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Friend Friday: Feminism

A Balancing Act

I am in Amsterdam this weekend, but the Friend Friday is feminism, and since Katy kindly moved those questions so as not to clash with the FFB event, I just had to contribute. But I am rushed rushed rushed so it’s short/not that thought out!

1. Do you think there is an incompatibility between feminism and a love for fashion?

No, of course not! As I said before, for me feminism is about broadening the range of acceptable/possible behaviours/interests/styles, not restricting it.

2. There is more to each of us than a love for fashion, how do you incorporate every aspect of yourself into your blog?

I don’t incorporate every aspect of myself, that would be impossible even if I wanted to! The me I present here is just one part of me, a little window into my world. I don’t claim what you see here is me in my entirely, but I do claim that everything you see is me in some way. So in that sense, the answer is that I’m just myself, I talk about things I care about and things I’ve thought about and outfits I have worn.

3. With the fashion industry still being a male-dominated profession, how do you think it would differ if women played a larger role?

I don’t know much about the fashion industry, but isn’t it more that while there are lots of women employed in the fashion industry (in fact, I picture it as being female dominated), the very top jobs are still held by men, and male designers get more attention?

I’d like to think that being women with women’s bodies female designers would be more likely to produce clothes that look good on average size and height women. But I don’t know if that’s necessarily true of the women designers there are and anyway, I dislike categorical statements about what women and men are like. Male designers are just as capable of making well fitting clothes, and many female designers are just as likely to make their customers squeeze themselves into an unattainable fantasy. Similarly, fair working practices for people employed in the industry, including models, are nor a female preserve, and simply getting more women into/to the top of the industry will not magically make it fairer and more caring. You have to actually work at that too.

4. How is your self-image and the way you carry yourself informed by your beliefs?

Well, I wrote last week about how my clothing reflects my feminism, and some of that could easily extended to a more general attempt to be ethical in my consumption choices.

As for my self-image and my beliefs, they are connected in pretty much infinite ways. I am conscious of being a highly (over?) educated person, which reflects my belief that knowledge and reflection will lead to a better life for humanity. I work for government and for the public good, for a lesser wage than I would get in the private sector, which reflects my belief that state regulation and provision is necessary, that we can’t let markets run riot, because there is nothing in the way that markets work that will ensure that those worst off aren’t simply dropped into misery while those at the top get richer and richer. I could go on, but you get the picture.

5. Do you think clothing/makeup/hair helps communicate the truth about yourself or are those things superfluous add-ons?

I certainly think that clothing etc is part of the way we construct our identities. Everyone makes assumptions about other people based on the way they look. We can’t help it, we need short cuts like that for our brains not to overload with information. And of course everyone has to get dressed in some way, so there is no getting out of this. As one of the FFB bloggers wrote last week, there is no neutral position when it comes to clothes. We can’t be disembodied brains.

So we may as well use our clothing consciously to communicate the aspect of ourselves we choose. Though of course that aspect may well be that we don’t care about clothing – I certainly don’t think that wearing scruffy clothing is some sort of moral failure. So yes, I think that clothes can help communicate a truth about ourselves, though I would reject the idea about the truth – our identities are always contextual, always in flux and the idea of some immutable. essential self does not take that into account.

What do you think, peeps?

For a roundup of this week’s posts, visit Modly Chic.

unrelated picture via here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • poet 25 March 2011, 8:36 am

    Sounds well thought out to me! I'm happy to find myself agreeing with you once again!

  • MrsBossa 25 March 2011, 11:02 am

    I didn't know you were a feminist, Franca! (ho ho ho…)

    I'm glad you made the distinction between a truth and the truth – I did too. Therein lies the joy of fashion for me. We're lucky, too, that we have the luxury of choice and the chance to talk about that choice.

  • Fashnlvr 25 March 2011, 12:54 pm

    Thought provoking answers you have here. I like number 5 – A truth not THE truth. I struggled with answering that question but I feel your answer.
    Happy Friend Friday!

  • Rebecca 25 March 2011, 3:49 pm

    I like your answer to number 5.

  • Laurel Harrison 25 March 2011, 4:38 pm

    I really love how much thought and time you've put into this post. (Over-educated is not possible! My little teacher brain weeps at the idea!) I appreciate and value everything you've written and here. Thank you for sharing with us. I have loved reading all the posts on this topic for FBFF. Thank you for being so open and just.

    I'm an FBFF member, too!

  • Ceri 25 March 2011, 5:47 pm

    great post. I think I probably agree with you on much of this. I particularly like your answer on incorporating every aspect of yourself into your blog – I don't think we need to

  • Fashionpearlsofwisdom 25 March 2011, 7:53 pm

    I thought your answers were great for a rushed post! I especially liked the points you made aobut male and females in the fashion world, I agree you cannot classify people by sex. There are many female designers like Donatella Versace who make sexy, slinky just as much as Tom Ford for example.

  • Fabienne Jach 25 March 2011, 8:03 pm

    Yes! Clothing choices communicate A Truth rather than The Truth about ourselves. It's up to us to continue to complete that truth with our actions and our voice. It's up to others to be receptive of it. Well said, Franca:)
    The House in the Clouds

  • emilyknightley 25 March 2011, 9:44 pm

    Have fun in Amsterdam!!!

    As always, even your short answers are well thought out. Have really enjoyed your FFB posts – they inspired me for this week's FBFF 🙂

  • Veshoevius 25 March 2011, 11:45 pm

    Agree with you on so many things! You raise a good point here that "getting more women into/to the top of the industry will not magically make it fairer and more caring" – I do wonder how much the ideal of beauty would change. Would it actually become more encompassing and embracing of other types of beauty other than what has been traditionally promoted? Or would it stay the same?

    And I agree with you on 2 – would be impossible to incorporate everything even if you wanted to!

    Have a great time in Amsterdam!

  • Danielle O'B 26 March 2011, 4:22 pm

    I always enjoy reading your thoughts!

  • Rebecca 10 October 2011, 7:26 am

    I like your answer to number 5.