect, and love their country — and love their cousin. But they also have a part to play in reminding him not to take himself too desperately seriously.

    They managed to do that without a faux execution.

  77. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 1, 2011 at 7:58 am |

    In poor taste? Making that observation is a sign of classism, that is. If we were true rebels we would appreciate any sign of rebellion and support it, no matter how asinine, tasteless, or generally stupid it might be.

    (Obviously I am only saying this because I love and adore the Queen, which is why I am suggesting that her granddaughter might have considered sacrificing her to Cthulhu. It’s a sign of deep respect for the institution, just like Beatrice’s ridiculous hat.)

  78. Florence
    Florence May 1, 2011 at 8:32 am |

    This would be situational irony right?

    *dies*

  79. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 1, 2011 at 8:34 am |

    ellid: protesting a wedding with a mock execution is in excruciatingly poor taste.

    Does that mean they deserved to be arrested for planning to do so?

    All three of the people the police identified as ringleaders were arrested on Thursday and kept in police cells overnight, released on Friday sometime.

    Are you seriously arguing that “poor taste” is a crime?

    CassandraSays: Ignoring the derail

    What derail? We’re all discussing the Royal Wedding. Still on topic here.

  80. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 1, 2011 at 8:37 am |

    Silly me, I thought I was responding to a post about a hat, rather than a debate about the past, future, and ethical appropriateness of the British monarchy.

  81. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 1, 2011 at 8:44 am |

    Hugo: And in the very small republican (small r) USA, we might not permit street theater showing the execution of the president. At the very least, it would (and should) invite a visit from the Secret Service.

    Probably. But we’re supposed to be better than the Americans; we’re supposed to have more respect for personal liberty, for the right to mock anyone, for the right to liberty to include the right to make fun of the head of state. It makes me angry to think of the UK adopting the US’s notion that the head of state is above criticism. For the US the President may be a man set apart, above the law, the supreme ruler who may not be mocked, but not for us: we’re supposed to have more sense of humour than that, more realism, less respect for the authorities.

  82. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 1, 2011 at 8:53 am |

    I think there’s a difference between “make fun of” and “stage a mock execution of”. Now granted that I can see how the latter could be done in jest, but policemen and other security types are not really known for having a sense of humor about such things.

    The real point, though, is that it was unreasonable to expect Jill’s post to address the fact that the Met were a bit overzealous in their attempts to “maintain order” in the run-up to the wedding. First of all, Jill is American, and does not live in the UK. How was she supposed to be aware of that? Magic? Secondly, she wrote a post about a hat. Not a post examining the overall role of the British monarchy and whether or not their continued existance is a good thing. Now, some people may have preferred to see a very serious post about the monarchy. Perhaps they themselves should write one. Perhaps some of the people commenting on this post might even want to comment on that one too! But meanwhile, a bunch of other people just wanted to talk about the silly hat, because not every post on a (free, amateur, not for profit, being run mostly by one person who does actually have a job) blog is required to cover every possible angle of every issue.

    Sometimes a post about a hat is just a post about a hat, and it’s ridiculous to scold it/the author for not also addressing quantum physics, the history of colonialism, and the meaning of life. As a required part of their post about a hat.

  83. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley May 1, 2011 at 9:06 am |

    CassandraSays:
    Silly me, I thought I was responding to a post about a hat, rather than a debate about the past, future, and ethical appropriateness of the British monarchy.

    Gee I wonder what might be more of worth to discuss on a Feminist (and thus political blog) a hat or the past, future, and ethical appropriateness of the British monarchy? Hmmm tough choice.

  84. Florence
    Florence May 1, 2011 at 9:07 am |

    Now, some people may have preferred to see a very serious post about the monarchy. Perhaps they themselves should write one. Perhaps some of the people commenting on this post might even want to comment on that one too! But meanwhile, a bunch of other people just wanted to talk about the silly hat, because not every post on a (free, amateur, not for profit, being run mostly by one person who does actually have a job) blog is required to cover every possible angle of every issue.

    Sometimes a post about a hat is just a post about a hat, and it’s ridiculous to scold it/the author for not also addressing quantum physics, the history of colonialism, and the meaning of life. As a required part of their post about a hat.

    Cosigned. The issue here is that Jill didn’t write the post that Yonmei wished Jill would write (just throwing this out there, I could be wrong: probably because Jill is an American who doesn’t have detailed knowledge of the history of British monarchy beyond, like The Tudors, and even that show sucks, also this kind of millinery is a dead art in the US and is thus completely foreign and amusing to us silly, cavalier Americans, hence the tone of the post and comments).

    In my world, the way I learned activism, if you see a gap you don’t stand around pointing at the gap and complaining that no one else has filled it for you yet. You FILL THE FUCKING GAP. If Yonmei chose to write a guest post or her own blog discussing the minutia of the royal monarchy, any one of us here would be down for reading it. But since she didn’t, we’re here at Feministe WHERE YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR talking about hats and getting shitty that someone is concern-trolling us for not caring about what she’s penciled in to our agenda.

  85. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley May 1, 2011 at 9:10 am |

    Not the I expect Jill to write that post but for people to get all upset that other took this opportunity to talk about things that are a little bit more serious is frustrating.

    A hit is a hat but discussion about the irony of British Taxpayers forking over 20 million to pay for a wedding during a recession period where social programs are being deemed to expensive to pay for? That’s a topic worth talking about, in a hat thread or on it’s own

  86. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley May 1, 2011 at 9:11 am |

    blah spelling corrections: Not that I expect a hat is a hat, and its not it’s

  87. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 1, 2011 at 9:12 am |

    I think there’s a difference between “make fun of” and “stage a mock execution of”.

    Well, One: I have no idea what the “mock execution” was going to involve. The police arrested the three people involved on the Thursday night. It’s entirely possible that the mock execution would not have been of any living or real Royal.

    Two: if it is a criminal offense to stage a mock execution of a living person as street theatre, then the point at which the police can intervene is if they warn the people who intend to do this that it will be a criminal offense, and arrest them when they commit that offense. To be pre-arrested for a crime you have not yet committed is literally Minority Report stuff.

    Three: if it is now a criminal offense for actors to pretend to execute a member of the Royal Family as a performance, then any theatrical life of Charles I will have to be cut short.

    Four, if it is a criminal offense to stage a mock execution of anyone as a theatrical performance, Braveheart and multiple other movies will have to be banned from the British cinema and television, and a warrant issued for Mel Gibson’s arrest: and we’ll no longer be able to see or read several of Shakespeare’s plays.

    is that it was unreasonable to expect Jill’s post to address the fact that the Met were a bit overzealous in their attempts to “maintain order” in the run-up to the wedding.

    As Zuzu pointed out in the other thread, that’s what comments are for: if you want to address an aspect of the event not developed in the original post, you ought to be able to make comments about those aspects without being accused of derailing the topic. Jill posted about the Royal Wedding, I’m commenting about the RW. I’m just not taking the gushing, ohmygoshisntitlovely view that some Feministers appear to feel is de rigeur when discussing a Royal Wedding.

    First of all, Jill is American, and does not live in the UK. How was she supposed to be aware of that? Magic?

    By reading the comment thread to her first post about the RW? Both I and other commenter posted links to the pre-event policing and other political aspects of the RW before Jill made this post. You can call that “magic” if you like!

    Jill shouldn’t have to post about the political aspects of the Royal Wedding if she doesn’t wish to, though. Neither, I feel, should she complain or call “joyless” Feministe readers who do comment about the political aspects of the RW in the comments-threads.

    Now, some people may have preferred to see a very serious post about the monarchy. Perhaps they themselves should write one.

    That’d be great! Now, if Jill wanted to interrupt her interesting discussion on hats by inviting myself or rae or Safiya to make a guest post on the aspects of the Royal Wedding, I for one would be very happy to pull a bunch of links together and do that. Failing that, I’m commenting about the political aspects of the RW in the comments-threads of the two Feministe posts about the Royal Wedding. But if Jill prefers Feministe to be all about the hats in front-page posts, and keep joyless politicking to the comments, there’s no more to be said, is there?

  88. Natalia
    Natalia May 1, 2011 at 9:38 am |

    Gee I wonder what might be more of worth to discuss on a Feminist (and thus political blog) a hat or the past, future, and ethical appropriateness of the British monarchy? Hmmm tough choice.

    Lawdy, not this again!

  89. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 9:39 am |

    Oh, I love the smell of feminist-shaming in the morning. It smells like flop sweat.

    Y’all, sometimes you can try to start a conversation and nobody’s having it. This is one of those times.

    Lara Emily Foley: Gee I wonder what might be more of worth to discuss on a Feminist (and thus political blog) a hat or the past, future, and ethical appropriateness of the British monarchy? Hmmm tough choice.

  90. Florence
    Florence May 1, 2011 at 9:42 am |

    I’m just not taking the gushing, ohmygoshisntitlovely view that some Feministers appear to feel is de rigeur when discussing a Royal Wedding.

    Maybe, MAYBE, one or MAYBE two people could be called “isn’t it lovely” here. No one here “gushed”. The rest are plainly snarky, ironic, mocking of the whole charade. I speak for myself, but my issue is the joyless, humorless grumpiness that we are unserious for not talking about your pet POV, and your insistence that Jill dance like your pet monkey lest you derail every related post with your hand-wringing. Others can agree or disagree as they wish, but I find it incredibly weird that Jill is supposed to be all-knowing and omniscient regarding all things online and that a non-profit hobby blog is suddenly an institution bearing responsibility for failing a whole movement, online and off.

  91. Natalia
    Natalia May 1, 2011 at 9:42 am |

    Oh, and by the way, I wrote about my own view of the royals on the other thread, wrt their relationship with Russian royals in particular. But discussing how Kristen J. is “goopy” was more interesting, overall (haha, for anyone who has kept up with her comments here – it was a funny comment to make, actually. I mean, “goopy” is seriously NOT one of the words I associate with Kristen J.)

  92. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 9:43 am |

    And the attempts to talk about in this post are going over as well as an egg fart in an elevator. Your response to that might be to drop the subject or discuss it elsewhere rather than berate Jill for her failure to provide you with the exact perfect feminist blog of your dreams.

    Lara Emily Foley:
    Not the I expect Jill to write that post but for people to get all upset that other took this opportunity to talk about things that are a little bit more serious is frustrating.

