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18-07-2010
  16
I don't know
 
saann's Avatar
 
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I don't think not caring about style and fashion (which are both considered feminine stuff right now) means being a feminist. Not caring about "feminine" stuff and finding them silly just means you're conforming to the male ideal and agreeing that the stereotypical male traits (not caring about fashion) are the right ones. you know, people who say feminists should have no make up, short hair, suits etc. they're just saying that for a woman to be strong she has to take on what is viewed as male adjectives. I don't think that's correct. Putting on a suit doesn't make you any more of a feminist than wearing a flowery dress. Being a feminist doesn't mean taking on male traits and dismissing everything viewed as feminine.

that's why I do think fashion and feminism can co-exist. because being a feminist doesn't mean dismissing everything that is viewed as feminine (like fashion).



It's really a dead match though, you can't win. if you care about your looks you're embracing that stereotype (women and looks) and making it even stronger, therefor accepting your given role in society and if you don't you're just celebrating the male traits and saying those are the right and the pure ones.

I just say enjoy whatever it is that you enjoy. what really needs to change is the view of fashion as something entirely feminine and of "feminine" stuff as silly.

Being a feminist means wanting equal rights between genders, not liking and disliking personal traits. I think almost every woman is a feminist, but she just doesn't admit it because she has that stereotype of them in her head.


Last edited by saann; 18-07-2010 at 09:50 AM.
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18-07-2010
  17
Power to the 99%
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yvesmanoel View Post
i guess fashion and feminism can, of course, coexist. i also consider myself a feminist (and i guess there are a lot of guys who consider themselves feminists too) and i know that a lot in fashion is a male's perpective of femininity. i think some visions in fashion empower women, but of course, some over-sexualized views of a woman who dresses herself for men aren't the best examples. and we had coco and we have now contemporary female designers who do womenswear in a way no men could ever do, although we love a couturiers vision of the female. i don't think sexy or sexualized portraits of women are against the feminist eye. women are portrayed in fashion a lot like they've been portrayed in art for the past centuries. contemporary feminism has to focus on real issues, not in futile ones. of course there are a lot of trash in magazines for teens and women, but i don't think you should see that as the "fashions portrait of the woman". fashion empowers women and is a very "feminine" universe of visions arround women but guess not in a bad way at all.
So what's an example of a real vs a futile issue? "Futile issue" sounds like code for "You can't win this one, honey" ... truth be told, I love nothing more than to win a battle I've been told is unwinnable.

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18-07-2010
  18
clever ain't wise
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saann View Post
I don't think not caring about style and fashion (which are both considered feminine stuff right now) means being a feminist. Not caring about "feminine" stuff and finding them silly just means you're conforming to the male ideal and agreeing that the stereotypical male traits (not caring about fashion) are the right ones. you know, people who say feminists should have no make up, short hair, suits etc. they're just saying that for a woman to be strong she has to take on what is viewed as male adjectives. I don't think that's correct. Putting on a suit doesn't make you any more of a feminist than wearing a flowery dress. Being a feminist doesn't mean taking on male traits and dismissing everything viewed as feminine.

that's why I do think fashion and feminism can co-exist. because being a feminist doesn't mean dismissing everything that is viewed as feminine (like fashion).



It's really a dead match though, you can't win. if you care about your looks you're embracing that stereotype (women and looks) and making it even stronger, therefor accepting your given role in society and if you don't you're just celebrating the male traits and saying those are the right and the pure ones.

I just say enjoy whatever it is that you enjoy. what really needs to change is the view of fashion as something entirely feminine and of "feminine" stuff as silly.

Being a feminist means wanting equal rights between genders, not liking and disliking personal traits. I think almost every woman is a feminist, but she just doesn't admit it because she has that stereotype of them in her head.
Excellent points saan! It's absolutely anti-feminist to assume that a woman who takes care of her appearance is an anti-feminist just for that reason. Women must accept each other, admire eachother's achievements and realize that some women are good at some things and others at other things....and to not judge all women solely because of looks. Because as long as women are divided into these two groups:

1) Women who care a lot about how they look and disregard women who do not look good.

2) Women who don't care about how they look and disregard women who make an effort.

It's tricky to work up a liking for the other group because either it's these surly people who look at you the wrong way and try to make themselves feel better by assuming you're a call girl....or it's women dismissing others as loosers because they can't attract men well.

I know this sounds very extreme....but I do think it's a core problem in society in general.

However, in the fashion scene, I enjoy the bitch fights as much as the next person


Last edited by iluvjeisa; 18-07-2010 at 09:47 PM. Reason: idiocy
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19-07-2010
  19
Power to the 99%
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvjeisa View Post
It's tricky to work up a liking for the other group because either it's these surly people who look at you the wrong way and try to make themselves feel better by assuming you're a call girl....or it's women dismissing others as loosers because they can't attract men well.

I know this sounds very extreme....but I do think it's a core problem in society in general.

However, in the fashion scene, I enjoy the bitch fights as much as the next person
My observation has been that low-maintenance women never seem to have trouble finding men ... they may not be honeypots, but who needs all those flies swarming around anyway

I'm not sure it's tricky ... you just have to look past externals ... which are the least important part of a person anyway.

