Women rabid over "Runway"?

Also, they all love cosmos, Jimmy Choos and puppies. Oh, and babies.

Published July 11, 2006 11:15AM (EDT)

A round of applause for journalistic hyperbole, and a bigger round for sexist journalistic hyperbole. And a standing ovation for the incisively named Columbia Daily Tribune columnist Pete Bland and his July 6 column, "Stay Away From Women and Their Runway."

Bland writes that most of the women he knows "fit the highly educated, independent, feminist profile." (Don't you love it when a profile fits you snugly, flattering your politics and showing off your independence?) But despite their modern, emancipated ways, Bland has observed that all his chick friends (and their homo brethren, natch) are waiting in breathless anticipation for the third-season premiere of Bravo's "Project Runway." Just mention the fashion reality show to a mammary-fitted human and whoa ho ho, fellas -- watch out! "After backing away slowly to avoid any flying elbows, popping eyes or animated verbiage that might accompany their fits of excitement, you'll know of what I speak," Bland predicts.

Female excitement about the show is "equivalent to the exhilaration most straight men might feel if, say, the NFL season, a film loaded with Scarlett Johansson nude scenes and a can of their favorite alcoholic beverage all opened on the same day." Babes gather in living rooms, or "bastions of BFF-dom" to watch the show together, and Bland cautions his gridiron-guy buddies that "this is serious business, and if you can't hang with the veterans, I'd recommend you stay away."

It's just plain wearying to point out that it's not just straight men who like football, booze or Scarlett Johansson. Or that the "if you can't hang with the veterans" crap and "BFF" stuff is condescending and lame. Put succinctly: This column was dumb.

By Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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