    A hit is a hat but discussion about the irony of British Taxpayers forking over 20 million to pay for a wedding during a recession period where social programs are being deemed to expensive to pay for? That’s a topic worth talking about, in a hat thread or on it’s own

  93. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 1, 2011 at 9:44 am |

    Y’all, sometimes you can try to start a conversation and nobody’s having it. This is one of those times.

    Because myself, Lara, rae, and Safiya are nobodies.

    Thanks for clarifying that.

  94. Florence
    Florence May 1, 2011 at 9:49 am |

    Yonmei, what was that re: hyperbole we were talking about on the other thread?

  95. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 9:50 am |

    BTW, Yonmei, you’ve mischaracterized what I said in the other thread. I said comments were a place to raise issues, yes, but I was very clear that raising issues does not entail whining that Jill or other commenters aren’t agreeing with you.

  96. Natalia
    Natalia May 1, 2011 at 9:50 am |

    Also,

    To quote a great Englishman,

    “Gooooood attack the Queen! Send big dogs aaaaaafter her! That bite her bum!”

    There. The appropriate level of discussion has been reached.

  97. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 9:55 am |

    You could have talked amongst yourselves. You chose instead to raise points and then stamp your feet that other people weren’t immediately dropping their own conversations to agree with you, and you further decided to scold everyone for their unseriousness and insufficient dedication to your joyless version of feminism.

    Yonmei:
    Y’all, sometimes you can try to start a conversation and nobody’s having it. This is one of those times.

    Because myself, Lara, rae, and Safiya are nobodies.

    Thanks for clarifying that.

  98. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley May 1, 2011 at 9:57 am |

    It is not Jill’s responsibility to raise the other issues that are being raised, never said it was and will never demand that she do so. That being said to get upset when readers take the opportunity to talk about other aspects of the Wedding and complain that this is about a hat and only a hat is frustrating. I mean there are interesting and disturbing political stories going on in relation to the wedding (the tax money, the quasi police state that London seemed to have descended into on Wedding Day). What harm is there in bringing these up in posts related to the wedding, I found them to be very intersting and informative, how is that a bad thing? Look no one is asking Jill or anyone to present issues for them, they’re simply asking when they bring them up themselves to not be told to sit down shut up and talk about a hat and only about a hat.

  99. chava
    chava May 1, 2011 at 9:59 am |

    Yes, THAT at least is coming across quite clearly.

    Probably. But we’re supposed to be better than the Americans;

  100. chava
    chava May 1, 2011 at 10:00 am |

    HTML fail. That was in response to Yonmei @ 83.

  101. becky
    becky May 1, 2011 at 10:02 am |

    Lara Emily Foley: at a bad thing? Look no one is asking Jill or anyone to present issues for them, they’re simply asking when they bring them up themselves to not be told to sit down shut up and talk about a hat and only about a hat.

    This. Thank you! I still can’t comprehend the “How dare you talk back to Jill?!” and “Party Pooper!” posts. Seriously…

  102. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable May 1, 2011 at 10:03 am |

    Yonmei: I think the best moment was when two pensioners were arrested because they planned to do street theatre mocking the Royal Wedding. Gosh, where would we be if Americans weren’t able to gush over the hats and the flower girl without worrying about the creepy social implications?

    This is your first comment on this thread about the wedding. You’re not getting called out because you’re bringing to light negative aspects of the wedding; you’re getting called out because you’re being an asshole.

  103. Florence
    Florence May 1, 2011 at 10:04 am |

    Look no one is asking Jill or anyone to present issues for them

    Yonmei in particular did exactly that in this thread and the last, hence the pushback.

  104. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable May 1, 2011 at 10:08 am |

    Lara Emily Foley: and complain that this [post] is about a hat and only a hat is [reasonable]

    Fixed that for you.

  105. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 1, 2011 at 10:08 am |

    Zuzu: You could have talked amongst yourselves.

    We could, but only if the people who wanted this thread to be just about the hats could have refrained from responding to our comments with complaints that we’re not doing it right.

    PrettyAimiable: This is your first comment on this thread about the wedding.

    Yep. Followon from previous thread, where comments I made that were purely about the political aspect of the RW were being ignored or dissed by Americans who felt that we ought to be just gushing.

    Look, I’m sorry this has turned into a meta-thread about what we shouldn’t be saying about the RW. Why not do what Zuzu suggested: gush amongst yourselves, ignore the political comments?

  106. Florence
    Florence May 1, 2011 at 10:11 am |

    Yonmei, considering your comments on Twitter, this on some level appears to be a personal beef.

  107. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley May 1, 2011 at 10:18 am |

    PrettyAmiable: Fixed that for you.

    I just don’t get this, why is it reasonable to expect discussion of a politically charged event for a lot of people to be simply focused on a hat and only a hat. Why should it? It’s not like people have come in here and gone completely left field and stared talking about the upcoming Canadian election or something, no they came in and raised issues they had with the event, this thread is tagged royal Wedding after all, I fail to see the harm, in fact I see a lot of good (I had no idea about some of the rather oppressive policing that was going on until I read about it here) in what’s been raised.

  108. Hugo
    Hugo May 1, 2011 at 10:18 am |

    In the Magician’s Nephew (part of the Narnia series), the character Digory is very surprised to find he’s dragged his unpleasant uncle along on a trip to that enchanted land. Digory expresses his exasperation thus:

    “My hat, what a picnic!”

    I’m off to put on my best May Day sackcloth, read nothing but Gramsci and Fanon, and repent of my faux feminist frivolity.

  109. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley May 1, 2011 at 10:22 am |

    And for the record I’m certainly not saying this hat wasn’t worth a post, the hat is fucking hilarious. I think Jill is fucking hilarious too. I think both lines of discussion can co-exist, we can laugh at the pipedream hat and discuss the socio and economic impact that the Royal Wedding has had on the people of England. That’s the beauty of this site we can snark, we can laugh, we can get angry, we can talk.

  110. Mandolin
    Mandolin May 1, 2011 at 10:26 am |

    I wanted to say thank you to Jill for this post because it prompted me to google image search “Princess Beatrice hat” “Princess Eugenie hat” “Lady Gaga hat” “weird hat” and “silly hat”–all of which were awesome.

  111. Florence
    Florence May 1, 2011 at 10:29 am |

    Lara Emily Foley: It’s not like people have come in here and gone completely left field and stared talking about the upcoming Canadian election or something, no they came in and raised issues they had with the event, this thread is tagged royal Wedding after all, I fail to see the harm, in fact I see a lot of good (I had no idea about some of the rather oppressive policing that was going on until I read about it here) in what’s been raised.

    If this were the argument, no one would disagree with you. Frankly, our issues are right there: we’ve expressed frustration with the characterization of our separate conversation, and later, with the characterization of Americans vs. Brits in general, the wingeing that this isn’t someone’s perfect version of a feminist blog, the willingness to complain about what is addressed without the ambition to see hirself that the desired issues get addressed, at least not without insulting the rest of us, etc etc.

    It’s more than being a “party pooper” as one said above. It’s about taking a jerky, passive-aggressive approach to those of us doing our own thing.

  112. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 10:32 am |

    Yonmei: Why not do what Zuzu suggested: gush amongst yourselves, ignore the political comments?

    You keep using that word, “gushing.” I do not think it means what you think it means.

  113. Florence
    Florence May 1, 2011 at 10:32 am |

    Lara Emily Foley:
    And for the record I’m certainly not saying this hat wasn’t worth a post, the hat is fucking hilarious. I think Jill is fucking hilarious too. I think both lines of discussion can co-exist, we can laugh at the pipedream hat and discuss the socio and economic impact that the Royal Wedding has had on the people of England. That’s the beauty of this site we can snark, we can laugh, we can get angry, we can talk.

    Right — totally! But the beef is that some folks appear to be shaming some of us for snarking and laughing and are calling for more anger and bitterness, and there is rightfully some pushback to that thinking.

  114. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 10:38 am |

    Lara Emily Foley: I just don’t get this, why is it reasonable to expect discussion of a politically charged event for a lot of people to be simply focused on a hat and only a hat. Why should it? It’snot like people have come in here and gone completely left field and stared talking about the upcoming Canadian election or something, no they came in and raised issues they had with the event, this thread is tagged royal Wedding after all, I fail to see the harm, in fact I see a lot of good (I had no idea about some of the rather oppressive policing that was going on until I read about it here) in what’s been raised.

    Sweet fancy Moses. You really aren’t listening, are you?

    There’s no problem with raising issues. There *is* a problem, and has been for years at this place, with demanding that everyone agree with your pet POV or they’re not good feminists. There *is* a problem with acting like an asshole and telling everyone they’re “gushing” and insufficiently serious unless they start talking, right now, about what you want to talk about, regardless of what they were doing before. There *is* a problem with sniveling that Feministe just isn’t providing what you think a feminist blog should.

    You get what you pay for around here.

  115. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley May 1, 2011 at 10:46 am |

    Fair enough I suppose, I’m not really at all interested in furthering this anymore to be honest, no loner are we talking about the hat or even the socio and economic impact of the Wedding now we’re just fighting amongst ourselves again (something I’ve contributed to I admit)

  116. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 10:48 am |

    Well, that only took 117 comments.

  117. Nahida
    Nahida May 1, 2011 at 10:49 am |

    Oh my God. What happened since I was last here?!

  118. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz May 1, 2011 at 10:50 am |

    But if Jill prefers Feministe to be all about the hats in front-page posts, and keep joyless politicking to the comments, there’s no more to be said, is there?

    And I shan’t be back!

    *flounce*

  119. junk
    junk May 1, 2011 at 11:01 am |

    Co-sign this one below. Look, what if, on some British feminist blog, someone wrote a post about what some celebrity wore to the superbowl, and someone brought up all the trafficking issues that surround that event. Would you really want to see them shut down because they were invading on other people’s fun and enjoyment? I agree it is important to disconnect yourself from the horrors of the world sometimes and just laugh at a hat, but some people are more well situated to be disconnected than others depending on what the issue is. I don’t agree with some of the more aggressive comments directed at Jill on this thread, and of course she shouldn’t be expected to know everything that is happening, but a number of us who read this blog, it would seem, are British and feel a lot of anger about this wedding. The hat, yes, is ridiculous, but it’s harder, perhaps, for some of us to laugh about it during all the cuts that are happening right now. I felt the same way when I was in the UK at New Years and they put on this big firework display that must have cost a packet in tax money too.. I feel that an argument about whether the Royals are good or bad for the country (in terms of tourism) is kinda a different issue. Having this wedding right now is just in poor poor taste and shows how disconnected they are from the things people are facing daily. There are worse evils than the royals, of course, but they also deserve critique for this.

