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Mar
25

FBFF and Feminism

FBFF is thanks to the lovely Katy at Modly Chic.

This weeks topic is one that Ive been struggling with since I saw it posted in this months friend friday questions.  It appeared around the same time that a group of fabulous lady bloggers that I follow, started up the feminist fashion bloggers group.

Enchanted Vintage

The struggle I had with it is this : how do I to participate in something that Ive never paid much attention to.? To clarify, (before I upset anybody) it is not that I dont care about having equal rights for women, I most definitely do. It is just not something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about in the past, which in hind-site maybe makes it seem like I dont care.  I dont want to seem like a hypocrite by participating in this weeks fbff. Truth be told the word feminism kind of intimidates me, because I feel like by not fully understanding/embracing it, I seem like an uniformed airhead. I assure you Im no airhead. Easily distracted? Perhaps.Not well enough informed? Probably. Am I choosing to be blissfully ignorant? I dont know.

I have nothing but admiration and respect for the women who do spend a lot of time thinking about womens rights and all the women who actively campaigned to get us to where we are today, even though I know we still have long way to go.(according to a recent survey women are still paid an average of only 78% of what men are paid, for the same jobs, Yikes.)

While trying to get my head around feminism and how or if,  I could contribute to both groups, I reached out to a very dear friend of mine, who I  imagine came into the world screaming “I am a feminist!”.   I thought by hearing her answer and a few others I might be able to answer the questions better myself.  I asked her how she felt feminism affected the way she dressed and this was her awesome response. (Hello, Ciara x)

” I found this a tough question to answer. I suppose I express my feminism in the way I dress by using my clothes to express myself fully. I dont generally follow trends and I like to dress in a mixture of different aesthetics. Sometimes I like to throw on a biker jacket with some pvc boots and leggings and feel like a rock chick. Other days I like to wear a 50s pin up look with pencil skirt, cardi and fascinator. I do see gender as a performance and sometimes I like to “perform” a real femme look, other times I prefer to look more edgy. I either wear a lot of makeup, or none at all. Im a burlesque performer so a lot more thought often goes into my costume than my everyday wardrobe. Since performing, Ive begun to see my whole wardrobe as a costume. Like my makeup, my clothes are all-or-nothing. I have 2 settings – very casual, trackies/leggings and tshirts, or high glam, OTT drag queen…. I like to be playful with clothes and take risks, Im not afraid to wear something bold, like a demure pencil skirt with a latex belt and leather jacket with 6 inch spike heels. I suppose the freedom and playfulness I have with clothes mean I dont allow myself to be constricted by them. I know that in the past, I felt I needed to look a certain way in clothes, that there was an expectation on my by society to dress a certain way in order to appear attractive. I suppose my feminism helped me to outgrow that expectation and rise above it. ”

I doubt anyone could come up with a better answer than that, and that is why I love her. If she found this question tough, then I truly have no hope. Either way instead of answering the questions posed to us this week,  I am just going to say that I dress the way I want to dress. FOR MYSELF. I enjoy dressing up, wearing makeup and heels but I dont feel like I have to do any of these things to look good. Have my views on how I dress or how I want to look, been influenced by the society I was raised in, one that expects women to be seen in a certain way and look certain way? Probably to a certain degree yes, but, I am happy in my own skin. Was this all just a way for me to avoid answering the other questions? Nah, (well maybe a little) Ill leave you with a link to a really great article I stumbled upon about  feminism in the 90’s (the 90’s yay!) as well as this lovely quote stolen from the above mentioned awesome friend’s facebook page. I really love it and I think it sums things up rather well.

“There’s a simple way to look at gender: Once upon a time, someone drew a line in the sand of culture and proclaimed with great self-importance, ‘On this site, you are a man; on the other side, you are a woman.’ It’s time for the winds of change to blow that line away. Simple.” – Kate Bornstein

90’s feminism link

Enchanted Vintage


  • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

    Very thoughtful! I saw your comment on my blog and, no, I don’t think that you are ignorant for not calling yourself a feminist.

    Like your friend, I think I was born a feminist and it was always an idea and belief I strongly gravitated towards. In high school, women’s reproductive rights and being pro-choice were really defining issues for me and complimented my belief in feminism.

    I think we all pick what we care about. And sometimes those things pick us. I don’t think that not defining or defining yourself a certain ways makes you ignorant or any better than anyone else.

