Sunday, January 12, 2014

Soooo women wear pants...

---Why shouldn't men be able to wear skirts? Oh and top of the day to you! I hope you are having a great day. This is a topic near and dear to my heart, I hope you enjoy the read. 

 ---Prior to the middle of the 20th century, women had a very limited wardrobe of dresses and skirts. Women had a certain image that they were expected to obtain. Pants weren’t even an option for them during this time period because trousers were for men. Women were expected to wear corsets, which reduced their waist size so much that many were unable to breathe and often fainted. This was considered feminine, and females wore these to distinguish themselves from men. This was the culture of the 1800s. The way that women dressed during this time made them appear to be like dolls, and came across as fragile. Women were perceived as helpless females in frilly dresses, while men were strong and wore masculine pants. Women spent hours getting ready and would put on multiple layers of skirts.  Floor length skirts which picked up debris and constantly got dirty were what females were forced to deal with on a daily basis. Women would have to wear girdles, and hoop skirts, and clothes that weren't too revealing. Petticoats, frilly slips worn under skirts, were yet another hassle in the daily dress for women. Fashion at this time was by no means about comfort, which is partially a reason why women yearned to wear pants.  They were much more convenient, comfortable, and easier to wear than multiple layers of skirts.  At this time, corsets and skirts were feminine and distinctly separated women from men. Women couldn't wear trousers because that would portray females to be almost as equal as males.         
--- This simple piece of clothing has caused much controversy for women over the years. The social and technological changes of the 20th century propelled the movement of it being acceptable for women to wear pants. The act of wearing pants itself is a form of technology because wearing trousers makes almost any task easier than doing the same task in a skirt or dress. The revolution of women wearing pants is important because it traces the history of equality between men and women. This nonverbal communication of clothing changed dramatically when women regularly began wearing pants in the middle to late 1900s. Before the twentieth century, women were technically not allowed to wear pants because it was a masculine item, and they were looked down upon if they decided to wear them. It wasn't until the Second World War that women began wearing trousers out in public, but it still wasn't widely accepted. Finally in the 1960s, society decided that it was about time for it to be socially acceptable for women to wear pants.

---Only it didn't start equality between men and women. Women can still wear skirts, yet men can not wear them. Women can dress as they please, men can not. And please don't use the argument that women's clothes are made to fit their bodies. Like no woman ever stuffed her bra or got breast implants. No women ever wore a padded brief to fill out those jeans. No woman ever wore a corset to get that hourglass shape. 

---Any reasonably enlightened or even logical person should be able to see that there is no good reason why women are ‘allowed’ to wear skirts and men aren't. If you accept that a woman wearing trousers is perfectly normal and acceptable, then what possible objection could you raise to a man wearing a skirt? I think most people accept this argument, accept that people should be free to wear whatever they want, but they still feel the need to qualify this by saying “but I think it looks stupid/*I* wouldn't do it/I find it unattractive when men do”. Reaction to a man wearing a skirt is different to our reaction to a woman wearing one. I've been wondering why that is and I can’t help but feel that it has something do with a residual attachment to illogical norms, despite our professed enlightenment. Women wanting to dress like men is acceptable and understandable, but men wanting to dress like women is perverse and nonsensical. It’s put forward best by Lauren O in this thread:
I think it’s perhaps more likely that it’s easier for society to accept women taking on men’s roles than it is for men to take on women’s roles because women are seen as inferior. A woman wanting to take on men’s roles seems less offensive, because, the reasoning goes, who wouldn't want to be a member of the superior sex? A man wanting to take on women’s roles seems more offensive, because what man would ever want to degrade himself like that?
--- Pants weren't an option to women not that long ago. Your choice of clothes should not be tied to your birth sex. Women have been able to overcome the  gender barriers and win the right to wear whatever they please too... and no one bats an eye. I for one have no plans on waiting for the male gender revolution. I will wear what I want, and not care if you dislike it. However I hope that you do... =)


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