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27-07-2010
  31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squizree View Post
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"?

I don't think that's what feminism is about. Femininity and masculinity are social constructs anyway, so when you say "reinforcing femininity" women are still expected to adhere to a certain socially accepted standard.
For fashion and feminism to exist there has to be choice for women to dress however they want. Not all women want to be traditionally "feminine" and that's perfectly ok.

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27-07-2010
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And the other side of the coin is that men should be free to express supposedly 'feminine' characteristics and traits, because if both sides don't participate in loosening the definitions, then what you end up with is a lopsided appropriation of masculinity for both sides.

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27-07-2010
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^Yes exactly! Men ought to be able to express 'feminine' characteristics if thats how they feel without criticism just the same way women should be able to express supposedly 'male' traits. Without equal acceptance on both parts then the issue ins't resolved.

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27-07-2010
  34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerrouge View Post
And the other side of the coin is that men should be free to express supposedly 'feminine' characteristics and traits, because if both sides don't participate in loosening the definitions, then what you end up with is a lopsided appropriation of masculinity for both sides.
The whole 'Men Are from Mars' thing just drives me crazy ... and I hear supposedly enlightened people talking quite frequently about "male" and "female" traits that are barely gender-associated at all.

You also hear some feminists talking about "Women are like this ..." Not all women!! Not all men!! It's very hard to accurately generalize by gender. I don't think 60% of the population is nearly enough to justify the generalizations I hear every day. (The Myers-Briggs T-F axis is the only one that's gender-influenced ... 60% of women and 40% of men have an F preference. That is, prefer feeling to thinking as their primary approach.)

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Last edited by fashionista-ta; 27-07-2010 at 06:40 PM.
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27-07-2010
  35
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And perhaps that's the answer this other thread is looking for:
Why are Menswear adapting Womenswear trends

I wonder if we'll reach it in this lifetime. I don't even like the concept of a 'masculine skirt' Enough with all that already. But for the long term, it could be a form of baby steps

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Last edited by gius; 27-07-2010 at 11:01 PM.
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28-07-2010
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Perhaps this has been addressed (I'm afraid I only skimmed the thread), but the fashion industry- modeling in specific- is the only profession in which women make more money than men.

I certainly think that the fashion industry feeds into a highly unhealthy image of women towards men: 98% of women are never going to look like Miranda Kerr, but for some reason that fact seems to be lost on the general male population. That lends itself to unhealthy images of women for other women and young girls as well (AKA the whole "your only beautiful if you have 33C-23-33 measurements, perfect skin and hair, and are willing to do whatever a man wants whenever he wants it however he wants it" thought profess). But is the fashion industry really the only industry that does that? Doesn't the auto industry suggest that you're only as good as your expensive car? Doesn't the electronic industry suggest that you're only in the in crowd if you have the latest iPhone?

I doubt any industry will ever shoulder the responsibility for promoting an unattainable lifestyle. It's up to parents and educators to stress, from an early age, that it doesn't matter what you wear- be it four inch Louboutins because you like the way they look, or ballet flats because they're more comfortable- you can still be beautiful, intelligent, and confident, and that anyone who doesn't like you for you is not worth your time. There's nothing wrong with wearing True Religion jeans and carrying Chanel bags; there is something wrong with letting that define you or someone else, positive or negative.

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28-07-2010
  37
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Personally, I think the fashion industry degraded itself over the years. I mean, from the models to some designers duplicate the other's work, it's taking away the originality that fashion has to offer.

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04-09-2010
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Well I found out earlier this week how harshly some so-called feminists can judge everyone in the fashion industry w/o even understanding how the industry functions. There was an article about Christina Hendricks whining about designers not providing her with dresses because of her size, which they branded as "sexist" and "sizist". Most of them said the same thing about stores that only carry a certain size. Mind you, these are people who don't even know what a sample is (and are too close-minded to actually listen and learn when you explain it to them because they already have such staunch views/opinions of the industry).

It's kind of funny how some of these people seem to think every fashion house and boutique has unlimited finances but it gets kind of annoying when you constantly have to defend your own job or business practices. For whatever reason, most people realize that businesses need to make money, unless that business is fashion oriented, and then any semblance of common sense or intelligence just goes out the window

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05-09-2010
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^but sometimes, those business practices aren't really very friendly to the women/people being subjected to them, e.g. the difference in the treatment of models in the 80s/90s and now. I mean, one could argue that it's in the business's interest to have a very young girl who's willing to do anything to get the job modelling for them, but that wasn't always the case- some "business practices", like AA's shop staff hiring policy that treats employees' looks as more important than their actual work, or the flood of work that Terry Richardson gets despite the fact that his castings and sessions sound like they border on sexual coercion, for instance, are just plain laziness and hypocrisy.

