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Are Aprons Sexist? Can Feminists Wear Them?

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Denver Post writer Nancy Lofholm’s feature from earlier this week, “Sassy, sexy aprons shrug off sexism, tie on a trend,” highlights a fashion-recycling trend that seems to be everywhere, from upscale Cherry Creek to booths at crafts fairs.

The apron is making a strong comeback for the first time since the 1970s, when the kitchen garment was burned alongside bras as symbols of male oppression.

“Now,” Lofholm writes, “aprons often signal nostalgia even though many of them are far removed from Grandma’s saggy, Mother Hubbard-style apron.”

The article irks Boulder-based Kristen Painter, a writer with New Era News. As a trend watcher, Painter was expecting a lovely read.

“Instead,” she writes, “the article seemed oblivious to the sexism it was supporting.”

Citing excerpts that some retro-style aprons “are featured on models who wear nothing but” the apron and a pair of pumps, Painter asserts the article is “used to support the idea that this never leaving the kitchen thing would be positive.”

She writes: “Excuse me? Did you just write that in the article as something for our society to celebrate?” Painter isn’t an apron-hater. She likes cooking and wears one. “I will bake for baking’s therapeutic sake whenever I want and for whomever I want because I enjoy doing it for others as an act of friendship/love, not because it is a duty or expectation,” she writes. “I will do so as I embrace the contradiction I represent…so long as I am always aware that is a small piece of me, not all of me.”

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