Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Politics of Dressing

My feminism is... 


Why is it that our selfishness, condemned, is vain and arrogant? The notion that feminism is dead, that there exists no need in this world for the freeing of women and their experiences from discrimination, is absolute bullshit. I've been thinking a lot about 'Selfish' lately and how it relates to women: how we're supposed to feel guilt, and shame in the things that we do for ourselves, unless of course they are for the benefit of men. I actually had someone tell me once that I would look ten times hotter if I worked out, have been held accountable for the willingness of all women to prepare ourselves as men do, and have been labelled 'judgemental' for the things that I have said that supposedly transcend the norm. It seems that beauty comes at the cost of vanity. Independence is selfish. Strength is comparative and deemed pretentious. In this 'power', where we should hold ourselves with admiration and pride, we're taught to suppress our abilities because the average man (who we're so lucky to deserve) never likes a girl who is better. 

When it comes to the politics of dressing, we quickly come to recognize what is expected of us and what we can get away with. For a date I calculate the time, the place, the mood of character; is he intellectual, Classic Harvard Hunk,  what kind of music does he listen to? On most occasions I come out comfortably with a pair of jeans, boots - when I'm feeling a little frisky - and a plain jacket. Going to school, the politics are guided by the environment and the drones within the walls of campus: boots, tights, jacket, backpack. There comes a point when, screaming, crying, stomping inside my head, I choose to sport my favourite _____ and move on with life. 

Selfish, we're misplaced and judged: boring, uppity; too thin, too fat; too needy, too aggressive. 
Apparently I must learn to be buoyant, to ride the tides of acceptability until I find a place. I must learn to prepare like a man, act like a man, drink like a man, but be a virtuous slut, dependent on men at all times. I must recognize my limitations - not as an individual - but as a woman. Selfish can only exist for the benefit of men. I must be lean, fit, acceptably dressed, not too smart, and available, but not too available. And this is how I survive.

My feminism is raging. 

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