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Last edited by fashionista-ta; 19-07-2010 at 06:00 PM.
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19-07-2010
  20
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Yvesmanoel, I disagree with your comment about how we ought to focus on "real issues, not futile ones" this is a real issue. So long as we allow the continuation of portraying women in art as they have for the past centuries it will be an important issue. How women see themselves affects how society see's them. So if women are feeling down on their looks and have low self esteem its going to hinder what society can achieve. Women need to be provided with places they can continue to grow and develop and one place should be through magazines. I agree, their is a lot of trash published in magazines however I think that magazines should be places where women can feel empowered. Perhaps, if magazines such as Vogue increased varying the sizes of women in their pages it could change the way women perceive themselves. Thus changing how they have been "portrayed in art for centuries" as you put it, which would then change how society see's us. One thing I do agree with though is that we do need to focus more on important issues such as providing everyone with stellar educational opprotunities, equal rights between men and women (especially in developing countries), ect. However, many of these issues aren't just pertaining to the female population but to both genders.

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20-07-2010
  21
scenester
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saann View Post
I don't think not caring about style and fashion (which are both considered feminine stuff right now) means being a feminist. Not caring about "feminine" stuff and finding them silly just means you're conforming to the male ideal and agreeing that the stereotypical male traits (not caring about fashion) are the right ones. you know, people who say feminists should have no make up, short hair, suits etc. they're just saying that for a woman to be strong she has to take on what is viewed as male adjectives. I don't think that's correct. Putting on a suit doesn't make you any more of a feminist than wearing a flowery dress. Being a feminist doesn't mean taking on male traits and dismissing everything viewed as feminine.

that's why I do think fashion and feminism can co-exist. because being a feminist doesn't mean dismissing everything that is viewed as feminine (like fashion).

It's really a dead match though, you can't win. if you care about your looks you're embracing that stereotype (women and looks) and making it even stronger, therefor accepting your given role in society and if you don't you're just celebrating the male traits and saying those are the right and the pure ones.

I just say enjoy whatever it is that you enjoy. what really needs to change is the view of fashion as something entirely feminine and of "feminine" stuff as silly.

Being a feminist means wanting equal rights between genders, not liking and disliking personal traits. I think almost every woman is a feminist, but she just doesn't admit it because she has that stereotype of them in her head.

I don't quite agree with you there on some parts.. because really how does a woman dressing up masculine conform to the male ideals and agreeing those are the right ones?.. That doesn't make sense at all.

The cliché male ideal (back in the 50's and all) is that a woman is interested in all the frilly typical feminine stuff. The dresses, skirts, household, children and everything. Saying that women who dress up masculine agree with those ideals makes it a complete contradiction, because they are doing the opposite and it's crazy to say that those who dress up masculine agree that other women should dress up feminine.

Women didn't start to dress up masculine because they agreed with the male culture. They did it to make a statement, that they could fit the male role (in the working world for example) just as well as the men could. That they didn't need to be dependent on the men to take care of them, that they could earn their own money and take care of the household themselves.
And another important factor is that back in the time that women slowly started to want more on terms of rights and career, they hardly ever wore anything else besides dresses or skirts that were either a bit on the wide side or tight. Easily said not the best choice for some jobs and all. Pants (and thus a masculine look) were just more practical and because of they got rid of the skirts and dresses it made a stronger impact on the male society who couldn't just ignore them as silly feminine women who got a little hysterical.

It really has nothing to do with the male ideals and celebrating those.

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20-07-2010
  22
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saann's Avatar
 
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ofcourse, but you can't really win. however you choose to dress can be seen from both sides.

I might have not made myself clear because what I meant was that feminists who believe that the only way you can dress as a feminist is to dress in a suit and shun all what's considered "girly" are not really celebrating feminism and are not in my opinion feminists. feminisim is about embracing everything and striving to be equal, not dismiss everything about female culture which a lot of people connect feminism to.

I'm not saying that dressing in a masculine way means agreeing with the male culture, I dress in a masculine way a lot of time. What I'm saying is that male dressing shouldn't equal feminism because that will mean that everything feminine is the wrong way.

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20-07-2010
  23
don't look down
 
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For me, feminism is the continual process of being aware of women's position in society, viewing situations from a variety of perspectives (social, sexual, economic and so on).

The significance of a woman's dress and appearance will vary according to way you look at the situation she's in - what might appear to be a 'choice' can seem very different when analysed on another level.

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20-07-2010
  24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristianThomas View Post
I don't quite agree with you there on some parts.. because really how does a woman dressing up masculine conform to the male ideals and agreeing those are the right ones?.. That doesn't make sense at all.

The cliché male ideal (back in the 50's and all) is that a woman is interested in all the frilly typical feminine stuff. The dresses, skirts, household, children and everything. Saying that women who dress up masculine agree with those ideals makes it a complete contradiction, because they are doing the opposite and it's crazy to say that those who dress up masculine agree that other women should dress up feminine.

