Thursday, May 11, 2017
Why "women/girls" should wear "men/boys" clothes -CASSIE K
Riki Wilchins of Queer Theory Gender Theory is quoted saying: "Women in suits and ties or men in dresses still make us profoundly uncomfortable. Attacks by cultural conservatives on our right to gender identity and expression work precisely because they provoke this deep-seated 'ick factor.' Much like gay people who are welcome to be gay, as long as they don’t act gay by “flaunting” it by public— camping it up, holding hands, or discussing their sex lives— we often want to confer equality without being confronted by it."
Clothes do not have a gender and should not be labeled in this binary of girl-boy. But it would be difficult not to notice that clothes are in fact labeled girls/women and boys/men in clothing stores. The clothes for "men" are on one side of the store and the clothes for "women" are on the other. There are whole shapes and charts that are distinctly for the measurement of gendered bodies. American "Men's" pants are measured in inches and measures the waist and legs. But for American "women's" pants, they are designated a single digit number.
This is frustrating because it seems that there exists a society that shapes the way we picture what people should wear before we determine what we like. Even in Goodwill, there is a clearly defined marker of women's and men's wracks. When I started to find myself over in the men's section more often I found that men's clothes are better than women's. From the sizing, to the material, durability, and price of the clothing, "men's" clothes were superior. "Women's" clothing was made poorly because it's often made more quickly because there is a notion that women need more clothes and shop more for clothes. Also, material of the clothes for women are meant to "hug" their bodies figure like spandex, polyester, and cheap materials that easily tear or wear out.
I started noticing the price difference as well. For a women's flannel shirts, they were made with less fabric because they were smaller framed shirts, and yet they were $6 more than the men's flannel shirts at the same store, even when you account for the fact that the men's flannels were made with more material and a more durable material.
Not only did I like men's shirts, pants, socks, shoes, and coats better--I liked men's underwear better too. I used to buy "panties" that were delicate little things made of plastic that rode up my crotch while simultaneously riding down the crack of my ass. And when I would bend over, kneel, or sit down, my "panties" would be exposed for the public to see as my pants would slide down. Even when I wore tight fitting pants, my panties would still show. This happened to every girl or woman around me from what I noticed. And I noticed that when guy's pants would slide down, at least their boxers or briefs (underwear) would show--not their ass crack.
So, I started wearing briefs that are actually made of cotton with a wide elastic band that hugs around my waist better than panties in the women's aisle. Even when my pants slide down in my seat, I feel more comfortable for the public to see my briefs rather than panties. I stopped wearing a bra too because I realized I couldn't keep a bra for more than a couple of years before it began to tear apart in all places, and the underwire would poke my breasts, and I would have to take them out. Bras feel constrictive as well. When I don't wear a bra in public--sometimes people feel the need to ask if I'm not wearing one.
It's often assumed that women run the fashion industry. This assumption comes from women being the face or bodies of a product to be sold. Despite fashion being catered to women and girls, when considering women only hold 1.7% of the CEO positions within retail corporations of the fashion industry, according to Yasmin Marie of Elite Daily. Not to mention, women of color in fashion and women of different body shapes and sizes are drastically underrepresented in the fashion world. Therefore, clothing for women of all sizes is limited in clothing stores. When men run fashion, clothing made to be for women is still made by men for the pleasure of men.