Fashion, Freedom, and Feminism | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Fashion, Freedom, and Feminism

Can feminists wear micro-minis and still be taken seriously?

The word feminist, as I understand it, describes a woman who believes in the right to make decisions about her life as an individual, not as a certain sex. To me, feminism can mean choosing to be a married woman staying home with five kids while her husband works, just as much as it can mean a woman who chooses not to have children and focus on a career. There are also many women who choose a life somewhere in the middle. The point is that it is all about choice. I choose to work and be home for my son at night, and I choose to get married. I also choose to wear very short skirts. Why does this make some women so angry?

On my 30th birthday I decided to wear a very short, sexy little red thing (think Jessica Rabbit's sultry red gown chopped off way above the knee). I consider myself lucky to be short. Because of my petite size (I'm 5'2"), I can pull things off like extemely high stilletos and really short dresses without looking like a hooker, and I work out, so why not wear a hot red dress on my birthday? I met my friends at Elixir, one of my favorites around town because of the Mississippi Martinis, to start out the evening. They all loved my dress, though I must admit I was a bit self-concious in it.

One girl at the bar, however, was obviously offended by it. She came over to our table, sat down by me and whispered in my ear, "Honey, I think the length of your dress makes you look easy." I was really shocked. If that dress had been on Sarah Jessica Parker in an episode of "Sex and the City," it would have been perfectly acceptable. This girl, to me, is definitely not a feminist. I realized at that moment I was wearing a very powerful statement for feminism. Maybe I should have embroidered the words "all this and brains too" on the front of the dress. That would have really gotten her judgemental panties in a wad.

I don't see anything wrong with a woman displaying her sexuality, and I don't assume she is easy or less intelligent than a woman who chooses to cover up a bit more. What's really disturbing to me is that it's the women who are the judgemental ones when it comes to other women and how much they choose to reveal. If the feminist ideal is to allow women to be themselves, then why are other women making comments like the one the girl in Elixir made to me? My dress was fabulous ... absolutely fabulous!

Previous Comments

ID
113106
Comment

That would have really gotten her judgemental panties in a wad. Giggle.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-05-24T12:04:17-06:00
ID
113107
Comment

I don't see anything wrong with a woman displaying her sexuality ..and yet women complain when guys point it out. Hm.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-05-24T12:37:53-06:00
ID
113108
Comment

I wore a dress to the Chick Ball which promoted my...um, "girls" a bit. It made me feel good and kept my dates eyes on me all night. Screw that woman. Me and Emily often scream at each other "Chin up and tits out!!" to remind ourselves who we are, what we are going for, and how good we should feel about having them to lay out in the first place.

Author
Lori G
Date
2007-05-24T13:28:44-06:00
ID
113109
Comment

Ironghost, you're my latest hero for having the guts to say something. Where is Kingfish?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-05-24T14:13:12-06:00
ID
113110
Comment

Dunno, I figured he'd beat me to it though.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-05-24T14:17:54-06:00
ID
113111
Comment

I aways figured the best course of action was to just look without saying anything when the woman isn't yours. But I'm just a dumb man.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-05-24T14:26:06-06:00
ID
113112
Comment

She came over to our table, sat down by me and whispered in my ear,"Honey", she called me, "I think the length of your dress makes you look easy". She should have thanked the lady, and then told her she wore it just to attract a woman like her. "Care to have a drink with me?" ;-) That would really get her bunched up! If someone has the nerve to say something catty like that, they deserve to have it served back at 'em one better! Like a friend's wife who said we were "freaks" because we had some "Chocolate Body Powder." Hey, it says on the cover that it makes a great cup of hot chocolate! It does! So, I asked if she cared for a cup? ;-p Or this lady I overheard say as this other woman walked by at a party, "That girl needs to put on some underwear." First of all, why the comment in front of the few of us around? Did she think we'd agree or did she want us to check out her butt? Second, how did this lady know that she didn't have on a thong to keep from having panty lines on her nice dress? Ms. Pike and I were like, "WTF?" to one another. All these are are examples of sexual repression! Well, people should keep it to themselves! Trust me, I don't want you in my bedroom, and I sure as heck don't want to be in their's!