Women didn't start to dress up masculine because they agreed with the male culture. They did it to make a statement, that they could fit the male role (in the working world for example) just as well as the men could. That they didn't need to be dependent on the men to take care of them, that they could earn their own money and take care of the household themselves.
And another important factor is that back in the time that women slowly started to want more on terms of rights and career, they hardly ever wore anything else besides dresses or skirts that were either a bit on the wide side or tight. Easily said not the best choice for some jobs and all. Pants (and thus a masculine look) were just more practical and because of they got rid of the skirts and dresses it made a stronger impact on the male society who couldn't just ignore them as silly feminine women who got a little hysterical.

It really has nothing to do with the male ideals and celebrating those.
And when women stopped to realize that the prototype of a successful working person is not necessarily male, they laid off all that silly Dress for Success stuff.

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26-07-2010
  25
Looking Up
 
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My mother and my grandmother, who are by FAR the bitchiest, sassiest and strongest women I've EVER met, have always told me that while women have potential to do some pretty great things, leadership positions should always be given to men. Isn't it ironic?

Fashion, just like everything else, has the potential to both empower and degrade a woman and it's a blurry line between the 2. A plunging neckline can be daring and powerful but can also be slutty and desperate.
I love a woman who is confident and charismatic, but at the same time modest. Maybe I'm too traditional, but modesty and mystery should be key characteristics when it comes to the female gender role. Fashion can emulate these personality traits well, but only if the woman inside the dress is that way in the first place.

Katherine Hepburn is one of the most significant feminists I think. She really revolutionized how we look at women and the female gender today. She was one of the first women to popularize the use of pants on women, THAT takes confidence and charisma.

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26-07-2010
  26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saann View Post
ofcourse, but you can't really win. however you choose to dress can be seen from both sides.

I might have not made myself clear because what I meant was that feminists who believe that the only way you can dress as a feminist is to dress in a suit and shun all what's considered "girly" are not really celebrating feminism and are not in my opinion feminists. feminisim is about embracing everything and striving to be equal, not dismiss everything about female culture which a lot of people connect feminism to.

I'm not saying that dressing in a masculine way means agreeing with the male culture, I dress in a masculine way a lot of time. What I'm saying is that male dressing shouldn't equal feminism because that will mean that everything feminine is the wrong way.
Yes, feminist women dressing in suits is just a silly stereotype. But it's not a male ideal. Both men and women have this stereotype vision of feminists.
Gender roles have been around since the beginning of time and have been argued since the beginning of time as well, but nothing really started happening until the last 100 years or so because of the introduction of the information age. Technology has closed the gap between men and women. You no longer need the daddy to go out and do physical work in order to pay the bills. A woman can just as easily pay the bills by working from home on her computer. Technology has blurred the traditional gender roles of yester-century.
I think Caryl Churchill, one of Britain's greatest feminists of all time imo, had a really hard time expressing this issue in the 1970s because technology hadn't quite kicked into overdrive back then like it has these days.

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26-07-2010
  27
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Indulging in one's love for fashions and self-expression though fashion is not anti-feminist. People involve themselves in fashion in different ways. For some women, it is all about pleasing some others - men, other women, society in general. This would be about conforming, and is the reason why many people hold the notion that fashion is frivolous, all about succumbing to societal pressures, etc. Yet for certain women, fashion and dressing up is about self-expression. I mean, the Rick Owens woman doesn't really have anything to do with the societal image of "woman" and what a woman ought to look like. And even if you wear a feminine dress by Versace, it doesn't necessarily mean you cannot be a feminist - it just depends on the motive of your choosing to wear it, at least in my opinion. A feminist woman may choose to wear whatever independent from external pressure... But it's hard to say that we can really act without societal views and "realities" affecting us in some way. But then that's getting into po-mo stuff...

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26-07-2010
  28
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See it's confusing because feminism is about celebrating womanhood and reinforcing your femininity, so shouldn't feminists be encouraging women to dress fashionably and to use fashion to let their femininity "shine"?

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26-07-2010
  29
don't look down
 
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Ah, but feminism is not synonymous with femininity. That was something that people explored in the 1970s - the idea that women could reclaim things which were considered as supposedly masculine and therefore off-limits. That ranged from career options to aspects of physical appearance. But female masculinity is an assault on the territory held by male masculinity.

Even today, the only 'acceptable' face of feminism is one that confines itself to - as you say it - reinforcing femininity. Women might now wear a trousersuit to work, without a second thought for the concepts that made such things possible.

Many women still fear that an exploration of themselves as a person will mean they'll end up somewhere outside of the system, facing strong disapproval and derision. Having seen what happened in the 1970s, women have internalised that response, and now use it to keep themselves in line.

But many things that we want to achieve in life will involve us going against the perceptions held by other people, coded in the social structures around us. We think nothing of doing so when it involves, say, the commercial success of a new business based on innovation. So we shouldn't feel a sudden lack of bravery when it comes to something on the scale of the freedom to express your potential as a human being.

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26-07-2010
  30
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I thought the feminist movement was about critiquing and defying the male-dominated social orders. In that case, it doesn't necessarily relate to embracing femininity. Or am I wrong in my understanding of "feminism"? :p

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Last edited by rollagasper; 26-07-2010 at 10:47 PM.
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