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Posted by Sadie from ? ( on Monday, June 30, 2003 at 12:17PM :

In Reply to: Re: for the women on the forum posted by Warrior Empress from ( on Saturday, June 28, 2003 at 11:13AM :

: Dear Sadie,

: As a working womyn I can understand the points you argue, but they seem a little defeatist to me. Womyn are forced to become woMEN and dress, act and speak like men in order for a little decency and respect. Not too much perfume now, nor too much make up or they may see your breast outline underneath your suit and realise you have a VAGINA!

xxx Yes, women have been sexualized objects for a long time & they still are (which is what I was pointing out in a later post).... It is even imprinted into their psyches at an early age these days - what is the purpose of Barbie or selling thongs for 7 year old girls? As for wearing pants - I was always like this - even before I thought about it. I have always been a "tomboy." Not to the extent that some girls are, but more or less a "tomboy." When I was little, every time a boy said he could do something - I made sure I did it better than him. & it still annoys me to this day if a man tells me he knows something better than me, regarding my work or even myself. Therefore, I'm not making myself into a man; I'm realizing a potential in me that is NEITHER defined by a future role as mother NOR my sexuality (for once) - a potential that has been surpressed by men/male-dominated society over the ages. There is nothing defeatist about that. Rather, one could say that I'm frightfully competitive & don't succumb to men's opinions (unless they make a good point, of course).

xxx The point I was trying to make was this: the thing that women were fighting for in the West was for their abilities to realize certain potentials. For a long time, women were not allowed to wear pants, for instance - for a woman, it was considered a sin to wear the clothing of a man. Did woman originally want to wear dresses? Did she originally want to wear jewelry & other silly triffles so that she becomes ornamented like a Christmas tree & is objectified instead of being fully realized as human & gifted? Was she originally like Joan of Arc or Hypatia? Noble & strong, but not content with her descriptions in life as first & foremost: mother, wife, spinster (nun), or prostitute? The pants are a symbol of labor, in my opinion. They are not a symbol of a woman's desire to be like a man, but of a woman's desire to leave the house, & to be independent from the dictates of her husband or father. A job, a career, gives women the financial means to escape from a life of servitude to a man's desires. & getting caught up in sexual harrassment lawsuits is a way for a woman to get side-tracked from realizing her potential.

xxx I am interested in practicality, as well. & for certain jobs, dresses become hindrances - why "realize my femininity" outwardly when it gets in the way of my work. I work in a lab, with chemicals - therefore, I'm not going to wear a dress to work because the dress will trip me up (which it was meant to do, by the way, just as corsets were meant to keep women from breathing properly & feet were bound or stuffed into small, uncomfortable shoes to keep women from running away) or the dress will not keep me as warm & comfortable as a pair of pants & good shoes.

xxx I completely agree with you that social programs & education are the most important things on the agendas of women these days - we need more programs that lift women out of prostitution or welfare & teach women to think about themselves OUTSIDE of their vaginas & breasts or how they look (because that is what a LOT of young women are taught to focus on).

-- Sadie
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