The more I read and write about feminism, the more I observe communities of feminists interacting, and the more I participate in discussions about feminism with my friends and colleagues, the more I realize that feminism is incredibly complicated. It is a movement with a long and contentious history, it has morphed and changed over the decades, and it is currently being championed by people who seldom agree on … anything. It is inextricably tied to countless other issues including racism, ableism, classism, and many other forms of discrimination. It is enmeshed in concepts of privilege. It means many different things to many different people, and most of those people are both passionate and articulate. Which can be quite intimidating.
Originally posted 2012-08-09 06:07:34.
“The most common way people give up their power
is by thinking they don’t have any.”
~ Alice Walker
Quote shown at the beginning of “Miss Representation”
Last week, I attended a screening of Miss Representation, an amazing and heartbreaking film about how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in the United States. The film touched on body image, sexism, racism, the systematic demonization of feminists, the nauseating objectification of women, and many other issues that outraged and sickened me. Images of high school girls crying because they hate themselves, political leaders being dismissed for their fashion choices,and bikini-clad body after roiling bikini-clad body made me dizzy with dismay. And, if I’m being honest, it made me call into question my work, my writing, and my goals. I want women to be empowered, and in a moment of panic I questioned the value of style advice as a tool for empowerment. After all, the problem is that women are increasingly taught to believe that the ONLY thing that matters about us is how we look. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to contribute to that insidious lie.
Originally posted 2011-10-24 06:07:24.
I’ve been trying to incorporate the phrase, “don’t worry about it,” into my advice posts as often as I can. I’m happy to give my two cents on just about any topic, but I always want to emphasize that style rules are really just guidelines, that they can be helpful but should never cause self-doubt, that they can offer structure but should never feel oppressive. I never want any of you to feel that fashion-related advice is dragging you down, so I’ve started capping off many tutorials with a bullet point that simply says, “don’t worry about it.”
Originally posted 2011-12-19 06:09:36.