    Lara Emily Foley:
    And for the record I’m certainly not saying this hat wasn’t worth a post, the hat is fucking hilarious. I think Jill is fucking hilarious too. I think both lines of discussion can co-exist, we can laugh at the pipedream hat and discuss the socio and economic impact that the Royal Wedding has had on the people of England. That’s the beauty of this site we can snark, we can laugh, we can get angry, we can talk.

  120. junk
    junk May 1, 2011 at 11:07 am |

    And to be clear, any argument that Brits are *better* than americans deserves all the condemnation it gets. I find it super irritating to hear such simplistic arguments when probably a good chunk of the british population is just as excited over this event as people here (I’m a brit, living in the US).

  121. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 1, 2011 at 11:09 am |

    evil fizz: And I shan’t be back!

    Sorry to hear that. May your fizz improve on Monday!

    Oh, were you trying to indicate I should flounce?

    No, my “nothing more to be said” was on the absence of a front-page political post about the RW.

    Lara: now we’re just fighting amongst ourselves again (something I’ve contributed to I admit)

    Me too. Dammit.

    And thanks, Junk: nicely said.

  122. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 1, 2011 at 11:27 am |

    More Royal Wedding links: a group of people singing in a London square on 29th April are arrested by the police. Youtube

    67 people are known to have been subject to pre-crime arrests for the Royal Wedding:

    A total of 55 people were arrested on Friday, not all in relation to republican activity. Nearly two dozen people were arrested on Thursday before most protests had taken place.

    Speaking after his release, Veitch said he had been planning to take his megaphone to Soho Square to protest about wedding expenditure in a time of austerity and had informed the Met about his actions in advance.

    Although described as a political anarchist, Veitch said he was not a “destructive or violent” person and believes that his arrest was sanctioned from high up in the Met.

    “I spent 16 hours in Parkside police station [in Cambridge] in a box-like cell. Then at 10am the next day, the Met police came to Cambridge and took me to Edmonton police station.

    “They never made anyone aware of where I was. To my family, it was like I had been disappeared for the entire duration of the royal wedding.”

  123. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 1, 2011 at 11:36 am |

    Here’s who was invited to the Royal Wedding: The King of Bahrain:

    The king of Bahrain, Hamad al-Khalifa, has blood on his hands after his mercenary security forces – Pakistani, Indian, Syrian and Jordanian – with no previous warning, attacked sleeping, peaceful protesters at 3 am on Thursday at the Pearl roundabout, the tiny Gulf country’s version of Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

    In the brutal crackdown, at least five people have been killed – including a young child – and 2,000 injured, some by gunshots, two of these in critical condition. Riot police targeted doctors and medics and prevented ambulances and blood donors from reaching the Pearl roundabout. A doctor at Salmaniya hospital told al-Jazeera there was a refrigerated truck outside the hospital, which he fears the army has used to remove more dead bodies.

    Here’s who was not invited: neither one of the living Labour ex-Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (while all three of the living Tory PMs were invited: Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and David Cameron were invited):

    The 2011 wedding is an even bigger geo-political state event. More than half the 1,900 guests are political representatives. Julia Gillard, the socialist, feminist, republican(ish) Labour Prime Minister of Australia has flown across the world to be present. So have heads of state, political leaders, top diplomats, and provincial political representatives from the UK.

    So why out of 1,900 seats are there none for Brown and Blair? The Royals don’t do party politics but they are acutely political. They will have noticed that both David Cameron and Nick Clegg make a central part of their conversation with the nation as PM and DPM, a constant, mean-minded, denigration of both Brown and Blair. Cameron even went on the BBC to announce he would personally seek to block Brown becoming the next head of the IMF, if the current incumbent, Dominique Strauss Kahn, leaves this summer to run for president of France.

  124. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz May 1, 2011 at 11:40 am |

    Sorry to hear that. May your fizz improve on Monday!

    Oh, were you trying to indicate I should flounce?

    Are you new around here? The “I shan’t be back!” line is up there with Zuzu hating pilots.

    Look, what if, on some British feminist blog, someone wrote a post about what some celebrity wore to the superbowl, and someone brought up all the trafficking issues that surround that event. Would you really want to see them shut down because they were invading on other people’s fun and enjoyment? I agree it is important to disconnect yourself from the horrors of the world sometimes and just laugh at a hat, but some people are more well situated to be disconnected than others depending on what the issue is.

    You know what? Sure. Because there is a forum for those kinds of things, and just sometimes, it’s nice to have a thread that’s about silliness and frivolity. I don’t think anyone is ignoring the darker side of things, but really, if all you do is think about the darker side, it’s going to be awfully hard to muster the energy to keep wading through all the crap.

    Also, I think that comparing trafficking to crass tourism is a little off.

  125. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley May 1, 2011 at 11:45 am |

    Well shit now I’m back in this. Crass tourism? The stuff that’s been posted is stories about people getting preemptively arrested, as in arrested without actually committing any crimes. The other story has been the discussion about how in the midst of a financial crisis that has seen social programs brutally cut while the British taxpayers are asked to pay upwards of what 20-35 million dollars of tax money to pay for this wedding, that’s hardly just some sort of quibble over crass tourism.

  126. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley May 1, 2011 at 11:46 am |

    Argh it’s too early in the morning. I apologize for the grammar fail

    Point short is we’re talking about tax money used to pay for a superfluous wedding in the midst of a recession and police arresting people for funsies basically. Hardly a story about mere crass tourism.

  127. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. May 1, 2011 at 11:48 am |

    Nahida:
    Oh my God. What happened since I was last here?!

    I think of it as performance art. I’ve tentatively named it “Manners” (a nod to earlier irony AND the classism inherent in a monarchy, weddings and hats). I have some popcorn if you’d like.

  128. Natalia
    Natalia May 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm |

    Why not do what Zuzu suggested: gush amongst yourselves, ignore the political comments?

    Yonmei, honestly now, I raised a number of points wrt the history and the politics of privacy in particular – on the other thread. And I was certainly hoping to talk to rae about the issues that were being used, and to you. Shit, as someone who knows what it’s like to be treated like public property over and over and over again while out on the street, I wrote an entire post about some of the issues we were attempting to discuss – because they’re dear to my heart and, furthermore, I consider them serious, both as a feminist and as someone who works in the media.

    But you were more interested in labeling Kristen J. “goopy” than to address them, as well as interested in establishing “rules of engagement”, i.e. telling people how they should act and feel in regard to the British royal family. Which is something that never goes over well! Or it goes over just as well as someone showing up and saying, “why is THIS on a FEMINIST BLOG?! My eyes!!! They burn!!! BURN from your mindless frivolity!” It’s a tired meme, believe me, I say this as a frequent reader, commenter and guest-blogger here.

    You also just seem to be talking to your own stereotypes of Americans more than actually engaging some of the people on this blog.

  129. Alison
    Alison May 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

    It’s a good thing Jill doesn’t do Friday Random Ten posts anymore, because every single entry would have to be a dissertation-length discussion of sexism in the music industry or else IT WOULD BE THE WORST FAILURE OF FEMINISM EVER IN THE HISTORY OF BLOGGING.

    For the fucking love of fuck.

  130. Alison
    Alison May 1, 2011 at 12:07 pm |

    LOL, Jill – GMTA!

  131. Natalia
    Natalia May 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm |

    I am tempted to put up a post of a puppy and see how long it takes before people start lecturing me on animal cruelty, speciesism, veganism, the horrors of the dog-breeding industry, how I should not talk about cute puppies if I’m not willing to have a conversation about puppy mills, and how I don’t really understand puppies given that I am not a puppy and cannot possibly fathom how I may have upset all of the other puppies by selecting this one as the cutest.

    You forgot bestiality, Jill!

  132. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley May 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm |

    Jill:
    I am tempted to put up a post of a puppy and see how long it takes before people start lecturing me on animal cruelty, speciesism, veganism, the horrors of the dog-breeding industry, how I should not talk about cute puppies if I’m not willing to have a conversation about puppy mills, and how I don’t really understand puppies given that I am not a puppy and cannot possibly fathom how I may have upset all of the other puppies by selecting this one as the cutest.

    Have you ever thought that there’s maybe more to a puppy then how it looks? I mean really, why is it when we talk about puppies we only talk about how cute it is? Should we not talk about what wonderful things puppies have done for society instead of reducing our discussion of them to simply the superficial? Seriously Jill are ugly puppies of less worth to society because they aren’t as stereotypically beautiful as a cute puppy? Is that what you are trying to say here?

    :P :P :P :P

    In all seriousness I apologize to you if anything I have said has made you felt that I’m pressuring you to be more serious, not my intention at all.

  133. Elisabeth
    Elisabeth May 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm |

    Probably. But we’re supposed to be better than the Americans
    I’d say this is the root of the problem. Unabashed superiority complexes never go over well.

    I also think part of the frustration here is there are a few Brits on here saying, “USians are like X” or “USians think X” and when USians respond saying, “no, we don’t” or “no, that’s not what it’s like here” it’s completely ignored. If you don’t live in the US, then don’t tell USians what it’s like here. Believe us, we know better than you. I don’t know where people are getting the idea that USians are super in to the royal wedding. I certainly haven’t met anyone, and it appears from the comments that no one else has either, besides Jill’s semi-ironic party. If it’s from the US media, then let me tell you, our media is often inane and publishes fluff pieces on issues most people don’t really care about. I’d imagine you’d be annoyed if we assumed “The Daily Mail” represented your worldview or the opinion of a majority of British people.

  134. Natalia
    Natalia May 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm |

    P.S. As I understand it, Tony Blair wasn’t invited because the Queen still remembers that “People’s Princess” stuff from way back in the day, when Diana died.

