This post will be a little different in comparison to my usual ones; however for a while I've been longing to do this post in order to address something which I've observed strewn all over various crevices of the internet. As you may have deduced judging from the title, the subject matter of this post will be based around the feminism versus fashion blogging debate, which has circulated around the internet for quite a substantial amount of time.
First thing's first, I'm a feminist. As Caitlin Moran correctly said in How To Be A Woman: "a) do you have a vagina? And b) do you want to be in charge of it? If you said yes to both, then congratulations! You're a feminist." Secondly, I strive not to conform to the modern day pressures in which to attain the standards of what is deemed 'perfect' in today's misogynistic society. I dress solely for myself, not in some sort of attempt to please or satisfy the patriarchy, which is commonly a substantial misconception of the fashion industry. Without sounding too cliche, I view dressing as a method of self-expression and experimentation. For me, an outfit has the ability to transform my mood and persona, as well as boost my confidence, depending on what it may be. I frequently find myself to be rather baffled when people say things along the lines of, "I want to be judged on who I am, not the clothes I wear." It's very similar to saying "I want to be judged on who I am, not on the words that come out of my mouth." My point is, fashion is a form of expression. A language of sorts. Perhaps even an art form. However, it's also amongst the minority of forms of expression, languages and art forms in which women have more freedom than men. Women are gradually gaining the power in which to cut loose and liberate themselves from the shackles of the patriarchy. We don't have to succumb to the demands of men and how they'd like for us to dress- women shouldn't be judged by the opposite sex purely based upon their attire.
It was for this exact reason when, in 2011, feminists everywhere were galvanised into action when a Toronto Police officer who referred to women and survivors of sexual assaults as 'sluts', suggested that women 'dressing like sluts' were inviting their own victimisation; and thus the Slut Walk was born. I cannot express in terms of words how much this statement angers me. Women shouldn't have to take the blame for sexual assault purely as a result of how they may be dressed; it is the men who need more discipline when it comes to situations such as these. Contrary to the popular fallacy that fashion is nothing more than a materialistic woman's fantasy, this is definitely not the case. It is the pinnacle of irony that women are viewed as ornamental in a society that still unfortunately values us more for appearance in comparison to our accomplishments; and are encouraged to fit the stereotypical mold of what is considered beautiful, yet are then derided as shallow and vain for doing so. Women's fashion is not intended to attract male attention and male approval- you should dress primarily for yourself, and nobody else. Women are independent beings, and you should do whatever it takes to make yourself feel beautiful and confident in your own skin.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this relatively different post, and it didn't just sound like a load of garble and nonsense. I'd love to hear your views on the feminism vs fashion argument either in the comments below, or if you'd wish to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hugs and kisses, Sarah xo