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Do you ever read something and just find your face stuck like this o_O?

Yeah, so I read a woman’s blog entry recently that just made one eye squinch up, while the other bugged out, and my mouth perhaps went “wha’ th’…you have got to be kidding me…the hell you say…” and maybe something incoherent about skirt/cold-dead-ass.

The thesis of said blog entry, if you don’t feel like clicking through, is that when we “ladies”* wear skirts, we diminish our credibility.

One more thing: The Black Skirt Initiative = the same woman. So. Does or doesn’t she want you to wear a skirt? Maybe she doesn’t want you to wear one, but she sure wouldn’t mind if you bought one from her.

I think the main thing that irked my working ire is the notion of women policing each other as to what to wear, how to present themselves, especially doing so in ways that evoke shame, that invoke the “Male Gaze” as a threat, and that aim to stifle legitimate means of expression (and I consider fashion sense a legitimate means of expression). I also think it dodges dangerously close to the accusatory tone one hears out of the anti-feminist camp which states that women who dress “provocatively” bring sexual harassment and rape upon themselves.

It’s also related to one of the things i find so tiresome about celebrity magazines and their endless stream of best-dressed/worst-dressed/who-looks-fat/who-looks-ana articles. It’s all about laying completely subjective judgments (written in authoritative tones) on what should clearly be considered matters of personal taste and inclination. Like Princess Beatrice, upon whom I have a bit of a girlcrush. This child has a stupid quantity of money at her disposal, a beautiful face and figure, and regularly goes about looking as though she’d been styled by Pippi Longstocking on a gin bender. Somehow, I find it incredibly endearing that she apparently deliberately dresses as oddly as she does.

The voyeur culture surrounding celebrities, especially the bitchy, snarky looks-ism that is woven deep into the fabric of that culture spreads outward, and we all end up wearing a bit of it. Some of us, like Lesley and her swimming suit and All Mel, All the Time say “fuck it” and wear whatever the hell they want for comfort, personal style, and just because.

Or like me and my skirts. It’s hot as hell out there right now. I can’t show up to work in shorts and a tank top, but I can pass muster in a sleeveless blouse and a knee-length skirt, and so by gosh and by golly, I sure as shit will. My skirts are age, setting, and and lifestyle “appropriate.” I’ve hit upon a formula that works and from which I rarely deviate. My skirts are generally knee-length or somewhere within a couple of inches thereabouts. A-line or somewhat flared. Printed, or solid, dark colors (usually brown, like my trousers). I find that this length (circa knee) is ideal for my purposes…long enough not to scoot up too high when I sit, short enough not to blow back into the rear brake caliper on my bicycle as I ride to and from work. Likewise an A-line or a moderately full gored or gathered skirt works well for mobility purposes. I have ease of movement for walking, filing, stair climbing, and general flailing about, but the skirt isn’t so wide as to be obtrusive, and again, stays free of that nasty rear brake. With the right top, accessories, decent shoes, and when my hair co-operates, I end up looking about as good as I ever will, and what’s more important, being comfortable throughout the day. That way I can concentrate on more important things, like writing letters that will wow potential clients, like coercing Adobe X to co-operate with headings for multiple page sizes, or with deciphering a project manager’s cramped and globby hand-writing. You know…using that brain that my skirt somehow magically obviates.

I have a hard time believing that a skirt muffles a woman’s message. Or that overtly feminine clothing automatically decreases my credibility as a worker, as an intellect, or in society at large. Talk to me for five minutes, and I’ll make you think whatever I want you to think about me. I’m no dummy; I just like to play dress up once in a while.

*I take exception to being called a “lady.” I’m a woman, not a girl, not a gal, not a lady, and only a chick when I say so. The lady/ladies thing invokes an outdated image of being delicate, wimpy, and lesser. It places the woman as a secondary class citizen, someone who requires protection and regulation, who is not an agent for herself.


Because you can’t open up a ranty blog post about feminism and fashion with a Dead Kennedy’s reference and then not deliver on the promise.

One Response to “I drank 16 beers and I started up a fiiiiiight!”

  1. Bureinato says:

    My mother wore a skirt suit to work the entire time I was growing up. Professional clothes are professional. And it sounds like you are better dressed than I am for work, cause I’m wearing jeans not slacks.

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