Tag Archives: fashion

Pants: Not Misogynist

Sometimes I feel guilty for this blog. For being flippant and light-hearted, for calling myself the Funimist.  It’s a feeling that became particularly acute when when I read recently that in some parts of the world, pop music isn’t a key indicator of the status of women. Pants are.

North Korea, land of deptosim and nukes, has set fines of around a weeks wages and hard labour as punishment for women who wear pants. The new punishments relate to a decree from 1986:

“The Dear Leader has said national character shows up not only in language, etiquette and morals but in attire as well,” the site said.

Creepy in every known way.

A second section of the article talks about the situation in Sudan, where punishment for a woman wearing pants is 40 lashes of the whip. A journo who was charged for the offence last week has been protesting her punishment, and raising a bit of a ruckus about the human rights violations involved.

Women’s bodies and attire have always been a site of custom, law and expectation, and much of second (and arguably third) waves of feminism sought to dislodge these. It is distressing, though, to see them emerge in such near-comically primitive ways.

My final thought on this issue is not about women, but about how eternally sad I am that men in western countries don’t wear skirts more often. It’s holding them back, that’s all I’m saying.  I wonder what the Dear Leader would say?


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Tight Tights

OK, so despite what I had promised to a certain somebody, this post won’t be about the patriarchal architecture that surrounds us in Western society. That one is in the works. This post, rather, is going to be about hosiery. True. Hear me out here people.

The post was born of a facebook wall-to-wall war I had with an old friend of mine regarding a facebook group he’d just set up, declaring “tights are not pants”.

Having been invited to the group, I declined and posted this on his wall:

“Dear Sir,

The image of your group depicts not tights, but stockings [the original picture was of a fat woman wearing stockings and a singlet top] — an entirely different piece of hosiery. Further, I take issue with the SUBSTANCE of your group. Of course tights are not pants. Neither are skirts, or shorts. Only pants are pants.

Also, I might point out that sentiments like yours are essentially anti-woman. Let people be! Sheesh.

Sincerely, Bhak”

I later went to to elaborate on the way groups like this, and indeed sentiments like these affect women.

Don’t you think there is enough pressure on women’s images already? Be skinny, but not too skinny, eat well, go to the gym, have tanned skin, don’t go to the solarium though, that’s for idiots who want to die, wear skirts, act like a lady, but not too short, you’ll look like a skank.

Founder of the group and said friend, Crook, hit back arguing roughly two things:

1) Calling it ‘anti-woman’ was an exxageration as the group was merely concerned with the classification of tights in a “functional sense”, and was also willing to look at inappropriate tights on men.

2) Placing this conversation in a gendered context was an abstraction as the group existed as part of an in-joke to try and establish support for different sides of this debate.

Here again (like Jermaine and Germaine), comedy can give us some clues into our own prejudices and assumptions. To me these strongly held stances against tights (and boy are they strongly held, even in blogs which I read daily), are essentially about economies of taste, about superiority, about retaining control over acceptability and ultimately about telling women what they can and can’t wear. Not cool.


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