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-05-24T14:40:19-06:00
ID
113113
Comment

Where is Kingfish? Oh, he got banned again. He cussed somebody out on the immigration thread. I thought you were in there the other day.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-24T14:53:06-06:00
ID
113114
Comment

I thought the women "growed him up" at the Chick's ball. I was in there but didn't read all the posts on immigration. How did you like the joke I added about the saxophone player?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-05-24T14:57:31-06:00
ID
113115
Comment

Oh, I forgot to comment on that - YOU'RE NUTS! LOL

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-24T15:11:18-06:00
ID
113116
Comment

I think there is a marked difference between when a woman displays her sexuality and when women as a group are objectified or defined by their sexuality. When a woman chooses how she dresses, she owns her own sexuality. It's hers to flaunt (or repress) as she so chooses. However, feminists "complain" when females are exploited as a whole. Men are able to own their sexuality and present it when they want, as well as they can have interactions that are completely asexual. You can see a man as just a business man or just a clerk or just a man, but for some reason, it seems a woman is continually wearing her sexuality on her sleeve, no matter the outfit, the occasion, or the hour. I do believe society is getting much better, but you still see this problem when a woman has to try to choose something to wear to court (or to make a presentation). A man wears a suit. But a woman, oh god, her outfit can't be too matronly (she looks outdated), nor too provocative (not taken seriously). Should it be a skirt suit or are pants okay? How does she wear her hair without looking too severe and cold or too young and inexperienced. Like I said, I think it's improving (styles and attitudes) but there is still the pressure on women to always represent (by playing up or toning down) their sexuality. The breakthrough comes when a man and a woman can interact totally separate from his and her sexuality AND when they make the choice to allow it as a part of the interaction they are having, like flirting. That's how I see the difference, anyways.

Author
PostmodernMilly
Date
2007-05-24T16:44:13-06:00
ID
113117
Comment

Trust me, I don't want you in my bedroom, and I sure as heck don't want to be in their's! me Dude, you need to work on your english usage! Their's does not exist. Sorry... However, postmodernmilly, until you have to pick the right tie and socks you just don't know how hard it is to "just wear a suit." ;-)

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-05-24T17:11:59-06:00
ID
113118
Comment

Yet I have seen some women lawyers dress perfectly as a woman and lawyer simultaneously. I know a young black female lawyer who I think can teach a class on how to be beautiful, smart and engaging at the same time. I've even tried to get her to talk to other female lawyers who don't seem to know anything or much about balance. She declined saying some women can't be told anything.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-05-25T07:45:20-06:00
ID
113119
Comment

There is a big difference between pointing out that a woman looks sexy and just pointing her out. I have no problem when a man complements me or stares a bit. I do have a problem when graphic language or gestures are used. I think a good rule to follow is if you wouldn't say it in fron of my boyfriend, don't say it at all. My boyfriend doesn't have a problem when a man notices me. When we went to New Orleans for his birthday I let him pick out a dress for me to wear. Let's just say I can fit it in my pocket. At first I was a bit uneasy about walking down Beale St. in a dress cut down to my navel, but hey, it was his birthday. A couple men stopped us on the street and shook his hand and congratulated him and said, "That's one fine woman!". He thought that was cool and perfectly acceptable. No vile language was used. No crotches were grabbed for me to see. It was actually kind of cute.

Author
caroline
Date
2007-05-25T10:43:08-06:00
ID
113120
Comment

Beale Street in New Orleans? HDMatthias

Author
HDMatthias, MD
Date
2007-05-26T22:22:44-06:00
ID
113121
Comment

I'm sure she meant Bourbon St.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-26T22:57:20-06:00
ID
113122
Comment

Ray Carter: The woman lawyer point is interesting to me and it is interesting on an entirely DIFFERENT thread I am NOT trying to associate any of mine or Ray's on this thread. As a male attorney I know I have to wear a suit to certain courts... I am sure you know at least some of them, since I do not know the range of your practice. I feel certain you are aware that there are some jurisdictions that a female attorney MUST wear a skirt or she is not allowed to appear before the judge. I just if you feel as I do that it is demeaning that there are Judges in Mississippi that will not let a woman practice in front of them in pants? I know of three judges in this state that will not let a woman appear as an attorney with pants on, since woman wear skirts. Granted men also have to wear suits, no sports coats, in the same court rooms so there is a adherence to formality, but I think it is misplaced. Thoughts? AGamma627