  135. suspect class
    suspect class May 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm |

    Personally, I’m amazed that a bunch of USians are being lectured on the evils of monarchy. That we rubber-neck at the royal family and their frippery doesn’t change the fact that we wised up to the perils of supporting such an institution over two hundred years ago. The fact that anyone thinks we don’t subject our politicians to intense criticism shows a total lack of awareness of politics in the US. Which of course, is fine. No UK citizen is obliged to pay attention to the ins and outs of US political theater. But if you’re uninterested in the reality of how we view our leaders, don’t come making baseless accusations about things of which you clearly know nothing. Particularly given the potshots taken at President Obama, that’s beyond absurd, and well into offensive territory.

  136. chava
    chava May 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm |

    You know, Britain, of all places, BRITAIN, the British empire, the *United Kingdom,* does not get to get on a fucking high horse about “US-centrism.”

    My dear and fluffy lord. I realize you’ve collectively come off it a bit in the last fifty years, but nonetheless. Still one of the most powerful, moneyed, influential and privileged countries in the world. With a lovely habit of looking down on anyone NOT YOU.

    So yeah. The hat is FUNNY. What you do with your monarchy is your own business. It sounds problematic, yeah, though not as problematic as whatever your PM or actual, you know, government is doing meanwhiles.

  137. Ledasmom
    Ledasmom May 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm |

    How dare you, Jill. WHAT ABOUT THE KITTENS?

  138. Elisabeth
    Elisabeth May 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm |

    It makes me angry to think of the UK adopting the US’s notion that the head of state is above criticism. For the US the President may be a man set apart, above the law, the supreme ruler who may not be mocked, but not for us: we’re supposed to have more sense of humour than that, more realism, less respect for the authorities.

    Suspect Class, I’m with you. The sheer backwardness of this statement from all reality amazes me. Besides it coming from someone living in a place with an actual hereditary monarchy, as opposed to one with an elected official in a system the government was purposely, in opposition to the British monarchy, designed as a system of checks and balances, the perversity it exhibits in the face of reality is almost funny if it weren’t so irritating and kind of depressing. Yeah, Obama has *totally* been treated with too much reverence in the US, unlike the Royal family in the UK. I must have forgotten that a large proportion of the UK thinks Queen Elizabeth is a secret Muslim terrorist sleeper agent. I also must have missed it when Prince William had to publish multiple copies of his birth certificate to prove that he was actually a UK citizen, or where people referred to Princess Di as “Charles’s baby mama” with a “fat ass” from eating “too many ribs.”

  139. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm |

    Jill:
    I am tempted to put up a post of a puppy and see how long it takes before people start lecturing me on animal cruelty, speciesism, veganism, the horrors of the dog-breeding industry, how I should not talk about cute puppies if I’m not willing to have a conversation about puppy mills, and how I don’t really understand puppies given that I am not a puppy and cannot possibly fathom how I may have upset all of the other puppies by selecting this one as the cutest.

    Free Monty!

  140. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm |

    Yonmei: Here’s who was not invited: neither one of the living Labour ex-Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (while all three of the living Tory PMs were invited: Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and David Cameron were invited):

    You know who else wasn’t invited? Barack Obama. You’d think he and Michelle would have been given an invite if this were such a US-centric event that only “USians” gave a shit about.

    But maybe they’re big in Bahrain.

  141. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm |

    chava:
    You know, Britain, of all places, BRITAIN, the British empire, the *United Kingdom,* does not get to get on a fucking high horse about “US-centrism.”

    My dear and fluffy lord.I realize you’ve collectively come off it a bit in the last fifty years, but nonetheless.Still one of the most powerful, moneyed, influential and privileged countries in the world. With a lovely habit of looking down on anyone NOT YOU.

    So yeah.The hat is FUNNY.What you do with your monarchy is your own business.It sounds problematic, yeah, though not as problematic as whatever your PM or actual, you know, government is doing meanwhiles.

    Hahaha. No shit. I do love being lectured on jingoism and monarchy by Brits. Especially when part of that “United Kingdom” is Northern Ireland.

  142. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. May 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm |

    Ledasmom:
    How dare you, Jill. WHAT ABOUT THE KITTENS?

    OMG, I am allergic to kittens. Kittens eat people. And no one picks up THEIR poop. I demand you discuss how horrible kittens are.

    Okay sorry…too far…I’ll go back to the popcorn…nom, nom

  143. Saoirse
    Saoirse May 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm |

    maybe this is kind of OTT but perhaps for a lot of progressive brits coverage like this is kind of triggering. people who don’t live here can stop thinking about the royal wedding when it’s over; i’ve tried to be nice about her dress and their cute body language and all that, but it’s still a symbol conspicuous consumption and a horrible reminder of Britain’s class system. Britain is such a scary, sad place to be right now. I can’t stop thinking that the same government that decided to slash the very much needed Disability Living Allowance spent 50 million pounds propping up such privilege. I’m disgusted Tony Blair and Gordan Brown weren’t invited. It says so much about the kind of people our heads of state think matter in this country. so fine, go ahead and make analogies about puppies and laugh at the hats and call me a joyless bitch but you can forget about all this next week. i’ll still be here, knowing that the country I live in right now thinks that the vanity parade of a bunch of in-bred, overpriveleged toffs is more important than supporting the weak.

  144. ellid
    ellid May 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm |

    Classism?

    Yonmei:
    ellid: protesting a wedding with a mock execution is in excruciatingly poor taste.

    Does that mean they deserved to be arrested for planning to do so?

    All three of the people the police identified as ringleaders were arrested on Thursday and kept in police cells overnight, released on Friday sometime.

    Are you seriously arguing that “poor taste” is a crime?

    CassandraSays: Ignoring the derail

    What derail? We’re all discussing the Royal Wedding. Still on topic here.

    No, I’m not saying that poor taste is a crime. However, advocating the execution of the head of state and her family very likely *is* a crime in Britain, just as advocating the assassination of the President is here.

  145. junk
    junk May 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm |

    evil_fizz:

    Also, I think that comparing trafficking to crass tourism is a little off.

    To be clear, though I think someone was already clear on my behalf about this – I was comparing the social, economic and oppressive climate surrounding the wedding (tax cuts, etc which are having a hugely detrimental affect on many people, esp. people who are already poor and oppressed as well as the arrests and oppression of public dissent) to the trafficking that is a part of the climate surrounding the superbowl (that exists there before it but that this event also heightens and exacerbates.)

    Also, I know the Brits started it but does this have to descend into insult swapping between US and UK peeps on here? Both countries are pretty fucked up right now, but both also have amazing, active radical people who are fighting against the fucked-upedness. Sorry to continue along these lines… I know people are frustrated with the way this conversation has gone, but I would say that perhaps this post was triggering for some.

  146. chava
    chava May 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm |

    Upsetting? Yes.

    Even deeply upsetting, insensitive, mean, what have you.

    Triggering?

    Words mean things.

  147. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |

    However, advocating the execution of the head of state and her family very likely *is* a crime in Britain

    No, it’s not.

    It would certainly be a crime to attempt the execution of the head of state or her family (as it would be a crime to attempt any execution of anyone), but it is not a crime to advocate it – certainly not in the form of street theatre. During one particularly unpopular period of Queen Victoria’s reign, mock-news bulletins were advocating that she and Albert should be sent to the Tower on charges of High Treason – for which the penalty was, yes, public execution. While those bulletins certainly annoyed Victoria, they were not illegal.

    The law that allowed these people to be pre-arrested (perhaps: it seems a perfect case for a human rights organisation to challenge) was the Public Order Act, 1986, which allows the senior police officer “at the scene” horribly wide powers to decide to have someone(s) arrested. But it has no connection with any special legislation that you imagine exists protecting the British head of state to some special degree.

    The depiction of a living monarch/living members of the Royal Family used to be made unlawful by means of the censorship of the Lord Chamberlain, but that censorship hasn’t existed for years.

  148. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm |

    Yonmei: The law that allowed these people to be pre-arrested (perhaps: it seems a perfect case for a human rights organisation to challenge) was the Public Order Act, 1986, which allows the senior police officer “at the scene” horribly wide powers to decide to have someone(s) arrested.

    So this isn’t something new at all.

    junk: I would say that perhaps this post was triggering for some.

    The post is two sentences about a hat. If you mean comments, what chava said.

    “Triggering” ceases to mean anything when it’s used as a trump card to shut people up when they say things you simply don’t like. Moreover, if your triggers are that specific, idiosyncratic and esoteric, it’s not really the responsibility of the public at large to anticipate and work around them.

  149. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm |

    zuzu: So this isn’t something new at all.

    It’s the first time I’ve ever heard of the Public Order Act being used to arrest five people who had dressed up as zombies to attend a fun public party, who had left when the party looked like it was turning into trouble, and who were sitting in a Starbucks having coffee when the police walked in … and arrested them on suspicion that they were going to cause trouble. Of course it’s neither the first nor the last time that the police have also taken the opportunity to harass people for being trans in a public place.

    To those of us who live in the UK, and who are activists, this decision to arrest people without evidence they’d done anything wrong but merely because they spoiled the image of a day that was supposed to be alllll about the foofy hats, is … well, say it’s not something I can disregard as lightly as you do.

  150. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines May 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm |

    Zuzu – The law isn’t new, but this useage of it is. Also, this is the police force recently seen at protests pulling people out of wheelchairs and also pushing someone to the ground who later died as a result (complete with a very vague post-mortem), so you’ll understand if we’re somewhat concerned.

  151. Natalia
    Natalia May 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm |

    I would say that perhaps this post was triggering for some.

    I believe we have bingo.

  152. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh May 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm |

    Holy crap, I’m amazed at how this thread has turned out. The main thing I have taken away from it is you just can’t force people to have a conversation they don’t want to have. There’s nothing wrong with criticizing and analyising the British monarchy, empire, etc. but there are some people who have just pushed and pushed and pushed and tried to shame people into having a conversation they can’t or don’t want to have at this moment in time. All that does is breed resentment and ill will and shuts down communication.

    I guess I’m just a working class USian feminist without the education in Gender Studies or other feminism-related studies others may have, but the wedding itself gave me a break from the stress that comes with being a caregiver, with having financial struggles, and with getting a bit closer to finishing community college. I’m glad I haven’t bothered much with the Feministe RW threads these last couple of days because trying to force a conversation people aren’t interested in at this time (I think there are plenty of people here who have the interest and the intellectual chops to have a great discussion about British monarchy and empire, they just don’t seemed to have felt like it the last couple of days) has just looked to have ruined the chances of having a good discussion about the RW period, whether frivolous or serious.

