Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Wait -- is it my imagination, or is Saks Fifth Avenue satirizing the gay marriage assimilation agenda?

Filed By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore | July 06, 2009 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: assimilation, Calvin Klein, gay marriage, marriage equality, underwear party


Left display window: mannequins in Diesel underwear (and one with a hat, one wearing bow tie, and the other sporting a bandana), and the slogan -- EQUALITY IS THE BOTTOM LINE.


Middle windows: a (fisting?) glove hanging from the ceiling prepares to dial numbers for various male names on post-its -- Jon? Chad? Carter? Dick? The slogan: CALLING FOR EQUALITY.

saksfourth.jpg saksthird.jpg

The final window: mannequins in designer underwear (not only Diesel now, I think I spot some Calvin Klein!), wearing tie, bandana and hat (and oh, those cute socks!), and yes, the slogan -- EQUALITY IS THE BOTTOM LINE.

Somebody give that window designer my number!

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Those socks *are* cute.

Maybe what we're seeing here is the result of the following scenario:

Window manager to designer: We have to have a gay marriage window - they're our best customers!

The designer, alas, turns out to be a queer in two or three minds about the issue, may not even give a hoot about GM and the result: either a rendition of the unconscious of the designer, or the real picture of the schizophrenic GM.


Nobody here!
I want to get married...
and you can stop calling me a nobody right now!

I definitely see a marketing opportunity at work here. This corporate consumerist fashion house taking advantage of a community with cash and little cache...calling out to the elites...spend your money here!! We are on your side! We get it! Look good and be cool by spending your money on us.

It reminds me of the kind of people that sell books and conduct speaking engagements that promote a position outside the know the type...resist! Be free of social bonds and rules by reading my books! Spend your money on me! Follow my point of view and become part of MY ideology (and help me build my repuation as being shocking and outrageous...a true queer). You too can bask in the glow of my cult of personality if you spend your money on me.

Whorishness...own it. Display it and mock it and point it out, by all means. Just realize that self promotion is all around us.

Wagnerian | July 7, 2009 1:15 AM

Oh, Patrick...I hardly know you, but I love you.

bigolpoofter | July 6, 2009 2:08 PM

first things first: fisting gloves are lavender nitryl gloves or almost translucent latex, not something black and rigid enough to stand up upside-down.

I don't see a marriage assimilation meme, but a clever play to consumerist men of all sexualities. To Da Gayz: buy this, you'll be hawt. To the hets: buy this, you'll be as cool as Da Gayz. To the bis: buy this, and you'll be indistinguishable from the get guys trying to one-up Da Gayz.

Kinda shocked they didn't look for a branding agreement with JSol to slap one of those math symbols on the threads.

But wait -- who said anything about comfort?

Erich Riesenberg | July 6, 2009 3:10 PM

Probably your imagination.

Never ask a barber if you need a haircut!

I know -- I always go to Vidal Sassoon!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 6, 2009 8:47 PM

I would like you to click your heels three times and repeat over and again:

"It is my imagination, it is my imagination, it is my imagination..."

Are you implying that Vidal Sassoon has has ever told you you did not need a haircut at their prices?


This is yet another example of commercial interests disguising themselves as support for the Gay community. Corporate could give a rat's patootie about our "equality, equivalency, or domesticity" provided we buy their crap when it is not on sale.

Darling, I'm just being campy -- does Vidal Sassoon even exist anymore?

Of course it's "commercial interests disguising themselves as support," but I still think the designer had a critique in mind -- I mean really, does a bunch of naked mannequins deciding what number to dial from an endless array of post-it possibilities really make you think marriage marriage marriage?

Of course, I always think marriage marriage marriage...

And click my heels I will: "there's no place" -- no place, indeed...

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 7, 2009 9:48 AM

:) OK, "Hair Performers" then. How would I know from Asia if "Sassooning" is still happening. Here we use hair products from France. :)

I think any statement is open to interpretation other than that they WANT TO SELL UNDERWEAR! ;D

Erich Riesenberg | July 7, 2009 8:52 AM

The lesson is to get a flowbee, and make your own choice about when to cut your hair!

Two questions:

1. Which Saks store had this display?

2. Why does the window say, "Saks Celebrates 39 Years of Gay Pride?" Aren't we observing the 40th anniversary of Stonewall?

Tracy Barriball | July 6, 2009 4:56 PM

It is about time that people see that homosexuality is normal.

Yasmin, but what about all those names on yellow post-its, who should we call today? Oh, I know -- marriage! Don't worry -- I've got a big cubic zirconium ring for that designer, for sure...

Stephen, but the important question: will you be wearing Diesel underwear, and pulling your t-shirt up over your head like a teenage soccer star?

Patrick, as someone who made a living as a whore (um, the old-school kind) until quite recently (and wrote books about it), and will probably never, unfortunately, make a living off promoting "a position outside the box," I still want to talk about this advertising campaign -- the funny thing to me is that it doesn't seem like the classic take-advantage-of-cache strategy, because it seems to be making fun of the very consumers...

Tom, it's in San Francisco -- and I didn't see the part about 39 years!

Tracy, is that the hidden message?

Wait -- I figured out the 39 years of "pride" -- that first year might have been liberation...

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 7, 2009 10:31 AM

It was when we let bar floats take over the Gay Pride events that we lost it. That was around 1976 as I recall. It was a "Bicentennial Thing" that morphed into corporate sponsorship of all things Gay. And we, obedient sheep Gay Americans, accepted that others should put on our show.

I stopped marching Gay Pride events in 1980 out of disgust and viewed only two in the following 20 years. This crap was not what I stood up for originally.


Shock value for tourists who will never figure it out anyway.

Must we all cheapen ourselves by copying straight people who fornicate all over the planets public square?

Under the skin or on top of it?

How about some chubby bears and hairy dykes? At least we can try and be more inclusive.

True enough -- I doubt the tourists will figure it out...

But what is with all of this sex-negative silliness? "Fornicate"-- and really, who uses that word?

As for chubby bear and hairy dyke mannequins -- it's hard to say whether that would be inclusivity, exactly -- although a diversity of mannequins is certainly what the mainstream gay movement seems to be after!

Erich Riesenberg | July 7, 2009 8:45 AM

Perhaps the display is mocking the grouches who are certain marriage implies a boring sex life.

Aha -- Saks Fifth Avenue is promoting sluttiness within marriage, I'm aghast!