We're not fully buying
the Kite sisters’ story
Among other activities, they manufacture and sell post-it notes imprinted with phrases like "You are capable of much more than looking hot," and then encourage concerned citizens to purchase and stick them on public bathroom mirrors.
More recently, they have been encouraging supporters to use the notes to cover up the naughty parts of women in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
The Kites call it an empowerment campaign. In the Sports Illustrated pictorials, complains Lindsay Kite, women “... are posed in extremely provocative ways, the same type of positioning that’s in pornography.” Lexie agrees. “Maybe it’s time,” she says, “to gently remind them that there’s more to women than just being hot.”
Their rhetoric may have the sound of a laudable goal until you start thinking through this latest tactic. (Or when you visit their website and note the professionally shot, expertly retouched photo they have posted of themselves.)
Let’s be honest. This effort sends no message to Sports Illustrated. Nor will it, for there is nothing new about locals covering up pictures they deem racy. The accusation that photos use “the same positioning that’s in pornography”—a standard wide enough to drive a truck, many wedding portraits and not a few family pictures through—betrays the Kites as less interested in affirmation and more interested in telling women how to dress. Telling women to dress modestly is not the same message as “you are capable of much more than looking hot” (which we admit is a good reminder). Finally, to position sexiness and “capable of doing much more” as mutually exclusive promotes a sexist stereotype in its own right.
Just as creationists dress up their nonsense in vain hopes of making it pass for science, we cannot help but wonder if the Kites are trying to dress up Mormon prudery to look like women’s advocacy. If so, one must concede some irony. There is hardly a more sexist organization than the Mormon church. Read more about the Kites and the stickers in the Salt Lake Tribune by clicking here.