Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

What to wear?

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The issue of women being stereotyped or judged by the way they dress has been a strong topic for me here lately.  How should I dress to show my true personality? Will someone take the way I dress the wrong way and draw incorrect conclusions about me from it?  A section in “Oppression” by Marilyn Frye really caught my attention and made me reconsider this topic.  She stated that “if one dresses one way, one is subject to the assumption that one is advertising one’s sexual availability; if one dresses another way, one appears to ‘not care about oneself’ or to be ‘unfeminine.’” Although this is sometimes true, there is more to think about behind the way a woman dresses.  Does she dress that particular way because she feels good about herself or does she dress like that to get men’s approval?  If that woman is dressing a certain way to get men’s approval or attention, is she unknowingly being a victim of our male dominated society?  Is she risking her own safety to make herself appealing to the eyes of men?  My friends and I, guys and girls alike, have had this conversation recently, and we all had different views on this subject.  One guy said, “If she wants to dress like a slut, let her.  I won’t argue against it. I like to look.”  This makes me feel like if I wear racy clothes, that I will be degraded as a human being, and that I will become a victim of our male dominated society.  Even the smallest decision, like what you wear, can make you a victim of this male dominated society, and you don’t even necessarily know it.

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