Fashion and Feminism
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Power to the 99%
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hardly ever at Barney's
Originally Posted by
I'm not going to go into too much detail about it since I'd be here all day if I did...
I do believe fashion and feminism can coexist. Or more accurately,
and feminism can very happily coexist. It's not a betrayal of feminist ideals if you like to wear lipstick and pretty clothes and shoes, since IMO the whole point of feminism is to enable women to have choices in the way they live and present themselves, and to have those choices respected. It's a means to express yourself, and I think that's an amazing thing.
On the other hand, I think the fashion
itself can be appallingly misogynistic in its treatment of women (who constitute a large chunk of its work force). Just look at the treatment of models- I can't help but think of the stories of Ali Michael, Coco Rocha and Natalia Vodianova- or the reports about Terry Richardson (in any other industry, a man "requesting" sexual favours from a young woman in order to work with her would be likely to be slapped with a lawsuit, but in his case? Business as usual).
And I'm not even going into debates on the blind consumerism encouraged by mainstream fashion magazines (with the messages being: change your wardrobe every six months! Buy ugly sh*t because it's trendy! Expensive clothes and shoes will change/complete your life!).
I'll sum it up by saying, you
engage with fashion in a feminist manner if you so choose, and it is possible for fashion and feminism to coexist- but the industry doesn't really value that. Also, I believe that fashion gets a very bad rap partly because it's seen as a thing for women- I see men spending more on cars and electronics (iPads? come on!) than women do on clothes (which are, after all, a necessity) but because fashion is more "frivolous" than electronics, it's easier to criticise it. I realise I sound rambly, but I'm sorry- v. sleepy here.
, agree with all you say here.
I have never felt any conflict between my interest in fashion and my feminism ... granted, one came before the other--or at least, I knew I was interested in fashion before I realized I was a feminist
I think it's really important for younger feminists to educate themselves about the hateful and inaccurate stereotypes of feminists that have been perpetrated in the media, with IMO the clear intention of intimidating women ... Betty Friedan was of course married when she wrote The Feminine Mystique. Only after she became a leader in the movement did her husband start beating her, and she had to kick him to the curb. She also had sons, and I'm sure at no point did she hate men. Many leaders in the women's movement were and are married or otherwise involved with men. As long as there have been feminists, there have been feminists who loved men.
But the result of this lie is that today you have many women who are in actuality feminists, but disassociate themselves from the movement. "I'm not a feminist, but ..." This does not make us more powerful.
I would love to see feminism assert itself much more in fashion, and I think a fantastic way to start would be to have the backs of the young women who work in fashion. If models were unionized, I think a lot of these problems could be solved quickly.
It's odd to me that the majority of people who work in fashion seem to have rather liberal ideas, and yet ... we have all this misogyny. What's up with that?
Luxury is living a simple, elegant, and responsible life. Luxury is a reduction.
Last edited by fashionista-ta; 15-07-2010 at
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