There is this whole, forever ongoing, criticism of women wanting equality. I mean, come on! It isn’t the 1950 anymore, it’s 2017, for God’s sake!
I always, and I mean, always, hear things like”why does she dress like that, if she’s a ‘feminist’?”, “if you don’t want to be objectified, why do you dress like a slut?”.
The funny thing is, recently, in a BBC interview, Emma Watson, also talked about this issue, as she, a woman wanting gender equality (otherwise known as a feminist) was judged and received a huge amount of hate from the public about “betraying feminist ideals” because she posed for a photoshoot with parts of her breasts revealed. Shock!
Of course, she spoke out about it, saying “Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it.”
Equality is not about gender neutrality, although if people want to be gender neutral, it is only fair to let them do so without being judged. Equality is not about creating a list that defines someone who can be equal; only IF they do this, this and this. It is not about creating a list for the perfect equal woman!
It is about having choice. Equal choice. There is no use saying a woman can either be a feminist, expecting equal pay and overall equality, and not follow gender stereotypes, or, follow gender stereotypes and not expect equality because “she’s dressing in a way that distracts men from doing their work properly.”
A feminist, or any other ordinary member of the society, had the right to expect equal pay for the same job her middle aged, white male co-worker receives just because of her biology.
Many women still want to feel pretty, appreciated and, most importantly, a woman, because it is fair to say, we are forever bombarded with women’s magazines that show attractive females, dressing in a fashionable way and it would be unfair to say that we cannot aspire to look like them.
Of course, working on a positive body image and dieting and going to extreme measures to achieving said ‘look’, is a debate for another time, but let’s focus on what I am trying to say.
When watching ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ (and I really am not trying to sound clichè) one scene really stuck with me. It is the scene when Liz (Julia Roberts) and her blonde friend go on a shopping trip in Rome to buy a bigger pair of jeans so that they can enjoy food without feeling guilty about their ‘muffin tops’. Although that is a message in itself, the bit that particularly stood out to me was when Liz was admiring a very pretty, delicate night dress on a manequinn. When her friend told her that the dress was beautiful and that she should get it, Liz’s response was “per chi”, which in Italian means ‘for whom’. My favourite thing about this scene was the moment when her friend replied “for you”.
What I am trying to get out here is that as a feminist, you don’t need to steer away from gender ‘stereotypes.’ As a feminist you should strive to avoid using your gender to get money or a job, but use your femininity, sexuality to feel good about yourself. If buying a pretty night dress makes you feel good while you sit there and read a book, there is no reason you should not do so, just because it is ‘girly’ and because some people see lingerie and night wear as pieces of clothing that are made just to make you look appealing for men. This is what equality is about. Wearing what you feel good in. Wearing things you feel attractive to yourself, because no man can tell you what you look good in and what you don’t. It’s up to you. And this is what I mean, when I say ‘equal choice’. We should decide what we look good in and feel good in. We, as females, have the power to say no, when we want to and and yes, whenever we want to.
No man, or judgemental woman, have the power in telling us what to wear, because you can still be pretty and want to be seen as an equal opponent to your middle aged, white male co-worker.
Now, I’m going to wear my cute silky pink robe for myself, and only myself.