I enjoy reading the Star Tribune.
People seem to be content to receive the news on their phone or just watch it on the TV more than ever nowadays, but for me there’s still something primally satisfying about actually opening up the paper and seeing what’s going on in the world today. The sports section, the local section, the world section…I read them all.
However, I don’t agree with articles that they publish every so often, and they recently released an article that was rather irksome to me.
Robin Givhan, a writer from the esteemed Washington Post recently had an article published in the Star Tribune where she spoke on the “sexist sneaker culture” without much context. Her only argument is that collecting sneakers instead of heels or other types of shoes isn’t considered “feminine” and therefore isn’t an “unhealthy habit” like buying heels. She also goes on to say that female buying is considered “emotional” and men’s buying is considered “rational”. If you’re so inclined, you can check out the article here.
Well Robin, I’d beg to differ. First off, I’ve been collecting sneakers for almost a decade, and I’ve never once seen anything to indicate the culture is “sexist”. A majority of today’s sneaker collectors are men (although the number of female collectors is steadily growing…which is fantastic!), and our buying is just as “emotional” as anyone else’s. We trick ourselves into thinking that we can’t live without a certain sneaker, and we’ll sometimes act like little children to get whatever limited sneaker is currently the apple of our eye.
Secondly, it seems to me that she tries to hide her digs at a “sexist” sneaker culture under the pretense of writing about a sneaker exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. The article (which is apparently supposed to be about the museum) is several paragraphs long and hardly makes any mention of the exhibit at all. She goes on about this supposed “sexist” culture and then flips into a paragraph or two about sneaker history at the tail end of the article.
Thirdly, she doesn’t seem to have any context. Joggers are not called “baggy leggings”. They’re pants with an elastic cuff at the bottom.
I don’t like it when people try to comment on our culture without doing their research. Although there are negative things about today’s sneaker culture (blatant reselling, greed, etc), there’s far more good things than bad things. The sneaker community as a whole is a welcoming bunch who are brought together by their shared love for shoes. I know sneaker heads of all sexes, colors, shapes and sizes…and guess what? They all get along just fine. Please dig a little deeper into our lovely culture before you make such boorish statements.