    Poor Jill must have had a major headache the last couple of days.

  153. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm |

    I’m really trying to comprehend why you think the police have never done anything of this sort before. Why do you think this law was passed in the first place? What could possibly have been going on in 1986 that this sort of act might have been passed?

    Safiya Outlines:
    Zuzu – The law isn’t new, but this useage of it is. Also, this is the police force recently seen at protests pulling people out of wheelchairs and also pushing someone to the ground who later died as a result (complete with a very vague post-mortem), so you’ll understand if we’re somewhat concerned.

  154. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm |

    Natalia: I believe we have bingo.

    No kidding. Looks like the strawfeminist is too really real!

  155. Florence
    Florence May 1, 2011 at 5:35 pm |

    zuzu: I’m really trying to comprehend why you think the police have never done anything of this sort before. Why do you think this law was passed in the first place? What could possibly have been going on in 1986 that this sort of act might have been passed?

    Or why it’s cool to advocate that people be killed? Even when they’re political figures?

  156. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm |

    Zuzu: I’m really trying to comprehend why you think the police have never done anything of this sort before.

    I was under the impression you were advocating that the people who want to gush about the foofy hats do that, and leave those of us who want to talk about the politics to talk to each other?

    But never mind. Let’s say you do want to talk about the politics.

    I’ve been on demos in the UK, lawful and unlawful, spontaneous and choreographed, since 1975 (admittedly that one I was taken to by my parents, both anti-nuclear activists since before they married). I’m pretty familiar with police reactions to protesters. As Safiya notes, those of us who are involved with British activism are very aware about how the police have been behaving towards activists – and how our right of peaceful public protest is threatened. I was discussing these arrests at dinner last night with friends, who reacted (as you’d expect in the UK) with the anger of “But what crime had they committed?” not with brushoff of “But the police have done this kind of thing before”.

    Nothing is new. I’ve seen two men arrested for a breach of the peace because they were kissing. But it’s always worth protesting. It’s always worth our anger. It’s never worth just lightly dismissing it.

  157. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. May 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

    Florence: Or why it’s cool to advocate that people be killed?Even when they’re political figures?

    Depends on what you mean by “advocate”…if its a comical street performance like the mockumentary Death of a President (I think that was the title) or other not-actually-intended-to-incite-violence activities…then I say meh…free speech and arresting them for it was unmitigated bullshit.

    But I don’t know whether the protestors were actually attempting to incite violence. Seems unlikely to me tho.

  158. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl May 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm |

    Yonmei, Safiya, just one word.

    I’m from the UK. I’m a feminist and I campaign for a variety of progressive causes.

    I do not accept your definition of the word activist, nor do I very much like the use of the word ‘we’ in this comment relating to policing: “so you’ll understand if WE’re somewhat concerned.”

    There are many ways to be a feminist in the UK, many ways to be an activist. Not all of them will be congruent with your experience and your views of the Royal Family and of the police force and etc. My Mum has been a gay rights campaigner since the 60s but has barely been on a march.

    This UK feminist thinks that silly hats can be talked about on their own terms. *We* are all different. Ta muchly.

  159. Alison
    Alison May 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm |

    If I never hear or see the word “gush” used in a ridiculously wrong way again, I will die a happy woman. For the FUCKING LOVE OF BABY JESUS, no one was gushing. Just drop that fucking shit already.

    And repeatedly using insulting terms to refer to simple discussion of something that’s coded feminine strikes me as a little sexist. It’s as annoying and belittling as the anti-wedding people I’ve seen using the word “obsessed” in regard to anyone who mentioned one fucking word about watching it. “I’d like to watch the wedding” =/= “obsessed”. “That hat is so silly and fun” =/= “gushing”. Buy a fucking dictionary.

    If you have serious points to make, you should be able to do that without INSISTING on using the hyperbolic terminology. This isn’t the fucking E! channel, damn it.

  160. Florence
    Florence May 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm |

    Yonmei, quit trying to make fetch happen.

  161. zuzu
    zuzu May 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm |

    Yonmei: I was under the impression you were advocating that the people who want to gush about the foofy hats do that, and leave those of us who want to talk about the politics to talk to each other?

    There’s that gushing word again. And the mindreading.

    You’re not so great with the vocabulary words, or the mindreading. But you are awfully good at being a jackass. Well done!

    Yonmei: I was discussing these arrests at dinner last night with friends, who reacted (as you’d expect in the UK) with the anger of “But what crime had they committed?” not with brushoff of “But the police have done this kind of thing before”.

    Ooh, and there’s that Empire pride! But again with the incomprehension and complete fail on interpretation. My reason for mentioning that the police have done this before is not to dismiss the actions, but because you had been presenting this as unprecedented. And while the police may well have not arrested zombies before, the law that was used to justify the arrest was passed in 1986. Legislative bodies don’t pass laws they don’t intend to use, and indeed, Britain is hardly a shining beacon of respect for civil rights. At least not when it comes to the wrong sort of people. In that, you hardly rate much better than the U.S., no matter what stories you like to tell yourself.

    But by all means, keep telling yourself that Brittania rules the activism waves. Shame that you can’t seem to rid yourself of a monarchy that no one there actually wants.

  162. Florence
    Florence May 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm |

    Kristen J.: Depends on what you mean by “advocate”…if its a comical street performance like the mockumentary Death of a President (I think that was the title) or other not-actually-intended-to-incite-violence activities…then I say meh…free speech and arresting them for it was unmitigated bullshit.

    Oh totally.

    But I don’t know whether the protestors were actually attempting to incite violence. Seems unlikely to me tho.

    I doubt it too, but I tend to sneer at agitation for the sake of agitation.

    I’m not sure what the exact circumstances were here, but I get very impatient when groups stage purposefully incendiary public performance without clear goals and purpose other than to disrupt (like the Phelps crew) and advocate/illustrate violence against others, especially in areas like London where public violence is no small threat.

  163. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 May 1, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    Evidence that people take things too far.

  164. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm |

    As a Brit (who lives in America), can I just point out how hilarious it is to see people making the argument that we should be talking about how horrible the history of the British empire is (colonialism, racism, repressive police force, etc) while at the very same time arguing that Brits are “supposed” to be “better” than Americans?

    I mean God knows I have my issues with Americans, but I do feel that a little reflection of the complete picture of what one is saying might be in order here. Yes, fellow Brits, we are so much better than Americans, as demonstrated by our racism, history of colonialism and imperialist intervention in multiple continents, shitty Metropolitan police force, and dimwitted royal family so clearly proves. Rule Brittania – we sure are awesome.

    (Oh dear, am I being snarky and unserious again. Bad feminist – no cookie for me.)

  165. el
    el May 1, 2011 at 11:21 pm |

    A serious, very good discussion on the topic of Britain, royalty, etc:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2011/4/29/johann_hari_frenzy_around_britains_royal

  166. PeggyLuWho
    PeggyLuWho May 2, 2011 at 3:10 am |

    chava:
    Upsetting?Yes.

    Even deeply upsetting, insensitive, mean, what have you.

    Triggering?

    Words mean things.

    Thank you.

  167. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 2, 2011 at 3:42 am |

    I mean God knows I have my issues with Americans, but I do feel that a little reflection of the complete picture of what one is saying might be in order here. Yes, fellow Brits, we are so much better than Americans, as demonstrated by our racism, history of colonialism and imperialist intervention in multiple continents, shitty Metropolitan police force, and dimwitted royal family so clearly proves. Rule Brittania – we sure are awesome.

    Thanks for translating British snark into US-comprehensible terms.

    Actually, more seriously, I apologise for the “we’re supposed to be better” comment. Yes, I meant it as funny-snark: but yes, when snark manages to offend everyone, You’re Doing It Wrong. I did intend to be funny-offensive, and I just managed to be offensive, and I’m sorry for that. I apologise.

  168. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 2, 2011 at 3:56 am |

    I kind of feel like at this point we need a movie like Team America World Police for the UK. Except in addition to troops and bombs the UK will of course also send an entire army of civil servants.

  169. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 2, 2011 at 4:08 am |

    Addendum – Also upper class twits. Clearly we’re going to need some of those.

    I do sort of feel like part of this issue in this thread has been the two countries separated by a common language issue. Like the whole “gushing” thing. What may sound like gushing to a Brit is just kind of how Americans speak – the way in which the two cultures use the same language is really quite different. Or at least I’m hoping that’s where the “gushing” interpretation came from, because otherwise I’m totally baffled as to how anyone could have interpreted “look at that funny hat” as “yay monarchy, long may you continue to live by sucking the blood of the commoners”.

  170. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 2, 2011 at 9:24 am |

    I think because in the UK it is inescapably political.

    Look, if Will Anyone had wanted to marry Kate Anyway, and they’d registered at their local registry office and gone down and had their ceremony and got legally wed, total cost £110, that’s a private matter between two people. If it turns into a bigger kind of party and the parents are stumping up to pay for it, that’s still between two families.

    But if William Mountbatten-Windsor had done that (with Kate Middleton or with any one else – but especially if that “any one else” had been a man or a Catholic woman) it would have been a major political legal upheaval, because of who he is.

    Kate Middleton’s parents are in the kind of income bracket where parents often start a trust fund to pay for their daughter’s wedding and expect it to cost thousands: Kate’s parents didn’t pay a penny, because we footed the bill, and it cost millions.

    Suppose you were a regular reader of a British feminist blog and in January 2005 one of the main posters had done a post about Bush’s Second Inauguration, admitting that she planned to watch it, discussing what kind of dress Laura Bush would wear, speculating on the shininess of Jenna and Barbara Bush’s hair, what kind of shoes and hats would be worn, what parties they’d be going to, &c. Suppose that various plans for peaceful protest at the Capitol were being shut down by pre-arrests. Suppose you and a couple of other Americans began commenting, pointing out the political aspects of the inauguration, Bush’s first and thoughts about his second term, linking to reports that protest was being quelled. Suppose that the British commenters on the blog reacted with annoyance, declaring that there was nothing unfeminist about an interest in dresses and hats and parties, and they’re not gushing over Bush, they just like the hats.

    There you’d have the conflict between two groups of people.

    zuzu: You know who else wasn’t invited? Barack Obama.

    Yes. Which would have been significant in the same way as Blair and Brown not being invited, if the Royal Family had invited George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush but had not invited Obama and Clinton.

