Thursday, 4 November 2010

Do women really dress for male attention?




How to say this without it sounds wrong.. Since studying feminism I've realised I'm not as much of a feminist as I thought I was.
Okay that still sounds wrong.
Basically, I do agree with the rights of women but I don't agree with everything that comes up in class.
Some of the ideas are a little too extreme for my liking, does that make sense?
Today for example, we talked about the "fact" that "women dress to impress me."
I completely disagreed.
I said that women dress to impress other women. 
And then the argument went in the argument that women may dress to impress other women, but that is because they are competitive over men.
I don't agree with this either.
As I woman, I don't dress the way I dress just to get men.
If I wanted to get men I'd just walk around naked.
Most men could sit and talk to for you an hour and not know what colour your tshirt was.
But a woman, or most women, would be aware of what you were wearing and would make assumptions based on it.
Sure, women are competitive. Of course we are. Today it was brought up that boys fight and that girls are mean.
True.
But I don't believe it's always about men.
I wear my aviator jacket to get the approval of other stylish women. Women who know about Burberry Prorsum's legendary-status aviator jacket. Women who would nod with approval at my style choice.
I dress to feel good about myself.
And yes, I dress for attention sometimes, but not really for the attention of men.
Guys here in particular have no idea what is fashionable or care how a girl is dressed.
(We discussed how it seems that us Europeans care much more about how we dress.)
I don't accentuate my waist and hide my hips to attract men. I do it to make me feel better.
Is it a completely inconceivable notion that I might want to do something that isn't related to gender or sex?
According to my feminism class, yes.
They would argue that underneath it's all about men, male approval.
I don't write this blog for men, I write it for women.
I don't post pictures so guys can drool over me.
I post them so girls can feel inspired to express themselves through their clothes.
And if guys read this, great, I hope you enjoy it.
But the truth is, this is for myself and girls like me
I do think that some women dress for men, and we all do sometimes.
But I dress to look and feel good. And men do not feature in that.

I hope this makes some kind of sense.
It was just something I wanted to get off my chest.
I feel that both Lauren and I are aliens in our feminism class sometimes.
We dress nicely and with effort, we do our hair and makeup.
And I think some girls think this means we can't be feminists.
And on the extreme end of the scale, maybe that is the case.
But how does whether or not I wear makeup affect my feelings on women and their place in society?
Some people argue that you can't be a feminist and be feminine.
How is that not a complete contradiction?

I'd be interested to hear your opinions on this.
I'm sorry I'm not getting my point across especially eloquently.
This is kind of my thoughts thrown onto the screen.
I hope you can make some kind of sense of them.
I am a feminist, just a different kind of feminist to some of the people in my class.
But that does not make me any less of a feminist.

xxx

7 comments:

  1. I agree completely. It's that type of feminism I do not agree with, the idea that wearing dresses or short skirts or caring how you look is bad because it's all about male control and perceptions. I don't think it at all. Betsey Johnson said it perfectly "Girls do not dress for boys. We dress for ourselves, and of course, each other." Guys don't notice what you wear, girls do.

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  2. i think you could dress for many things- yourself - what you personally like, other women because of a love of fashion/style, or for men or attention. it was interesting to read your take on it after seeing this article: http://www.yourtango.com/20072008/is-fashion-an-art-or-science-and-who-do-you-dress-to-impress.html

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  3. wow, striking post topic you have here. in my opinion, women dress up for both themselves and to get a man's attention. it's not entirely about men since women are born to be fashionable! many will agree. women and fashion are twins in this world!

    on the other hand, of course getting attention from men is something some women find worthy of doing.

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  4. I actaully agree with the arguement that dressing to impress other women is ultimately done to garner the attention of men (after all, other women are your only competition when it comes to attraction).

    There's a fundamemntal real why human beings do the things they do, and it almost always boils down to sex and the pursuit of it.

    Look at men for example. Why do men thrive so hard to become so successful? Why do we wear cologne, work out and put gel in our hair? Frankly, men are pretty simple creatures, everything we do breaks down to the most basic human desires.

