• Mon, Feb 17 - 1:33 pm ET

Rashida Jones Is Too Cool To Be Making Such Mean Comments About Other Women

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Um hey, Rashida Jones? I love you. I want to continue loving you. You’re going to need to cool it on the mean comments about how other women dress.

A few months ago, my entire worldview shifted when the usually charming Rashida found herself at the center of a major backlash. After the Parks and Recreation star went on a Twitter rant about young female celebrities who need to “stop acting like whores,” she wrote an article for Glamour to explain her position to those who found her comments offensive and slut-shamey. “There’s a difference, a key one,” she wrote, “between ‘shaming’ and ‘holding someone accountable.’” I totally agree with that statement (and with Julia’s really great post about why we need to define “shaming” better), and that’s why it sucks so bad that I have to hold Rashida accountable today. Her latest comments aren’t about making the world a better place or trying to end the commodifying of female sexuality. They’re just… kind of mean.

In an interview with The Guardian, she made a point of slamming the “LA Barbie doll look,” saying,

It’s weird that everybody wants to look like everybody else. I love what you can do with fashion, but that look is just not my nature. I like conservative dressing. I don’t like to dress to tell people that they want to have sex with me.

There’s no rule in the Perfect Feminist Handbook that says you’re required to love every single woman’s style and taste. Okay. That last sentence still really irks me. She’s implying that women who like to present themselves sexually are 1) just sheep who aren’t smart enough to resist the pressures of society, 2) just making themselves into objects for men to look at, 3) not as evolved as people who like to dress conservatively.

Also, there’s something pretty problematic about the idea that your clothes are capable of “telling people that they want to have sex with you.” I’m definitely not accusing Rashida of suggesting that women deserve to be assaulted if they dress provocatively– she’s absolutely proven that she’s above that– but comments like these build up over time, and they contribute to a culture in which “sluts” are dehumanized and “she was asking for it” is an acceptable thing to say.

In a perfect world, Rashida’s words would be powerless; they’d just be her opinion. IRL, she’s a public figure and a role model. Her young fans are learning that it’s a good idea to put other women down, and they’re learning that how they dress helps determine their worth. And that seriously sucks.

Via The Cut / Photo: Getty

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  • Bea

    How on EARTH did you infer that Rashida is saying women who
    dress sexily are less evolved? She says she likes to dress how she likes
    to dress and that happens to be in a non-provocative way – nothing about how
    the way someone dresses determines their worth. This article projects a lot of
    crap into what she’s saying that just isn’t there in the interview. I think
    Rashida was a lot more insightful on the topic: “But to suggest that the way to be a feminist is to snark about other women is such a dangerous example to set.”

    • Dirk Calloway

      Right on. Gloss writers need to get over themselves. Especially Julia. She exhausts me.

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  • Charmless

    Catty remark of the day: Rashida Jones’ bangs almost always look terrible. Someone should do something about that.

    I defended her comments last time, but now I’m going to step over and join the camp that says she really isn’t getting the point. I don’t like the blonde, Barbie type either. It’s just not my personal style, but I know plenty of women who choose to present themselves that way and they’d resent being told that they’re instructing people to be sexually attracted to them. That’s dangerously close to saying that wearing provocative clothing is “asking for it.” Come on, Rashida. Do better.

  • Valerie

    Eh, you’re really reaching on this one. Waste of an article.

  • Samantha

    I see nothing wrong with what she said. Try again.

  • jenAustin

    Really, Slate?