  171. zuzu
    zuzu May 2, 2011 at 10:55 am |

    Your snark-o-meter needs calibrating, pumpkin.

  172. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. May 2, 2011 at 11:00 am |

    Yonmei,

    In all seriousness…you do recognize that most people here were gently *mocking* the hat and the wedding itself right? Mockery=gushing.

  173. Mandolin
    Mandolin May 2, 2011 at 11:20 am |

    Aw. I don’t want to mock the hat. I have considered this not-very-carefully and decided that if I was expected to wear hats in public, I would hope to brave enough to be totally ridiculous. (“Hope” to be brave enough because, e.g., I have to wear clothes in public, and I am totally not brave enough to be totally ridiculous about those.)

    Plus she wore this hat which is made of win: http://www.flickr.com/photos/catrocks/2528688295/

    I know this isn’t the angle that this thread’s analysis is going exactly, but it seems like fashion is always going to be fraught, even when the person wearing it isn’t a princess. (Ha. It still amuses me that some people are really actual princesses. WTF, world? Why do you sometimes resemble a fantasy novel?) Anyway, fashion as it currently exists, inherently encompasses these ugly things about class privilege and sexism and body policing, often expressed as good taste and what’s allowed to fall in or outside of it.

    But I don’t know. I think it’s also good to look at clothes as art. It’s a problem that only certain people have access to this art, but I still appreciate the whimsy of seeing someone–especially someone who (at least from the USian perspective) is supposed to be invested with Lots of Seriousness–wear fallopian tubes on her head.

  174. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm |

    Zuzu: Your snark-o-meter needs calibrating, pumpkin.

    Thank you for letting me know, sweetie-pie.

    Kristen: In all seriousness…you do recognize that most people here were gently *mocking* the hat and the wedding itself right?

    In all seriousness, do suggest you read my previous comment (175, 5.2.2011 at 9:24 am). Then maybe we can talk. Or not. I don’t think it really matters now till Harry does a remake.

  175. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. May 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

    Yonmei: In all seriousness, do suggest you read my previous comment (175, 5.2.2011 at 9:24 am). Then maybe we can talk. Or not. I don’t think it really matters now till Harry does a remake.

    Then why the fuck do you keep talking about *gushing*. Seriously. Its freaking annoying.

  176. Filling the Gaps | Freelance and Blogger Jobs World

    […] In my world, the way I learned activism, if you see a gap you don’t stand around pointing at the gap and complaining that no one else has filled it for you yet. You FILL THE FUCKING GAP. -Florence. […]

  177. zuzu
    zuzu May 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm |

    Yonmei: Suppose you were a regular reader of a British feminist blog and in January 2005 one of the main posters had done a post about Bush’s Second Inauguration, admitting that she planned to watch it, discussing what kind of dress Laura Bush would wear, speculating on the shininess of Jenna and Barbara Bush’s hair, what kind of shoes and hats would be worn, what parties they’d be going to, &c. Suppose that various plans for peaceful protest at the Capitol were being shut down by pre-arrests. Suppose you and a couple of other Americans began commenting, pointing out the political aspects of the inauguration, Bush’s first and thoughts about his second term, linking to reports that protest was being quelled. Suppose that the British commenters on the blog reacted with annoyance, declaring that there was nothing unfeminist about an interest in dresses and hats and parties, and they’re not gushing over Bush, they just like the hats.

    Suppose I acted like a jackass throughout. Why, yes, I’d expect to be greeted with annoyance.

    Reading comprehension: it’s what’s for dinner.

  178. Elisabeth
    Elisabeth May 2, 2011 at 6:49 pm |

    Yonmei:
    If at Bush’s inauguration, Jenna Bush wore what look liked fallopian tubes on her head, and Jill wrote a brief post pointing that out, I don’t think any USian, no matter how Bush-hating, would berate her for not writing a “serious” post outlining all the evils Bush had committed. Even if you dislike something, or have a huge problem with something, you don’t have to mention all your grievances with something every time you mention something tangibly related to it.

    FYI, I personally think the British monarchy are a bunch of inbred parasites who should be turned out of Buckingham Palace. I read “The Queen and I” as a teenager and really enjoyed it. That doesn’t mean I can’t also appreciate the sublime ridiculousness of that hat, nor make lighthearted jokes about it. No one is say that you have to make jokes about it too, but it is kind of rude to then choose to comment on this solely to berate everyone else for being monarchy-loving sycophants. If you want to talk at length about the evils of monarchy, you should ask Jill if you can do a guest post.

  179. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 2, 2011 at 9:19 pm |

    See, Yonmei, that’s the thing – I wouldn’t care much in your proposed scenario. I certainly wouldn’t feel the need to leave nasty comments accusing other people of gushing (especially if they were being as snarky as they consistently have been here – Yuzu is correct, you seem to be having a problem with interpreting other people’s tone). For many reasons, not least of which is that I generally don’t expect people to fully comprehend something as complex as another country’s class system and what it means to people who actually live there if they have never lived there themselves.

    But mostly because I can generally recognise snark and mockery when I see it, and I don’t think every attempt at snark needs a 15 paragraph disclaimer about how yes, there are also serious issues associated with the thing being mocked, and here are those issues.

    (In other words, see Jill’s long post from today.)

  180. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 2, 2011 at 9:21 pm |

    (I mean, just as an example, how many non-Brits do you think are going to fully be able to interpret Carole Middleton’s place in the British class system and what that means in all of this? I’m betting close to zero, and that doesn’t mean they’re bad or stupid or uncaring people, it just means they’re not British.)

  181. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh May 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm |

    Yonmei, there has actually been a couple of events that are kind of analogous. President Bush’s daughter Jenna got married in 2008, and President Clinton’s daughter Chelsea got married in 2010.

    And you know what?

    There were people on the American left who despise GWB or who had their issues with Bill Clinton, but at the end of the day they were quite capable of admitting that both Jenna Bush and Chelsea Clinton looked lovely and happy on their respective wedding days. If their dislike was too strong for that, then they just didn’t bother. And no one I knew of pushed and prodded and bullied people into talking about how horrible the Bush Administration was when they simply wanted to make the observation that Jenna Bush looked great at her wedding.

  182. zuzu
    zuzu May 2, 2011 at 11:56 pm |

    Annaleigh: Yuzu is correct

    That is an *awesome* typo. I’m a small Japanese citrus fruit!

  183. zuzu
    zuzu May 2, 2011 at 11:57 pm |

    Aaannnd, I clicked the wrong link. CassandraSays, not Annaleigh. Sorry!

  184. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh May 3, 2011 at 12:00 am |

    zuzu: Aaannnd, I clicked the wrong link. CassandraSays, not Annaleigh. Sorry!

    LOL, it’s ok. :)

  185. Alphabet
    Alphabet May 3, 2011 at 12:11 am |

    Hats: Feminist fun or Satan’s headgear? More at eleven.

  186. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 3, 2011 at 1:08 am |

    Zuzu – Sorry! Apparently I was hungry.

  187. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 3, 2011 at 7:46 am |

    Anna: Yonmei, there has actually been a couple of events that are kind of analogous. President Bush’s daughter Jenna got married in 2008, and President Clinton’s daughter Chelsea got married in 2010.

    Jenna Bush, okay – if you’re presuming that she will become President in her turn like her father and grandfather before her, (as William will become head of state in turn like his father will, his grandmother is, his great-grandfather and his great-great-grandfather was…) Are you? Was she given a seat in the Senate to celebrate the occasion of her marriage (William got made a Duke), and did she have to get legal approval from the Oval Office (William had to get Crown approval) to marry the man who will someday become First Dude because he married the heir to the Presidency of the United States? Is this the kind of analogy you’re thinking of?

    William’s marriage was a state occasion. Just like an inauguration. Indeed, although it does not represent the beginning of his reign, it is a political step towards it. The likelihood of a Republic goes down if he and Kate have children who can inherit in turn (which they couldn’t, if Kate had children by William outside marriage or within a marriage not formally legally approved by the Crown).

    CassandraSays I generally don’t expect people to fully comprehend something as complex as another country’s class system and what it means to people who actually live there if they have never lived there themselves.

    This isn’t a complex class system, it’s a part of the British political system that is dead easy to understand: Elizabeth II is the head of state because she inherited from her father, George VI, as he had no sons. Her oldest son will be head of state in turn when Elizabeth dies, and William will become head of state in turn when his father dies. Kate and William’s eldest son (if they have a son) will become head of state when William dies.

    How complicated is that?

    how many non-Brits do you think are going to fully be able to interpret Carole Middleton’s place in the British class system and what that means in all of this?

    Carole Middleton’s religion is more relevant to the political issue than her class. Luckily for Kate Middleton, both her parents are C of E.

  188. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 3, 2011 at 8:08 am |

    And because the American president, like the British monarch, doesn’t actually run the country, and his role as head of state is purely ceremonial…wait.

    Really, you’re grasping at straws here.

  189. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 3, 2011 at 8:14 am |

    Cassandra, I thought you genuinely didn’t get it that there’s no analogy between the state wedding of the future head of state to his formally-approved future queen, and the marriage of the daughter of a former elected (well, more or less!) head of state. So I took the time to explain why your analogy was flawed. Now you may still not care, but you’re much better informed.

  190. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub May 3, 2011 at 8:20 am |

    Alphabet:
    Hats:Feminist fun or Satan’s headgear?

    Both!

  191. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub May 3, 2011 at 8:27 am |

    Oh, fuck. You know? I’m popping some corn and watching the goddamn performance art. I missed the wedding–intentionally, I don’t give a flying fuck about any royal family, and don’t keep up with similar shit about celebs and dignitaries here–but really, the epic trainwreck that is this thread is far more O.o inspiring than Beatrice’s hat.

  192. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. May 3, 2011 at 8:35 am |

    Passes the popcorn to Sheelzebub. So what do you think for a title?

  193. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub May 3, 2011 at 8:57 am |

    Kristen J.:
    Passes the popcorn to Sheelzebub.So what do you think for a title?

    “Satan’s Headgear” for the win!

  194. maribelle1963
    maribelle1963 May 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm |

    “For the US the President may be a man set apart, above the law, the supreme ruler who may not be mocked, but not for us:”

    ? You for real? We can (and do) mock the living shit out of the president, 24/7. We just can’t threaten to kill him without getting a visit from the Secret Service to determine our intent.

