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Dingus of the Week: Missouri State Rep. Anne Kelly
Sorry, Missouri. But I love your fried ravioli and I don't care who knows it.
It’s the first Dingus of the Week of 20203. If you are new here, the Dingus of the Week is the Friday email where I talk about something really dingusy. Sometimes it’s milk, sometimes it’s Josh Hawley. You never know. It could be you. And then, I offer up some good things, some links, and some drinks for your weekend.
Subscribers get to help me pick the weekly dingus over in the Flyover Discord server.
2023, let’s get started.
It’s state legislature season, which means it’s time for you to remember that your state capitol is filled with some of the worst pieces of sentient, processed American cheese. And while I know I live in a state where people continue to elect this moldy tub of off-brand sour cream, this week, I’d like to pick on the neighboring state of Missouri. And with my apologies to fried ravioli, St. Louis-style pizza, the City Museum, and Patrick Mahomes, I will continue.
Missouri, which has some of the most lenient gun laws in America, restricted female lawmakers' right to bare arms.
Missouri is facing a teacher shortage crisis; a childcare crisis; a Josh Hawley crisis; crucial water quality issues; has a school that revived paddling; another school that is closing after numerous lawsuits over allegations of physical, mental, and sexual abuse; not to mention the Cardinals couldn’t win a World Series to save their lives; and Missouri has the words barbeque in America. Seriously, Kansas City barbeque is just meat with ketchup. Jack Stacks is the most overrated barbeque place in the universe. And I’m not even going to mention the number of left-hand exits in Kansas City.
Given all that, this week, Missouri State Rep. Anne Kelly, decided to address the real problems facing the state — the scourge of female lawmakers showing their arms. Kelly proposed a stricter dress code for women and women only. Apparently, in the “Show Me” state women can show everything except their God-given appendages.
Rules like this are designed to make women feel less worthy and make us constantly work harder to measure up to a standard that is always shifting. Look pretty but not too pretty. Professional but not like a man. Wear lipstick but not too bright. Look nice, but okay, now you look like a slut.
Rules about clothes further police not just what women wear but how they act, by increasing the cost of being a woman in public, and forcing women to constantly have to debate for their right to dress and live and exist. So often when I write about fashion and politics, I will have a reader comment, that he doesn’t care or he thinks the topic is frivolous. Well, great. YOU DON’T HAVE TO CARE. That’s literally the patriarchy. You can wear a suit and a tie and go on your merry way, while the rest of us are busy debating over whether a cardigan is work appropriate. Also, your pants are sized in inches. Do you know what size I wear in pants? Do you? I’m actually asking you because I have no idea. The pants in my closet range from xs to xl and they all currently fit me. It’s an inconsistent size standard that reflects the inconsistent cultural standards.
Do you know, I am still getting emails and comments about a dress I wore nearly three years ago, because people thought the color was too flashy.1 Literally, in September of 2022, a grown woman pulled me aside at an event where I was working, to tell me that she thought that the dress I wore in 2020 was “too flashy.” This was a dress I had to rent at my own personal cost, plus hair and makeup, all totaling around $300 (I was not reimbursed by my employer), so I could look professional. And now, three years later, I’m still hearing about it.
Rep. Kelly is a real Aunt Lydia —reinforcing the rigid rules of patriarchy under the guise of doing what is right and best when really all she is doing is restricting women’s freedoms.
And Now for Something Good:
Josie Duffy Rice launched a podcast investigating the history and legacy of a juvenile reform school in Alabama. (This is good because Josie Duffy Rice is great and this investigation is needed.)
While George Santos continues to be a dingus, at least he’s good for jokes.
Did you all know that movies exist? I forgot and then over Christmas break, I remembered. So, I went and saw The Eternal Daughter, The Menu, and Corsage. And while I’m mad at the ending of Corsage, what a joy to sit in a dark room with popcorn and be whisked away for a little bit.
Also, Kashana Cauley’s novel The Survivalists is out! NOW!
What I Am Reading:
Over break, I read Octavia Butler’s The Parable of the Sower and The Parable of the Talents, along with Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead. Butler’s books are wonderful and I definitely recommend reading them if you haven’t. Also, Kingsolver continues to be a genius. She writes through stereotypes and around them and right up against them, in such a fearless way. Demon Copperhead is an incredible book and the perfect heir to Dickens, who wrote characters who were caricatures, but never without humanity.
Also, will you all please shut up about gas stoves.
Megan Greenwell wrote about the romance author who faked her own death.
What I Am Drinking:
Like a real jerkface, I am doing dry January. Or dryish, since I did have some wine while meeting a friend’s new baby last week.
I ordered the Zero-Proof Negroni bundle for fun. And I will say the Ginish product is delightful. I don’t really love normal gin, but I loved this. I’ve been mixing it with Orange LaCriox and having a grand time.
On the other-hand Gnista tastes disgusting, like licking the bottom of a shoe after it’s been on a walk through dog crap. I cannot believe I paid actual human dollars for something that had “wormwood” in the title of the product. That’s on me.
And thank you to Kristin DeMarr for this week’s song. It’s beautiful.
While I appreciate kind words or support, this is not an invitation for you to talk about how I looked that day. Thank you so much. I am quite frankly, sick of hearing about it.