Guys, I need to rant a little today. This past weekend, my friend invited me to go to a fashion show in Boston. At the show, there were many interesting and thought-provoking outfits. Think pretty maxi dresses and loud jackets. One outfit that particularly stood out to me was a shirt that read “Down with the Patriarchy, Down with Males” and matching pants that said “feminism” multiple times. Now, I’m all about feminism. It is incredibly important for women to support each other and pull each other up. I talk about that this article about how we can empower women through fashion. That outfit was not feminism. This outfit wasn’t about making everyone equal. That outfit was about putting down a gender. After being oppressed throughout history, why would women want the same thing to males? So this shirt got me thinking… how does feminism fit into today’s fashion world?
What Does Feminism Actually Mean?
The word feminism gets thrown around quite frequently in today’s society. The media makes it seem like being a feminist means you’re going to burn your bra and run around screaming, “down with men!” In reality, being a feminist means you’re willing to fight and work for everyone to be treated equally. That means women and men. Just as a woman can be a feminist so can a male.
How to Check if You’re a Feminist
Do you want people to be treated equally? Do you think it’s unfair that girls miss out on opportunities to learn because they get sent home for wearing something that is “too short”? Do you think it is unfair that women have to pay a pink tax for feminine items such as tampons, razors, pads, and deodorant? Do you think it’s unfair that men can’t show their emotions because showing emotions is a “female thing”? Does it bother you that “you run like a girl” is an insult? Does it bother you that women are told they can’t walk alone at night because it’s “unsafe”? Do you think it’s unfair if a woman gets paid less for the same job as a male? Does it bother you that a woman may not be hired because she may have a child? Does it bother you that when a woman speaks her mind she is often a “bitch” instead of a “leader”? If you said yes to these then congratulations… you’re a feminist.
Why is Feminism so Important?
Without equality, our society cannot grow. Every time you encounter a new person with a different belief or ideology they help you grow. Each new person can show you different perspectives that you never once encountered or thought of. If women aren’t being offered the same opportunities as men, it makes us lack important perspectives. Feminism is not only important for women’s right but for men’s rights as well. If there is gender equality that means males can get paternity leave to help with a new baby, they can express their feelings without ridicule, and even pursue different careers. We need male and female feminist to close the bridge of equality so that males and females have endless opportunities.
Why This Outfit Reminds Me of Feminism
Whenever I wear a poncho or a long, boyfriend cardigan, I think of Olivia Pope from Scandal. For those who have never watched Scandal… you may need to log onto Netflix and start binge watching right now. Scandal is produced by Shanda Rhimes, an incredibly talented figure in Hollywood. Shanda writes storylines that are typically with a strong female character that is more worried about her career than a love interest, a storyline that is unheard of in today’s entertainment. She also writes Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder, two shows that feature career-driven women.
Dressing as a feminist doesn’t mean you have to wear slogan tees or burn your bra. It means that you just wear what makes you feel powerful and strong. So if that means going braless, so be it. If that means wearing a poncho (or cape), do it! Dressing as a feminist means you wear something that makes you happy. Don’t dress for others, dress for yourself.
Don’t Support Feminist Shirts Made by Fast Fashion Companies
Since feminism has become “mainstream” there have been tons and tons of shirts that have come out that say feminist slogans. This is great… until you realize that the companies making these shirts are exploiting the hundreds of women making the clothes. For example, if you buy a shirt that says “I’m a Feminist” that was made in Bangladesh by a woman who can’t afford dinner let alone that shirt… is that really supporting feminism? If you want to wear the words “feminist” proudly, buy a shirt that supports the women who make it. A great feminist/human rights shirt is this one from Everlane that reads “100% Human”. (Black/White) (White/Pink)
Other Feminist Inspired Articles that Might Interest You
What does feminism mean do you? Are you a feminist? Do you think that that graphic t-shirt was a feminist message? Let me know in the comments down below.