God help me, I love Joan Rivers, but she just shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion about Occupy Wall Street.
The Cut reports that at a recent party, while gushing about how well gay men dress, Joan Rivers stated that the Occupy Movement was suffering from weak turnout amoung gay men: "Very seldom will you find a gay schlep. Am I right? Very few homeless. This is why there are no gay protestors in Zuccotti Park. Because there’s no place to change, and no closets." Whether or not Joan's right about gay presence at OWS (she's not), her weird notion that gay men don't care about anything more than they care about their appearance, that they'd never make sacrifices at the expense of their closets, is just a gross and disgusting generalization.
She decided to broaden her critique and weigh in on the entire protest: "I think Occupy Wall Street was terrific the first week, and it has now turned into a very happy druggy party. I suggest they all get jobs and go back to work. What was an amazing and wonderful thing, I now find just ridiculous. Everyone’s on drugs and everybody’s singing, and they now have a DVD out, and now they want to do a reality show." She advised protesters to "wash, rinse, and repeat."
Let me offer a slightly different perspective, as someone that isn't an immensely wealthy and famous 78-year-old totally out of touch with reality: um, there are more attractive people at Zuccotti Park than there are at any given moment at a hip Brooklyn bar. "It's the best party in town," someone said to me recently, and they're right. And OWS isn't even allowed to serve alcohol, so that's really saying something.
That's totally irrelevant to the politics and tactics of the movement, but it does matter to Joan Rivers' fashion critique. When it comes to the appearance of the protesters, there's something to be said for mixing some professional looks in with standard activist garb (SuitsForWallStreet is on it!), but objectification has proven to be a far greater problem than schlepiness (see: Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street). The protesters are young, bright, and you can't deny it—they're good-looking. And as that goes, I've shamefully done my part to objectify the male population at Zuccotti. The protester below, photographed for New York Magazine's feature on the plight of twentysomethings, has been a regular fixture at the plaza since the first day of the occupation. And look at him! His face, come on. And I'm sorry, but that spoon necklace? I'm dying. Joan Rivers is right, Occupy Wall Street doesn't look like a Hollywood red carpet: it looks better.