University Hosts MLK Day Teach-In on 'Oppressive Fashion Trends'

Etro show at Men's fashion week on January 16, 2017 (Rex Features via AP Images)

Grand Valley State University isn’t exactly a household name, but it seems to be making a bid for the big leagues with some Ivy-level burning stupid.

Currently, GVSU is planning a “teach-in” on how fashion trends are oppressive:


Grand Valley State University will soon host a “teach-in” on the ways in which “fashion trends” can “impose oppressive effects on marginalized populations” as part of its MLK Day celebrations.

The seminar on “The ‘Privilege’ Your Clothes Show and the ‘Power’ Your Attire Speaks” will apparently discuss the numerous “biases” and “societal oppressions” associated with various fashion trends, according to a list of “Teach-in 2017 Sessions” obtained by Campus Reform.

“This session will discuss how fashion trends and cultural appearance can impose oppressive effects on marginalized populations, such as students, employees, women, and transgender identities,” a description for the teach-in explains, adding that participants will “address biases related to natural hair, cultural attire, and the societal oppressions associated with them.”

Additionally, the seminar will discuss the “various ways these populations can show up to class/work and be received differently,” with the intent of helping students to “identify pathways to liberation for underrepresented populations in the classroom and in the workplace through authenticity.”

Other intended goals for the teach-in will be to help students “understand how cultural appearance and fashion trends intersect” while gaining “an understanding of how perceptions of traditional and current fashion trends can be oppressive to some individuals.”


This, ladies and gentlemen, is the epitome of a “First World problem.”

I’ll be honest — yes, people can be a pain when it comes to clothing. There will be people out there who judge you by how you dress, even if you try to dress in an appropriate manner. Some folks will look for the slightest thing about which to dismiss you, sometimes something as minuscule as wearing the wrong brand.

But we tend to call these people “children,” since most of us grow out of the “cool” phase around the time we have to buy our own clothing. And this kind of adolescent stupid is broadcast across all ethnic groups in America pretty equally.

But there isn’t much chance this teach-in will talk about the social difference between adults and children. What they are actually talking about are ways of continuing the juvenile obsession with “expressing one’s self” via clothing long into adulthood.

Phrases like “cultural appearance” mean they’re talking about people demanding to dress contrary to accepted norms in the workplace. Those norms have a purpose — and it isn’t “oppression.” Demanding to express your “authenticity” on the job means you have no respect for the opportunity you’ve been given.


And a teach-in? There is literally nothing college-level to teach here: The average adult can figure out what’s appropriate — and why — for most situations, and knows how to ask a question if the answer is not clear. This isn’t rocket science.

Instead, this is privileged whining of the first degree. Oppression? Ask the Cuban refugees about that.

And forget just being in the “1%”: If these crybabies never experience anything worse than being expected to dress like a grownup, they are among the top .000001% or so for quality of life achieved in the history of mankind.


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