Originally published in Paste Magazine.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty
The past couple of years have been among the most politicized of the last decade, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up. Depending on where you live, you’re probably hard pressed to go a day without seeing a red “Make America Great Again” hat or “Nasty Woman” t-shirt. There’s certainly nothing wrong with wearing your politics on you sleeve—or head, lapel or otherwise—it’s a practice that’s carried on for centuries. However, you’ve likely noticed an irrefutable uptick in merchandise specifically marketed towards feminists. Kendall Jenner was just spotted in a $710 Dior t-shirt that says “we should all be feminists,” and controversy was spurred when a gaggle of white celebrities promoted Suffragette in a t-shirt that said “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.” While it’s understandable that women want to bring attention to the fight for women’s rights, when does all of the merch just become a capitalistic ploy, profiting on a contentious time in American politics?