Author
AGamm627
Date
2007-05-27T01:14:12-06:00
ID
113123
Comment

Here's my take...said by the chick in the Hooters tank ;P I like to do sexy when I know sexy will be appreciated and not dog lapping, drooling, commented upon. I would feel great going to the Chick Ball or perhaps to a New Year's Eve thing...it all depends on the place and context of the evening. I would never dress that way to work or other professional function. And yes, chin up...tits out. Learned it from the queens! Unfortunately, or fortunately, for me, there's not much I can buy that doesn't accentuate the "girls." I WOULD dress sexy on Beale or Bourbon or even Elixer. And the thing is Doc, when you're surrounded by intelligent and accepting folks like I'm sure Caroline and I are, dressing a little sexy out on the town with friends would only illicit the inappropriate comments from folks who don't have many socially intelligent/ accepting friends. Time and place. And my style has ALWAYS been understated sexy. I've never been much of a skin girl; although, I did have my marica brady skirt phase in college. I had great legs then ;)

Author
emilyb
Date
2007-05-27T06:47:39-06:00
ID
113124
Comment

Actually I meant Beale St. in Memphis. Guess my mind is on my upcoming trip to New Orleans in July. Silly me.

Author
caroline
Date
2007-05-29T09:20:57-06:00
ID
113125
Comment

My mind is on the trip too. I wonder what you'll wear this time? haha

Author
Ray
Date
2007-05-29T23:49:58-06:00
ID
113126
Comment

I don't see why women have to wear dresses in certain courts or church. What wrong with pants or dresses?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-06-04T08:22:13-06:00
ID
113127
Comment

I don't see why women have to wear dresses in certain courts or church. What wrong with pants or dresses? Ray, I think it is a form of oppression. Coming from a religious background where women wearing pants or makeup was forbidden, I've done research and found that a lot of these sects with such rules started around the turn of the century. A lot of changes were occurring in the US then, and I think that certain religious leaders wanted to keep their followers as submissive as possible and not be influenced by their surroundings. When silent movies became popular, they were allowed to go to the theater. When televisions were invented, they weren't allowed to have one in the house. As changes in women's fashion came about, they had their women wearing long skirts and dresses, and some even said that they had to wear long sleeves and stockings year round. Open toed shoes were a no-no, and some organizations would disfellowship men and women alike for wearing red. If you look at the way some of these women dress today, it looks like a throwback to the 1900's. Why do people continue to do this? The leaders use scriptures such as these: A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this. - Deuteronomy 22:5 (NIV) I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. - 1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NIV) Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. - 1 Peter 3:2-4 (NIV) Does any scripture say anything about pants? No. Why? Because PANTS WEREN'T INVENTED YET. The first scripture is from the Old Testament, so you have to be mindful of the context. This verse was one of the Mosaic laws, and Christians are not required to follow those. If that was the case, should we follow this one today, which is from the same chapter: If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. - v. 28, 29 See what I mean? As for the New Testament verses, the authors wanted the women to not be superficial, but to focus on inner beauty and the state of their souls.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-06-04T10:29:41-06:00
ID
113128
Comment

I suppose I'm a prude. IF so, I'll wear the title proudly. But if a woman chooses to wear a short skirt, that is her business: but puhleeze, make sure you know how to bend over and grab an item if you drop something. We were in my hometown in KY back the end of May. We were parked in front of the bakery, and a couple of ladies pulled in the space in front of us. When they got out, one of them had a mini skirt on. She dropped something, and bent over to pick it up. I saw more than I ever wanted to see. That is not ladylike, in my opinion: that is sluttish. I saw a young lady last night who was wearing a white skirt and blouse. The skirt was see through, and you could also see everything there. We used to wear things called slips, which I do not believe she has heard of. I thought about pointing her to the lingerie section, but I don't know if it would have done any good. Just cause you got it don't mean you gotta flaunt it. I believe a little left to the imagination can go a long way.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-06-04T10:36:48-06:00
ID
113129
Comment

I saw a young lady last night who was wearing a white skirt and blouse. The skirt was see through, and you could also see everything there. We used to wear things called slips, which I do not believe she has heard of. I thought about pointing her to the lingerie section, but I don't know if it would have done any good. It seems lika a lot of women have gotten away from certain undergarments that they may need to improve the overall look of their ensemble. I believe in slips for thin dresses and skirts. I also hate the peekaboo thong look. They make low rise drawers, you know. And please, for God's sake, if you have a a lot of jiggly in your wiggly, PLEASE put on a girdle!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-06-04T10:44:18-06:00

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