    You might want to believe otherwise, but women are no different. Your desires differ slightly from ours, but fundamentlly we are all chasing the same thing.

    Make up is a perfect example of how "competition" between women is rooted in their desire look more attractive.
    A woman with full make up on accentuates the same features on her face that change when she is sexually aroused (essentially make up recreates a woman's..."sex face").

    Lipstick recreates the swelling and reddening of the lips when a woman is turned on.
    Eye shadow accentuates the eyes, but it also recreates pupil dialation which occurs when a woman is around someone she is extrememly attracted to.

    In fashion you have High Heels; the most uncomfortble shoes in the world. Heels stretch out a woman's legs and force her to arch her back, which is a well known sign of sexual arousal.

    Short skirts; Too obvious, I don't even need to explain that one.

    Look at your local night clubs, have you seen what girls wear on freezing cold Saturday nights? :O
    It's like the weather doesn't affect you guys.

    Push up Bras - I don't need to go there, I'm sure you get the picture.

    We all have passions in lfe though, so I'm not saying that we are completly focused on sex, but when it comes to what women wear, men have EVERY bit to do with it as other women, if not more.

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  5. I think the previos comment does not focus on fashion as an art form, merely as a way to create a look of sexual pleasure.
    I defy the rule that says that I am a mere slave to cover my body in a way to attract men. While I believe that in some cases this is the case, I know that my lesbian friends and I would have to disagree. I do however believe that SOCIETY has a great deal of influence on what is percieved as beautiful, and in that I am a slave. But is this entirely because of men? This is doubtful. It is not actually that sexually pleasing to have small breasts and no hips with your ribs sticking out, yet is very much a part of our culture. Why? Well, I wont get into that. However, true fashion is actually rarely sexy. But it is beautiful. Here are just a small few examples of beauty without intention for sex:
    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://ww.dontpaniconline.com/media/additional/weird8.jpg&imgrefurl=http://ww.dontpaniconline.com/magazine/style/weird-fashion2&usg=__4V6vnF5ENC76N9u811SPZ-jVeuk=&h=467&w=292&sz=21&hl=en&start=186&zoom=1&tbnid=312f_5GdfsGu_M:&tbnh=172&tbnw=117&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dweird%2Bfashion%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1076%26bih%3D466%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C5306&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=873&vpy=107&dur=236&hovh=284&hovw=177&tx=125&ty=268&ei=6yLUTNfkIZa7nAfTg5HLBQ&oei=ZiHUTKCZC5S8ngeCtsm7BQ&esq=3&page=16&ndsp=12&ved=1t:429,r:11,s:186&biw=1076&bih=466

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://0.tqn.com/d/weirdnews/1/0/Q/G/-/-/fashion_police_85198300.jpg&imgrefurl=http://weirdnews.about.com/od/weirdphotos/ig/Weird-Fashion/Cousin-It-s-Psychedelic-Sister.htm&usg=__sOR6nRSP8pXVc4vrX3Jlhy7osjw=&h=3000&w=1977&sz=560&hl=en&start=223&zoom=1&tbnid=X7NDo4VPQtbaiM:&tbnh=174&tbnw=115&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dweird%2Bfashion%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1076%26bih%3D466%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C6419&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=868&vpy=100&dur=84&hovh=277&hovw=182&tx=98&ty=183&ei=FiPUTOXAO4qrnAewk9zGBQ&oei=ZiHUTKCZC5S8ngeCtsm7BQ&esq=5&page=19&ndsp=11&ved=1t:429,r:10,s:223&biw=1076&bih=466

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  6. Emily, as "fashionable" as those might be...I have yet to see a woman go into a sexually competitive environment (night club, bar, party etc) wearing anything even close to that unflattering.
    Only Lady Gaga would dare to be that daring.

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  7. I resonate deeply with what you put across. Feminism as we now see it is subverting the subversion of the dominant paradigm, and it's almost extremist and souless.

    The point I keep trying to put across is that, maybe I dress for myself, for other women, or for no one at all. And it's not just for the men. Like you said, to get men, just walk around naked. It's as simple as that.

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