Please make up your mind.
Please stay consistent.
It is alright to learn new information and change your mind on a given subject. However, I find it not convincing at all when certain people fight for their agenda with contradicting weapons.
Last time I checked, women did not want to be objectified. They wanted to be equal. They wanted to wear comfortable male clothing. They did not want to be stereotyped.
And then comes a senator, who makes a wave.
Kyrsten Sinema (D.) was sworn in on January 3rd of this year as the first openly bisexual woman and the second member of the LGBTQ community in congress. She is a femme, which, as Google tells me, means that she is a lesbian, whose appearance and behavior is very feminine. No doubt, that is how she appeared at the swearing in – sleeveless top with pearl accents, a floral skirt, and high heels. The article says: “That Sinema chose to show (…) high femme look is significant. Why does it matter? Because representation matters. Visibility matters. Setting an example and breaking barriers matter.”
- Representation in this example is synonymous with diversity. While I am all for people from different backgrounds working together, I am very much against picking a less qualified candidate only because they boost the diversity quota. To me, this is nothing to be proud of. I would rather get somewhere based on my merit, instead of the color of my skin, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
- Visibility totally does matter. In the age of social media, we know far too well, that you can go from no one to someone in a matter of hours/ days if you get seen. Visibility is good, but it makes me feel bad for more talented people (ex.: on social media), who are less visible.
- As I get to “setting and example”, I pause. I re-read and I do not understand. What kind of example is dressing femme as a senator? Is that supposed to say that girls can dress in a girly way? Wait… Were they not just trying to tell us the past many months that women do not need to dress girly? I am confused.
- By barriers, I assume they mean her being bi-sexual. I am not aware of any mention in the rule-book that a senator has to be hetero, but I understand how the LGBTQ community might feel proud and positive about such “accomplishment”.
As I keep reading, I find that indeed, it is about showing females that they do not have to wear bulky suits and flat shoes in order to be taken seriously. I thought you WANTED to wear suits because that is what men wear, and that heels were torturous. Did we change our minds?
When people focus on a female politician’s fashion, they are reminded by feminists that it is not all about the clothes she is wearing, but also about all the brains she is packing. However, this time around, even though everyone is talking about the new senator’s outfit, people do not object. They say it is a testament to her for being able to be both – fashionable and professional. (So, does that not mean that you have assumed before that it could only be one OR the other? I thought feminists were supposed to believe in women, and support them.) Her outfit was called “weaponized feminity“. So now feminity (vs. being au naturale, butch, etc.) is a good thing? When did that change? I did not get the memo.
All this caused me to look at the history of feminism and fashion, so that I could see clearer.
The first wave of feminism, initiated by suffragettes, wore typical female Edwardian fashion, in order to have people focus on their agenda, and not their looks/ clothes. However, there was one woman, who would wear a baggy tunic over pants. Women fighting for their rights at that time wore purple for loyalty and dignity, green for hope, and white for purity. Aside from that one person, they seem to have been pretty reasonable and smart, to me.
With the beginning of the 20th century, Coco Chanel designed a skirt suit with straight lines, in hopes that more masculine fashion will assist females with being taken more seriously. She also wore pants to work, which back then was very controversial.
By the 20s of the 20th century, Chanel’s straight silhouettes became mainstream, women stopped wearing corsets and started adopting the bobbed hairstyle. That was the end of over-the-top feminity.
In the 30s, Hollywood stars left the skirt suit behind, and started dressing like men.
When WW II rolled around, women started wearing jeans. However, those who joined the military, still wore pencil skirts as uniform.
Because men were occupied by war and its aftermath, women decided to make a bigger impact on the world of fashion. And so one of them designed sportswear, while another one boots, which were then not often worn by females.
As soon as the war was over, males came back from battlefields and went to work, which made the females return to their gender roles from before the war. Ooooor, they could go shopping, if they were tired of taking care of the house. We were back to exaggerated feminity. However, women still kept the comfy clothes for when they were at home.
The late 60s (2nd wave) brought us skin. Females decided to rebel and started showing some skin. Soon after a miniskirt was invented.
In the 70s the lines between what was considered masculine and feminine blurred. Men wore longer hair and bright colors and Ann Klein’s power suit came to life. (A woman was refused marriage by the official because she wore a pants suit to her wedding in the late 60s.)
Unisex clothing became popular in the 90s, which made it easier to decipher who was for whom. (3rd wave) Aside from ripped jeans and flannels, some bands rocked “girly” accents, such as pink colors and heart prints, and toughened them up.
We are now at wave 4. Some commented on how Hilary Clinton should not have been wearing those ugly pants suits, while others complained that her actions should be looked at, not her fashion. Those who suggested that she dress a bit more feminine were met with fire.
If that is what a pantsuit stands for, and so does a high femme outfit, then what does not?
The media is so arbitrary. They are like reed in the wind – leaning towards whichever way they get blown.
Just a couple of days ago I read how we are all doomed, because Apple did not earn as much as they predicted to in the last quarter. Since when have we become friends with giant conglomerates, and enemies with the regular folk?
If you wanted to be treated like the others, would you try to blend in, or do everything to stand out?
Do you prefer to blend in, or stand out?
Should anything remain sacred, or should we be able to wear whatever and wherever?
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