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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Link between lack of clothes and women's empowerment?

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Author Topic: Link between lack of clothes and women's empowerment?
Member # 802

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I read this the other day. It's a column by Russel Smith, a middle aged guy who's having trouble keeping his tongue in his mouth now that groins are increasingly on diplay due to the trend of low-rise jeans.

But he also makes a case that skimpy clothing on women is a sign of power. Smith notes that "Historically, times of increased freedom in female dress have coincided with increased female emancipation in society. The bareness of the early 1800s, for example, owed something to the spirit of egalitarianism introduced by the French revolution and the Napoleonic era. The short-skirt flapper revolution of the 1920s neatly paralleled a postwar influx of women into the workplace"

What also comes to my mind is the burqa, which, in many people's minds has a connotation of female oppression.

Do you think the same applies to men, in any way? And do you think sexual power is the sort of power women should use in order to gain equality?

Posts: 582 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Celtic Daisy
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Firstly, I don't think skimpy clothes necessarily give power, but I think it's a sure sign of confidence. If someone has the ability to wear little clothing with pride and confidence, then indirectly, they're going to feel, and probably be more powerful.

I don't really think it's the same with men. Over history women have had a different role, which was often to be covered up, and that parts of the body are shameful or innapropriate to show off, while men haven't had as much scrutiny with their bodies. From what I've seen, women have more of a concentration and more critiqueing with their bodies, and the fact that after hiding our bodies for so long, that we can show them off with pride and confidence is a big deal.

If a man loses some clothes I just don't think it will be viewed in the same way, technically a nice little double standard, I suppose.

I don't really think this is a bad kind of power, but I don't sexual power is what women should be using to get ahead in the world. I also have to say I find those low rise, super tight jeans kind of well as looking extremely tight and uncomfortable...sorry to those who enjoy them.

I think sexual power or sexual confidence is a wonderful thing to have, but it shouldn't be your main way to get what you want. There are other things which women and men should be able to use in order to get ahead in life.

'You've got the eyes of ten women. Not in a jar! I wasn't accusing you. I just mean your eyes are really nice'-coupling

Erin Jane
~Scarleteen Advocate~

[This message has been edited by Celtic Daisy (edited 09-22-2002).]

Posts: 1747 | From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Is it really a question of sexual power or fashion freedom? During the time of the Napoleonic Wars, proper, fashionable English women were rouging their nipples and exposing the upper part of them at parties and balls. Was this a symbol of emancipation?

The ladies of the women's sufferage movement belonged to the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. These women campaigned in clothes that covered them from the neckline to the feet. A bare ankle or a visible ankle in hose was considered obscene.

A woman's relative "freedom" does not seem to correlate very well to fashion trends.

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 09-23-2002).]

Posts: 3442 | From: Stirling, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Power is a tricky thing. In this case, one might only have it so long as one doesn't use it. As one of my friends once said, "I don't even get excited by thigh anymore, because you see it all the time." If nudist colonies are any evidence, people will adjust.

Furthermore, sexual power will have varying strength depending on the people involved. I doubt the effectiveness of it on gay men, or men (like myself) for whom sex isn't "all-absorbing".

I must admit I am curious as to how the groin could be viewed as non-sexual. The other parts mentioned (legs, belly, breasts) don't have much to do with sex beyond the meaning that a culture attaches to them.

Sapphire Cat, a feline who can be both pink and blue...

[Heh--don't mind the icon, I started off with a bit of a different post in mind and forgot to change that.]

[This message has been edited by sapphirecat (edited 09-23-2002).]

Posts: 235 | From: Louisville KY (St. Matthews) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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