    Don’t write opinions about things you don’t have a clue about, please.

  195. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm |

    Yonmei – Can I just point out that you were the one who initially made the analogy between a royal wedding and the wedding of a President’s daughter (Jenna Bush to be precise)? People are responding to your analogy. If you now think that it’s not a very good one, well, you are correct. But it was you who proposed that analogy in the first place, so you have only yourself to blame for the subsequent fact that it’s not a very good fit.

    (But feel free to keep assuming that everyone else is just kind of stupid. As you can see, that attitude continues to win you friends and allies and persuade people to take your point of view more seriously.)

  196. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh May 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm |

    CassandraSays: Yonmei – Can I just point out that you were the one who initially made the analogy between a royal wedding and the wedding of a President’s daughter (Jenna Bush to be precise)? People are responding to your analogy. If you now think that it’s not a very good one, well, you are correct. But it was you who proposed that analogy in the first place, so you have only yourself to blame for the subsequent fact that it’s not a very good fit. (But feel free to keep assuming that everyone else is just kind of stupid. As you can see, that attitude continues to win you friends and allies and persuade people to take your point of view more seriously.)

    Actually no, to be honest, I was the one who brought up Jenna Bush’s wedding. But Yonmei brought up the second Bush inauguration so it’s funny that now all of a sudden events with the First Family can’t be compared with the Royal Family. It’s true that Jenna Bush might not ever become PofUSA but there have been two Bush presidents, and the first Bush president seems to think that more of his relatives can and should be president despite the fact that the country is still trying to recover from eight years of his son’s control. People tend to reference the UK’s royal family when talking about the Bush family’s desire for more Bush PsofUSA. So I think it’s an apt comparison enough.

  197. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm |

    @ Annaleigh – Actually someone just made a point at the end of the filling the gaps thread that addresses my personal frustration with Yonmei’s argument quite nicely. (It’s comment 282, if you can believe.) Basically, it seems to be a demand that Americans feel the same way about the royal wedding as (some) Brits do, and that this be reflected in any posts they make about the wedding. And that’s just not a reasonable request.

    And, when asked if they would in fact feel the same about say a Bush daughter’s big expensive celebration and British indifference to it, the overwhelming response from Americans was “no”. So I really think the key problem in this particular thread meltdown is the refusal of (some, very few) Brits to acknowledge that Americans just aren’t very likely to share their gut feelings about the British royal family and their role in our state.

    (But no, the Bush family aren’t a good comparison for the British royals. Not unless we actually start paying the bills for the whole family in perpetuity and pass a law saying that they are granted the presidency forever and no one else may have it. And make them heads of our newly created official state religion.)

  198. junk
    junk May 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm |

    le sigh. OK. “triggering” was the wrong word. Sorry.

  199. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh May 3, 2011 at 6:52 pm |

    CassandraSays: @ Annaleigh – Actually someone just made a point at the end of the filling the gaps thread that addresses my personal frustration with Yonmei’s argument quite nicely. (It’s comment 282, if you can believe.) Basically, it seems to be a demand that Americans feel the same way about the royal wedding as (some) Brits do, and that this be reflected in any posts they make about the wedding. And that’s just not a reasonable request. And, when asked if they would in fact feel the same about say a Bush daughter’s big expensive celebration and British indifference to it, the overwhelming response from Americans was “no”. So I really think the key problem in this particular thread meltdown is the refusal of (some, very few) Brits to acknowledge that Americans just aren’t very likely to share their gut feelings about the British royal family and their role in our state. (But no, the Bush family aren’t a good comparison for the British royals. Not unless we actually start paying the bills for the whole family in perpetuity and pass a law saying that they are granted the presidency forever and no one else may have it. And make them heads of our newly created official state religion.)

    Thank for the correction. I wasn’t taking into consideration of the fact that UK taxpayers are basically supporting the royals when I made my presidential wedding point, and I’m sorry about that. And I’ll have to go back to the Filling the Gaps thread and look at it again. Sounds like the commenter there made a really good point, Brits and USians are coming from different perspectives and it’s unfair to expect each other to conform to something that we just can’t conform to.

  200. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm |

    Cassandra an I just point out that you were the one who initially made the analogy between a royal wedding and the wedding of a President’s daughter (Jenna Bush to be precise)?

    No, I wasn’t. I made the analogy between the Royal Wedding of the eventual head of state, and the inauguration of a US President. Both could be blogged about strictly apolitically – just the dresses and the hats – but getting mad at people for bringing the politics?

    People tend to reference the UK’s royal family when talking about the Bush family’s desire for more Bush PsofUSA. So I think it’s an apt comparison enough.

    Well, there are families like the Bush clan everywhere – rich, privileged, inherited a lot of money, indifferent to those with less, believing that power and privilege is only what they deserve. They’re part of the top 1% who own 90% of the world’s wealth.

    As are the Windsor clan, of course. Members of the Windsor clan have and do get married without it being a huge state occasion – some of them are Catholic/have married Catholics and so are not even in line to the throne anymore, and many are too far off inheriting for the various political forces to need to take any interest in them. Prince Andrew’s marriage to Sarah Ferguson was a Royal Wedding because Andrew is fourth in line to inheirit the monarchy: Edward’s and Anne’s weren’t, because they’re too far from the line of inheritance – the “heir and spare” rule applies, and Edward and Anne aren’t even spares.

    You can blog about big controversial state occasions as if they were apolitical, all about the dresses and the hats. But that in itself is a political choice.

  201. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm |

    And see, I do think that the fact that the British people are supporting the royal family like they’re a giant group of fancy military uniform-clad leeches is one that is worth addressing. It’s just that the way it was addressed here has been, well, highly problematic. In part because, no, it isn’t reasonable to just assume that Americans would be aware of all the issues involved and take them into account when commenting on a princess’s daft looking hat. I’ve lived in America for nearly 15 years and I’m pretty sure there are some things that Americans feel strongly about that are still a bit baffling to me, so I tend to extend them the same courtesy that I’d like to receive when it comes to having a deep understanding of issues that are important to Brits.

  202. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm |

    Basically, it seems to be a demand that Americans feel the same way about the royal wedding as (some) Brits do, and that this be reflected in any posts they make about the wedding. And that’s just not a reasonable request.

    Actually, it’s a demand that Americans should recognise that the way Brits feel about the Royal Wedding is at least equally valid to the way Americans feel about it – that scorn and rudeness to Brits discussing British politics in a post about a British political event is inappropriate: but goodness, isn’t that an unreasonable request to make?

  203. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 3, 2011 at 7:05 pm |

    Cassandra: It’s just that the way it was addressed here has been, well, highly problematic.

    Joy. The “tone” argument.

  204. Elisabeth
    Elisabeth May 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm |

    Um…I don’t want to dive back in, but I actually addressed the inauguration metaphor BEFORE Cassandra mentioned Jenna Bush’s wedding? (comment 182) I guess you can *ignore* me if that’s convenient, but this is not the first time I’ve commented and people have just freakin’ ignored it. It’s really irritating.

    Other than that, I’ll stand back and watch the show.

  205. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm |

    Yonmei – I’m a Brit, and I don’t feel the same way you do about this. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only Brit who’s said that, too, so why do you keep insisting that you = all British people?

  206. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 4, 2011 at 1:52 am |

    Elisabeth: If at Bush’s inauguration, Jenna Bush wore what look liked fallopian tubes on her head, and Jill wrote a brief post pointing that out, I don’t think any USian, no matter how Bush-hating, would berate her for not writing a “serious” post outlining all the evils Bush had committed.

    But would any USian, no matter how hat-loving, think it a matter for scorn and scoffing if people were commenting in the inauguration post about the political ills of the Bush regime, and complain that Inaugueration Day is really just about sharing the happiness, why are you harshing our squee with talk of politics?

    Cassandra: I’m a Brit, and I don’t feel the same way you do about this.

    You’re not me: and you’re a Brit who’s lived in the US for the past 15 years (I think you said?) I wouldn’t expect that you would. We’ve discussed the tone argument in the meta-thread, haven’t we?

  207. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays May 4, 2011 at 2:03 am |

    Sigh again. Saying “you do not get to speak for all British people” is not a tone argument. It’s a statement of fact. And most of my family are still in the UK – they have a mixed set of reactions to the wedding too, and not all of them would agree with you. I’ve received several cloyingly cute “oh wasn’t it lovely?” messages about the wedding, in fact, and many relatives seem a little confused as to why I didn’t want to watch it. Which, again, is an illustration of why it’s not a good idea to generalise this conversation to Brits versus those silly clueless Americans. It seems like the actively anti-royalist segment of the British population is currently at about 25% or so. I expect it to rise significantly if Charles doesn’t abdicate, though. Even the most fawningly pro-royalty people don’t seem to like him very much. And like it or not, whether or not people personally like or dislike the members of the royal family actually is part of the debate about their future.

  208. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines May 4, 2011 at 3:43 am |

    Look, the point we’re raising isn’t just about the Royal bloody Family, it’s about a gross misuse of public money at a time when public services and benefits are being slashed in a manner that is having a huge impact on women (especially lone mothers) and people with disabilities. Disability Living Allowance is being massively cut and people with disabilities are being expected to go through ever more demanding and demeaning tests to obtain it.

    Yet, the response has been:

    1)Tone argument

    2)I’m not British so I don’t care and you can’t make me.

    Btw, there is plenty of real life activism happening to combat this, there’s been big Union marches, protests, UK Uncut is a huge movement protesting corporate tax avoidance etc. So we’re not looking for some online magic wand waving. However, a bit of solidarity wouldn’t go amiss instead of endless snark.

    I understand that Feministe is a US based blog. There are lots of issues discussed that aren’t as critical in the UK, namely abortion rights, access to birth control an so on. But I still care about these issues, and I’d like to think that I had your back, so to speak. If there’s a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, I’d donate, if (for whatever reason) there needed to be a protest in the UK to support your rights, I’d go. Because it’s important and I’d want for you what I’d want for myself. Is it so hard to do the same for us?

  209. Elisabeth
    Elisabeth May 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm |

    Yonmei:
    Awesome! Glad you know more about me and my country than I do.