    I think it’s important to understand why you make the choices you do. And I think you do think about that. As long as you examine life, then there’s no reason to pick up a label you don’t feel drawn to.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the quick response and the wonderful reply. xx

      Jessica Robinsonhttp://enchantedvintageclothing.com/http://www.vintageclothing.ie/catalog/

  • http://fashionpearlsofwisdom.blogspot.com/2011/03/i-dont-do-pretty-ffb-post.html Fashionpearlsofwisdom

    I think your answer was perfect, being a feminist isnt something I ever really give any thought too either, we dont really need labelling so long as we follow our beliefs x

  • http://www.forthoseabouttoshop.ca Laura Connell

    That’s very resourceful of you to call on your friend. I think that’s responsible journalism. Feminism is not definable so you can be a feminist if you say so. There’s no test. I think it’s just noticing that women don’t get treated as well as men most of the time. That’s all. And it’s so insidious and we’re so used to it that sometimes we don’t even notice.

  • Sweet Veloso

    i haven’t participated in FBFF even though I wish I had time to think and thoroughly search about the specific question but I love reading the posts on this hehehe…. Great idea in asking your friends opinion I’d say not all of us are very aware about this topic but we have our own opinion that should be respected…

    Kisses
    Sweet
    PensandLens
    @mistytewest

  • Anonymous

    I’m actually studying feminism right now for my thesis, so the thought of it makes me cringe :) but I think it’s very honest of you to tell us your real thoughts about this & not just do or say what everyone else does because that’s the safe option.

    brunetteblogging.com

    • Anonymous

      Thanks doll, I was really struggling with it, I wanted to post up something genuine and I think I managed it! x

      Jessica Robinsonhttp://enchantedvintageclothing.com/http://www.vintageclothing.ie/catalog/

    • Anonymous

      Thanks doll, I was really struggling with it, I wanted to post up something genuine and I think I managed it! x

      Jessica Robinsonhttp://enchantedvintageclothing.com/http://www.vintageclothing.ie/catalog/

  • http://twitter.com/gritandglamour Grit and Glamour

    Jessica, your second paragraph kind of sums up how I feel, so I’m so glad you wrote it. In all honestly, I’d almost rather take a needle in the eye than talk about feminism, because along the way the term has earned a negative connotation. If others choose to highlight it, like many other causes or beliefs, to each his own. But I personally believe there are some problems in our world today as the result of feminism. For every action, there is a reaction. OK, I’m going to just shut up now.

    ••V••
    http://www.gritandglamour.com
    @gritandglamour

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Vahni, Ive never really had strong feelings about the topic and I didn’t want to come across as false or uninformed. In the end I just decided to be as honest as possible!

      Jessica Robinsonhttp://enchantedvintageclothing.com/http://www.vintageclothing.ie/catalog/

  • http://twitter.com/kristyelena kristy eléna

    i am a huge fan of this topic and have written about it in the past! your post is smart and well-written, it makes me so happy to read these things. i think a lot of the confusion you express is felt by many women from many different walks of life. feminism sometimes has a negative connotation and i think the entire term is sincerely misunderstood. for me, it doesn’t dictate the way i behave, dress, or feel. it simply states a belief – women deserve to be treated equally. i think some people take that wayyy too literally though. women should be allowed to dress how they feel, and being feminist has never meant that you can’t be feminINE. it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy make up or love fashion.

    anyway! i will refrain from leaving a four page comment, but i really love reading about things like this. i think it’s a topic that deserves to be discussed, even if it’s hard to do sometimes.

    not to self-promote or anything, but if you’re interested, here’s the post i wrote about this topic too. i’d love to hear your thoughts when you have a moment. =) http://www.voguegonerogue.com/2010/07/on-feminism.html

    hugs!

  • http://mrsbossa.blogspot.com/ MrsBossa

    I really appreciate the honest way you’ve tackled this week’s questions, J. It’s so easy to assume that people are at opposite ends of the spectrum, and for people who’ve been wrestling with it for a long time it’s easy to forget how difficult it can be to feel you have ‘settled’ on your views. For me personally it has become part of my life; I can’t let it go and it’s my choice to fight that battle. But there are still issues I am mulling over, and with certain topics I change my mind all the time! It’s not an easy topic to talk about – people get so negative about it, and people feel excluded from it.

    Mainly I am glad that you don’t feel any ‘pressure’ to dress a certain way or ‘perform’ a gender (which your very shrewd friend mentioned). Someone on my blog suggested we should stop criticising people for the clothing choices they make, and start just allowing men and women to wear whatever they want, be it skirts, or latex or pantaloons. Sounds fantastic to me. :)

    • http://mrsbossa.blogspot.com/ MrsBossa

      I got carried away and forgot to say: thank you for the Link Love, love! Having your support is fantastic :) xx