Boyfriend Trousers? I Want Jewess Jeans.
Yesterday after work, I went on a search for a birthday gift for a 16-year-old girl. After looking at some books, crafts, scarves and jewelry (from the Fair Trade stores in town), I decided to take a peek in the GAP. Right in the entry way of the store, front and center, was a stand (accompanied by a large sign) displaying the GAP's newest khaki merchandise: "boyfriend trousers" and "tailored boyfriend". Both kinds of "boyfriends" are rather baggy, heavily starched, and seem to ride the hips of the models lucky enough to have them.
Now, I do not have a boyfriend, so I can't say that this wear-your-boyfriend marketing technique is particularly effective for me. But maybe it works for others. Perhaps if you don't have a boyfriend but really want one, these khaki boyfriends can fill the void? Or if you do have a boyfriend, perhaps he will be turned on and/or jealous when he sees "tailored boyfriend" cradling your butt? Or perhaps these khakis are supposed to make you feel like your boyfriend? Or feel like a boy? Maybe they are just supposed to remind us all of the boyfriends we can and should have since (a) there aren't any married women who shop at the GAP and (b) every GAP customer shopping in the women's section feels emotionally connected to a "boyfriend." Right? Wrong.
As I made my way through the store, I thought to myself: if Jane Doe can have a pair of "boyfriend trousers," I want a pair of Gilda Radner's "Jewess Jeans." Though controversial for some who think of "Jewess Jeans" as reinforcing the Jewish American Princess (JAP) stereotype, the Jewess identity actually resonates with me (and, in denim, it makes me laugh). So, if today's clothing stores are stocked with boyfriends and Che Guevaras, why can't Jewesses join them on the racks?
When I returned home, having bought nothing for the 16-year-old girl or for myself (except for a haircut), I went online to the GAP website and wrote a note in their "tell us what you think" section. I asked the GAP if it might consider selling "husbands" and "wives" in addition to "boyfriends" or if it had occurred to them to market "girlfriend trousers" in the women's section and "tailored boyfriends" in the men's. I also asked if they would consider carrying "z-friend" merchandise to represent clientele who identify as neither male or female. Finally, I thanked the GAP for giving me the opportunity to shop for a wearable human identity and I asked if there were any chance that Jewess Jeans would appear in their Spring line.
How to cite this page
Namerow, Jordan. "Boyfriend Trousers? I Want Jewess Jeans.." 2 March 2007. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on July 30, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/boyfriendtrousers>.