|This feminist wears: A handmade blouse (because feminists aren't afraid of enjoying traditional female pursuits) with Kate Moss at Topshop shorts and vintage suede boots (both car boot sale purchases)|
Who knows? I'm a feminist and this is how I choose to present myself to the world. I dress in a way that makes me feel fabulous and confident. If others don't approve that's their problem, to me feminism is about celebrating womanhood and having the freedom of choice our grandmothers' never had.
I delight in wearing hot pants, short skirts, pink, bows, frills and high heels. I wear my hair long, paint my face and nails and adorn my body with jewellery. I'm a feminist and I rejoice in having been born a woman. We are only on this planet for a short while, we should grasp life with both hands and dress in celebration of the time we have.
Many years ago I was corporate hospitality manager with a large team of staff, a huge budget and responsibility for catering to the needs of over two thousand clients. Whenever a stranger paid a visit to my office more often than not they'd address their queries to my assistant. Was it my high heels, long hair and make-up that made them think that I wasn't the manager? No, of course not, it was simply the fact that my assistant was male. What good would chopping my hair, eschewing makeup and wearing sensible shoes have done? I was born a woman and embrace my femininity. I never heard of a man compromising his image to be taken seriously and, as equals, neither should we as women.
People often ask if there is a relevance for feminism in these days of supposed equality? Things have definitely moved on since my mother discovered she was pregnant with me back in 1966 and was forced to marry for convention's sake. As recently as the early 1980's my fellow classmates and I campaigned for the right to wear trousers to school and trouser suits weren't considered acceptable office wear as recently as the mid-1990's when I received an unofficial warning for daring to wear such an outrageous item in the workplace.
Yes, things have moved on. I can openly live with my partner and choose not to marry or have children without being pilloried or made a social outcast. I am free to travel, vote, drive and have the same educational and career choices available to me as my male counterparts but inequality continues to rear it's ugly head.
The most obvious incident of blatant discrimination I have experienced was in 1991 after being sexually assaulted. On reporting the incident to the police I was told that I was a very attractive woman and asked if I was wearing something provocative to cause a man to act in such a way. Would a male victim be subjected to such an accusation? I think not. My attacker was swiftly caught and brought to justice. I have no idea how the police handle such matters these days, I'd like to think they are more enlightened because until women can walk the streets dressed however they want without fear of molestation we will never be entirely equal.
Phew! A very wordy post today. Click on this link to Mrs Bossa's blog to check out the other contributors.