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  1. #1
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    Red Hat Society: discuss

    This is getting more and more pervasive in the US every day. You can't go to a local parade or public event without a large showing of Society members.

    On the one hand, I want to be supportive of any activity that involves women getting together and having fun.

    But on the other, well there are lots of things about it that rub me the wrong way. First, it seems like yet another opportunity for entitled middle-class women to self-indulge. And there is a ton of "merchandise" that goes along with it all (never mind the costumes). Even WalMart is selling Red Hat umbrellas now.

    I have yet to see an article or web site that presents a neutral or even critical perspective on this trend. I haven't looked that hard but I'm curious: is there a right-wing underbelly like Curves for Women? What do you know about this? What do you think of it?

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  3. #2
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    Wisconsin
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    Oh how interesting. I had never heard of this group until I moved to the midwest and its everywhere here. Like you I thought, well, older gals getting togther sounds like fun, but then I read somewhere that they some weird rules, like no talking about politics or health problems? I'm sorry, but when I'm older I'll talk about my bum knee all I want!

  4. #3
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    Apr 2004
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    I had the serious misfortune at getting to read the poem that inspired this all. It's terrible. I'll try to find it and post it.

    I saw a group of them at this restaurant in my city that recently closed down-- it was a southern food experience, complete with portraits of Alabama governors on the walls. All the people eating there were old white people. Very old. I think the restaurant shut down recently because I think their customers are dying, and I'm serious on that note.

    Anyway, I saw the red hat ladies there for the first time. They've also apparently migrated to where my mother works ever since the other restaurant closed down, and they tip really well, and my mom thinks it's cute, but I think it's boring. I'm so glad my grandmother doesn't do that, and I don't know why exactly. It just feels so gimmicky, I guess.

    I'm off to find the poem.

  5. #4
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    Apr 2004
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    I don't know, it creeps me out a little. at first it really creeped me out because I kept seeing all this crappy-looking merchandise and thought it just looked like another way to sell, well, crappy merchandise, under the guise of hipness and community.

    then I read something about it being older women getting together and having fun and I thought, well, there's nothing wrong with that, I just wish all the information about it wasn't worded so dorkily.

    then it creeped me out again after I saw the Red Hat CHECK and CHECKBOOK COVER set. I don't know why, but that just tipped the scale way into creepiness for me.

    I'll have to investigate the seamy (sp?) underbelly thing, it does sound ripe for that.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2004
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    here's my favorite faq from their faq page:

    Who is that little character on the home page wiggling her foot?

    That is Ruby RedHat™. She is the embodiment of the Red Hat Society spirit. She is fun, playful, intelligent and sassy! To learn even more about how she came to be and what she stands for, click here.
    and that poem is "Warning" by Jenny Joseph, but they aren't allowed to reprint it on their site, which makes it kind of a weird poem to use as your motto, yes?

    eta: soapandwater, gimmicky is the perfect word. that is why it squicks me out.

    eta #2: that faq is funnier if you MISREAD it the way I just realized I did, and think it says "why is that character blahblah wiggling her butt?"
    only make it sound like my mom's asking the question. wait, I guess that doesn't really translate over the internets.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canada
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    719

    Re: Red Hat Society: discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by researchasaurus
    I have yet to see an article or web site that presents a neutral or even critical perspective on this trend.
    Hello Bitch magazine: are you listening?

    My mom and aunt have become red-hatters, but they haven't bought a ton of merchandaise. They take it as a way to stop caring about how society has told them to look. Rebellion for the 50+ bracket? They HAVE found some old red hats from thrift stores they have reincarnated, and have adopted a red feather boa I had for a halloween costume. THey get together with other ladies and have fun. I find it harmless.

    It IS kind of funny, as the only pressure I receive regarding how I look COMES FROM MY MOM, and they are certainly privledged middle-class ladies in that they even have time to ponder this, but I guess I am also privledged in that I have the leisure time to ponder their behaviour ... ?

    del

  8. #7
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    Jun 2004
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    I THOUGHT those hats looked way too obnoxious and terrible for [whichever place it was, i can't remember now] to honestly be trying to market them!

    -Jera

  9. #8
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2004
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    777
    HAHAHAHAHAHA - My old white privileged mother is a card carrying member of both Curves and the Red Hat Society!!! She says things like, "The ladies and I really boogied at Curves today!" ewwwwww

    I bought her the most hideous red hat lady ornament as a present and was SO embarassed to be purchasing it. I told the 20something male cashier who couldn't care less the whole story. My mom loved that piece of crap.

    Moon Lemming - I love that phrase, "squicks me out". I'm so using that!!!

    Good thread!

  10. #9
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
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    697
    I don't know anything about them, but I'm enjoying hearing about it... There is a "red hat society" poster in the window of the hat store down the street, which must be related!

    I have to admit to loving the Golden Girls, so if this is an irreverant, lively older-lady kind of thing, I'd probably love it. San Francisco doesn't seem as diverse, age-wise as other places I've lived, so maybe that is why I haven't been more exposed to the Red Hats! Will have to investigate further with friends from other areas...

  11. #10
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2005
    Location
    Detroit area, MI
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    18
    I don't really have much to say about the Red Hats, except for the disgust I have at the cheezy rhinestone encrusted junk I see at the bead and jewelry shows I go to.

    I did want to say thanks for mentioning the thing about Curves. I had no idea and I just recently joined. I will have to wade through all the stuff I am reading about it now. I never would have thought...my Curves is in a very gay friendly area and there is always cool liberal petitions and action alerts inside it. Maybe the franchise owners of mine aren't so bad...


 
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