On the other hand, you're right, some people just don't get how the industry works AT ALL. I don't condone nepotism or borderline abusive work conditions (the latter especially for models, who tend to be the youngest, most vulnerable people in the industry) but come on, I'm tired of hearing "but why can't they have models who look like meeeeee?!", "OMG!! How offensive, calling a show 'Highland Rape!", "OMG!! Corinne Day promoted heroin chic!" and things in that vein.


In other news, I'm very glad Picture Me is getting a US premiere, it needs to be seen.http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2010/....html#comments

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11-09-2010
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oh gosh, this might become a longer post, as I have spent quite some thought on that subject.
First of all I think that fashion and feminism cannot only coexist, but must and always have. it all depends on how you define fashion. I think, you cannot escape fashion - at least the way I understand it. it is a language in a way, your looks are that first moment of communication you have in most cases - note, they are really not always accurate communications - but we all send an image out by the way we look. this might be fair or not, but it is. hairy and baggy, heck, that is quite some fashion statement.
so the whole debate is at the core more about is fashion that is commonly perceived to be pretty or expected feminist. I think that comme de garcons (ha what irony) or dries van noten can easily pass as feminist - louis vuitton on the other hand - puh.
than again is so hard to say what feminism is if you look closer, the main ideological disputes were in the 70ties and 80ties. I think, nowadays we are all more about gender studies. In the 60ties it was feminist to wear a miniskirt - at least for some - it was a liberation. fashion is always about the context - the zeitgeist. it is in my opinion it is a symptom not a cause, but the dividing line is blurry.
but uhu - forgive the unconciseness of this post - I don't know whether it's good idea to come home early on a Saturday and post about feminism - but too dizzy to stop. so anyway, I think a main point has always been can one want to be commonly perceived to be attractive, or even sexually appealing, and feminist. What I can say, hell yes. There is this long history of women being degraded to sexual objects that resulted within feminist theory in a certain ambiguity towards sexuality (unless lesbian) as such. The sexual revolution doesn't really deserve it's name when it comes to women's sexuality. In my opinion, what is missing is: it is commonly agreed that it is wrong to perceive women as sexual objects, but not so commonly accepted to see them as sexual subjects. The whole point is that you cannot reduce people to their sex, not that it doesn't exist. Though I agree that the idea of masculine and feminine is a social construct when it comes to abilities and social roles. if a woman wants to be perceived as sexy she should be able to do so, but it would be wrong that she has to be at least pretty to have some good chances for a good life.

In a nutshell: Feminism isn't about what you wear, but about what you think and about what you do.

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11-09-2010
  41
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^ I mostly agree with that summary ... but I do see looks that I can't help but think of as anti-feminist, such as very high platforms that the woman can't walk in (that maybe no woman can walk in) ... I wear heels myself, but I think you need to be able to walk powerfully in them--no mincing or teetering. You might as well have your feet bound at that point. I also find large amounts of silicone and collagen, etc. to be an anti-feminist look. To me it says, I wasn't enough, so I had to do this [really very bizarre thing] to myself. Childish, Lolita looks are difficult to see as belonging to an empowered adult woman.

I find it very powerful when a woman who's not conventionally good-looking expresses her essence such that other people do find her sexy and beautiful. Sooo much better than monkey lips ...

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12-09-2010
  42
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Wasn't Coco Chanel herself a feminist? Or maybe she didnt call her self that way, but she acted like one.She never wanted to wear corsets and she free woman from corsets too.
So i guess it could work tougether.

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13-09-2010
  43
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^ I know (or I should say I have read this in accounts of people who were close to her in later years) that she really hated getting older because she really wanted to feel desired by men.

In my own personal definition of feminism, anyway, a woman doesn't define herself by the male gaze ... it's not the key factor in whether you're happy or not.

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13-11-2010
  44
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^in all honesty, Coco Chanel grew up in an age when the feminist movement was mainly all about demanding political rights for women- like suffrage. She did a lot to change the ideal of female beauty in the early part of her career, but don't really find it contradictory that she also wanted to be found desirable by the male gaze- she was ahead of her time in many ways, but was also a product of it- part of the reason why Chanel suffered something of a decline in the 60s was because she clung to the notion of elegance as a style ideal and refused to embrace blue jeans and miniskirts because they 'weren't elegant'.

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13-11-2010
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^ Have you just watched that Suzy Menkes interview of Karl Lagerfeld too? Per Karl, she was not a feminist, she hated women and denigrated them. That's one person's view, of course ... but it does seem clear that she wasn't into solidarity with other women.

I think that you need not be a feminist to be useful to the advancement of women and the feminist cause.

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