I’ll wear what I want and everyone should too

I’ve always felt a bit offbeat so I’ve liked to express that in my wardrobe. I’ve always liked mixing different styles, bright colors, and vintage items. Sometimes these various looks have shown off my figure a bit and people around me have seen that as opening myself up to criticism. You might say I have a “fuller” chest and so sometimes I fill out a dress or a top a bit more than a woman who is the same dress size but has a different chest size. I had many occasions of feeling good about how I looked when I went out but then noticed  some looks and whispers, so then the fear of being judged set in and discomfort ensued. I’ve also experienced more overt reactions such as being shouted to while walking down the street and being called names over the internet. As I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten easier to not care about what others think and to just wear what I feel happy in, but the annoyance with negative reactions still bubbles up once in a while.

There have been times where I have dressed more “normal” because I thought it was best to avoid judgment, but then I realized people were going to judge no matter what. People have been judging others for what they wear and how they look since the beginnings of civilization. It wasn’t that long ago that it was scandalous for women to show their ankles or wear pants in countries like the United States and Britain. Many women have had to fight for the right to wear what they want to wear, and it still happens around the world today. In countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, it is the law that women must be completely covered when out in public. So when I wear an outfit that shows off the ladies a bit or very short shorts or what-have-you, I’m expressing my patriotic freedoms and the victory over repression of women.

From my attitude, you may or may not have already been able to tell that I consider myself a feminist. But I have a hard time relating to some women that identify as it as well because we don’t seem to be eye to eye on what women can wear or look like. Some have been calling for less scantily clad women in things such as video games and advertising and I can partially see where they’re coming from. Yes not every woman can achieve the sort of looks popularly portrayed and there should be more of a diverse representation of women. But we also shouldn’t vilify that sort of image every time we see it. In my opinion, vilifying the image of large chested scantily clad (or unclad) women is another form of slut shaming. This past week with the controversy over the British physicist Matt Taylor’s shirt (#ShirtGate), one of my first thoughts was “then what are they saying about women that look like the ones on the shirt?”

One of the major issues that was said about the shirt was that the scientist was showing girls that women could still only be seen in that light in the scientific community. I was astounded that people thought to read into it that much. But also by saying that, aren’t they saying a woman who looks like that can’t also be a scientist or intelligent person? When a woman is intelligent is she supposed to be a plain Jane and not express herself if she so pleases? I think the feminine figure is very beautiful and I greatly respect fellow ladies that are brave enough to share it with the world. There’s often the stereotype that attractive women are often unintelligent or “dumb sluts”, so I think some radical feminists are shooting the point of the movement in the foot by getting outraged over images like that because they are helping to perpetuate that stereotype. Feminism has traditionally been about gender equality, not censoring images or shaming people. I felt awful for Matt Taylor when I saw his apology for wearing the shirt. I don’t think he had to apologize because an article of clothing does not hurt anyone. From my own times of being shamed for what I wore, I really sympathized with him. It was not calling for equality of the sexes, it was bullying similar to the slut shaming men do.

MattTaylor

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9 thoughts on “I’ll wear what I want and everyone should too

  1. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness – not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.
    You, the people have the power – the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

  2. One of the major issues that was said about the shirt was that the scientist was showing girls that women could still only be seen in that light in the scientific community.

    tweet #1 – “I don’t care what scientists wear. But a shirt featuring women in lingerie isn’t appropriate for a broadcast if you care about women in STEM”

    Tweet #2 – “No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSv6ZBZtzRA&feature=youtu.be … ”

    Those are two tweets that started this. Those women’s tweets pointed out that the shirt was inappropriate.

    The American Astronomical Society (his employer) agrees :

    “The past few days have seen extensive international discussion of an incident (known online as #shirtstorm or #shirtgate) in which a participant in a European Space Agency media conference wore a shirt with sexualized images of gun-toting women and made an unfortunate remark comparing the featured spacecraft to a woman. Viewers responded critically to these inappropriate statements, especially jarring in such a highly visible setting (one in which very few women appeared), and the scientist apologized sincerely. But in the meantime, unacceptable abuse has been directed toward the critics, from criticism of “over-active feminism” to personal insults and more dire threats.

    We wish to express our support for members of the community who rightly brought this issue to the fore, and we condemn the unreasonable attacks they experienced as a result, which caused deep distress in our community. We do appreciate the scientist’s sincere and unqualified apology.”

    ——

    Feminism has traditionally been about gender equality, not censoring images or shaming people.

    Consider an alternate definition of feminism – Feminism is the about the analysis and dismantling of the oppressive structures of society that hurt women and men.

    Sexism is one of the systemic problems of society – this shirt was just example number “X” of it in action. Calling attention to an contextually inappropriate shirt is not “shaming” of any kind, but a statement against status-quo.

    I don’t think he had to apologize because an article of clothing does not hurt anyone.

    I guess Astrokatie (tweet #1) and roseveleth (tweet #2) don’t count as anyone?

    A different perspective on the incident.

  3. Dude should have said the woman on the sort was his dead sister and this is how HE wanted to honor her. The other women were his mom and gran. And then get back to the science.

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