    Safiya Outlines:
    Some (probably not a huge amount) of Americans are quite aware of what is going on in the UK right now. Many of us read/listen to the BBC; blogs run by Brits; other European newspapers, etc. Many people on this thread *completely agree with you.* I didn’t watch the wedding for that exact reason: the opulence at the taxpayers expense exhibited during one of the worst attacks on social services in the UK made me feel ill. The problem is, this thread was so full of fail, beginning with outrageous, essentialist, and insulting claims, that any hopes of a serious conversation were totally destroyed. The “you’re all inferior monarchy-loving idiots, talk about this now!” approach doesn’t go over well, and in fact, means that even people who agree with you (I mean, not just you specifically, but rather the generic you) will distance themselves, or refuse to engage. Also, the whole post was making a *mockery* of the ridiculous hat. It wasn’t deadly serious, but neither was it a, “ooh, isn’t her dress beautiful!!” type of post either. How anyone though that saying a hat looked like fallopian tubes was a giant compliment is really beyond me.

    Ok. I’m REALLY done now :)

  210. zuzu
    zuzu May 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm |

    Yonmei: scorn and rudeness to Brits discussing British politics in a post about a British political event is inappropriate

    Scorn and rudeness isn’t exactly the best way to raise British politics, either, and yet you did just that.

  211. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm |

    Zuzu: Scorn and rudeness isn’t exactly the best way to raise British politics, either, and yet you did just that.

    “For fucking real. Also, how feminist is it to tell a woman what she can and cannot write? You’re punishing other women for their self-expression. Find a new goddamn blog to hang out at if you don’t like the content here. ” Comment 60 in the Awaiting the Royal Wedding Thread

    “This isn’t about ‘blog etiquette.’ This is about you not taking responsibility for your attempts to feminist-shame others. It’s something that happens frequently here, and on other blogs, because readers develop feelings for the blog and extend that into feelings of ownership over the bloggers. It’s wrong, and it’s damaging.”

    “Moreover, you’re quite free to raise any damn points you see are lacking in the comments — look at what Safiya Outlinesi did just above this one! You want a discussion, start one your own damn self.”

    And don’t accuse others of scorn and rudeness when your own behavior in the Royal Wedding thread in response to others bringing the politics was … not exactly polite or respectful.

  212. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm |

    Elisabeth: Awesome! Glad you know more about me and my country than I do.

    Why, thank you for your gracious response. I’m happy you’re pleased with the lengthy reply to your comment, since you specifically asked me to express my views.

  213. zuzu
    zuzu May 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm |

    You were the one who came into the thread telling everyone they weren’t discussing what you wanted them to discuss, and upbraided everyone for not immediately ceasing to talk about hats and instead talk about what you wanted to talk about.

    I certainly did treat you with rudeness and scorn. I don’t deny it. But my dear, you brought it upon yourself with the way you acted. The way you’re still acting. And you haven’t listened to anything anyone’s told you about why you got the reception you did, have you?

  214. tigtog
    tigtog May 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm |

    Yonmei:
    Members of the Windsor clan have and do get married without it being a huge state occasion – some of them are Catholic/have married Catholics and so are not even in line to the throne anymore, and many are too far off inheriting for the various political forces to need to take any interest in them. Prince Andrew’s marriage to Sarah Ferguson was a Royal Wedding because Andrew is fourth in line to inheirit the monarchy: Edward’s and Anne’s weren’t, because they’re too far from the line of inheritance – the “heir and spare” rule applies, and Edward and Anne aren’t even spares.

    Actually, Anne’s first wedding was a full State occasion at Westminster Abbey. Her second wedding wasn’t one only because it was exactly that: her second marriage while her first husband is still living, thus had to be performed by the Church of Scotland rather than the Church of England, thus no State pomp. Edward’s wedding was a State occasion also, just at Windsor Castle rather than in London – they had the hundreds of guests, including foreign dignitaries, and the ride through cheering crowds in an open carriage.

    This is all easily googleable, which is how I checked the details simply because your claim didn’t seem to be quite what I vaguely remembered at the time. The conspicious consumption quotient of these weddings remains enormous, and it’s not in fact quite as limited as your comment suggests.

    You can blog about big controversial state occasions as if they were apolitical, all about the dresses and the hats. But that in itself is a political choice.

    Snarking about a hat can sometimes just be a safety valve, and can be useful on that level without indicating some deep and dreadful lack of political awareness. The blindingly obvious fact that “high fashion” is utterly absurdly impractical as part of its status-display function is an aspect of class politics that maybe doesn’t really need to be spelled out in large letters every single time it’s mocked.

  215. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 5, 2011 at 1:45 am |

    zuzu: You were the one who came into the thread telling everyone they weren’t discussing what you wanted them to discuss

    Actually, I was the one you complimented for raising substantive points (which you ignored in favour of berating rae, since rae was your hate-target at that time – I only turned into your target after rae quit the discussion). Sweetie, did you seriously expect you could be as mean as you liked and no one would ever be rude and scornful back at you for your behaviour? How long is it since you stopped being the Cordelia of your high school?

    Tigtog, thanks for correcting me. I wasn’t old enough when Anne got married the first time to remember it, and I assumed (fatal error!) that her first marriage had been like her second. I have no idea how I could have managed to forget Edward’s marriage: a merciful providence must have wiped it out of my mind.

  216. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub May 5, 2011 at 5:42 am |

    Snarking about a hat can sometimes just be a safety valve, and can be useful on that level without indicating some deep and dreadful lack of political awareness. The blindingly obvious fact that “high fashion” is utterly absurdly impractical as part of its status-display function is an aspect of class politics that maybe doesn’t really need to be spelled out in large letters every single time it’s mocked.

    This.

  217. Lynsey
    Lynsey May 5, 2011 at 10:04 am |

    What I see here is a bunch of folk who are unwilling to consider that flippant style comment on the royal wedding, and telling people who actually live in the UK “oh it’s fine, we just enjoy it IRONICALLY, or it’s just SILLY”, is not only annoying, but incredibly politically insensitive given the massive amount of pre-emptive arrests to stop anyone ‘spoiling’ it by daring to protest, and the huge amounts of moeny being thrown at the ruling classes while the rest of us plebs are just supposed to accept everything being cut.

    I have friends and comrades who were not just pre-emptively arrested for this, but I myself and many others have been the target in the last year or so of complete political policing in my own city of Glasgow. The pish around the royal wedding is just the latest extension of this. The attitude I’ve found on the net from USians, though, is one that basically says I should stop moaning and taking it too seriously, and telling me again and again just how silly a bit of fun it is. THAT is US-centric in the extreme when we’re the ones actually facing the arrests and massive spending cuts.

    So get off your high horses about how nasty or derailing or demanding people against it have been in this thread, and have a word with yourselves.

  218. zuzu
    zuzu May 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm |

    Yonmei: Actually, I was the one you complimented for raising substantive points (which you ignored in favour of berating rae, since rae was your hate-target at that time – I only turned into your target after rae quit the discussion).

    You seem to have a problem distinguishing between this thread and the last one on this subject. My compliment to you was on the last thread. You entered *this* thread with guns blazing, making all the same mistakes rae made in the other thread, and then compounding it all with really damn stupid claims that it’s only Americans who care about the royal wedding and we’re somehow keeping you chained to your monarchy.

    A monarchy you don’t seem to know a whole hell of a lot about, given that you just got pwned on easily-googlable royal wedding history by an Aussie.

  219. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 6, 2011 at 3:50 am |

    Lynsey: I think the problem is that Americans, who are facing their own problems with police, protests, and cuts, perceived the Royal Wedding (as Sheel eagerly grasps on to) as a nice safety valve for them to forget about their problems and just gush over the hats. That the RW is a problem in itself for those of us actually living in the UK, is not something they have to think about.

    It’s a classic example of what I called the politics of indifference

    One aspect of privilege is that you do not have to be aware of being privileged. If something is set up to convenience members of a privileged group, members of the group privileged will often react with anger and hostility to any reminder that the way things have been set up is not “just how things are”: that arrangements have been purposefully made to convenience members of the privileged group, with – at best – complete indifference as to how this may inconvenience people outside the privileged group. It should be fairly obvious why this is: if this is “just how things are” then they will not change: everything will always go on as it now is. If you acknowledge that “how things are” is a purposeful arrangement made to convenience some people and inconveniencing others, the question necessarily arises: why are some people deserving of convenience, while others are not?

    Zuzu’s temper-tantrum that I’m treating two threads about the RW as one discussion, and refusing to play by her rule that I ought to just ignore her nastiness in the previous thread and let her start withg a clean slate in this one, seems to be another example of privilege in action – Zuzu thinks her rules ought to be mine, and gets cross when I don’t follow them.

  220. Kite
    Kite May 7, 2011 at 11:06 am |

    Sometimes I just need to laugh/snark. Even at things that are serious and incredibly important to me. I agree, mental health safety valve. Else I cannot deal at all. YMMV.

    The toilet seat hat and the mascara and the lace and that colour – no no no no. Just no. Now I feel better.

  221. Yonmei
    Yonmei May 10, 2011 at 11:25 am |

    Wealth gap: the moral behind the royal wedding:

    Just as David Cameron and Huw Edwards would have wanted, Anthony and his workmates held a get-together to mark the royal wedding. They turned up at the gates of Buckingham Palace a full 24 hours beforehand. Suitably dressed up, they even had signs. Only these ones didn’t have big pictures of Kate and Wills, but focused on things such as their own wages and crappy working conditions. And instead of getting their faces all over the BBC, Anthony’s crew were moved on pretty sharpish by the police.

    As you’ve already guessed, Anthony and his two-dozen-odd colleagues weren’t just another bunch of tourists, descending on London for the big day. They turn up at Buckingham Palace almost every day to do the cleaning. And for months they have been fighting for a modest pay rise.

    Instead of a just-above minimum wage of £6.45 an hour, they would like the London living wage of £7.85. The difference is small change to the royal household, which gets around £15m a year from taxpayers just for upkeep of the palaces. Nor, I imagine, would it make much odds to the firms contracted to do the cleaning. So what would a rise of £1.40 an hour mean to Anthony? “The difference between working two jobs a day – like I do at the moment – and having some time to see my children, or my friends, or going to college.”

    “Did you watch any of the wedding?” I asked Anthony a few days afterwards. “What would I do that for?” That Friday, you see, was a day off, and Anthony uses his days off to catch up on sleep.

    This is part of the Living Wage campaign from Citizens UK.

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