can feminism and fashion coexist?
The great debate, has been a long standing one. Mostly because being stylish was, and still is, synonymous with being flighty, or otherwise incapable of having anything but superfluous interests.
In the late 1890s and early 1900s the suffragist movement in the U.S. was finally starting to garner traction and validation. At a time where women needed one another more than anything, the original suffragettes actually denied women participation. A main reason was cited as being: "too stylish." Implying that if you take an interest in your outward appearance, predominantly clothing, you are evidently too frivolous to care about major political movements, namely women obtaining the right to vote.
In fact it wasn't until the 1990s (the decade of my birth, coincidence?) during the third wave of feminism that fashionable women, were considered feminists by feminists (my this is getting redundant!) The fact that this notion has only come about in my lifetime is frankly, appalling. Obviously, this issue is of grave importance to me, being that fashion is my platform for self expression and where I have found my voice. The implication that since fashion is an interest of mine, and therefore I am unsuited to have any other passions, is degrading to say the least. There are women far less into clothing than myself that don't vote, let alone even know the definition of "feminism." Let me help you with that.
As defined by Merriam-Webster,
FEMINISM: The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
Feminism does not equate to man hating or man shaming, it simply means that women should be treated as equals and therefore be afforded the same opportunities. Anyone who actually thinks this has been achieved is either completely unaware and uninformed of the current status quo, or a man (see: male privilege: http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/05/proof-male-privilege/).
Coming full circle: Women denying women access to the suffragist movement based solely on appearance, in ways influenced the way men treat us today. The way women treat women, the way you treat yourself, this all factors into how men learn to treat women. See where I am going with the appearance thing? Honestly, paying more attention woman's clothing than her ideas is insulting. In my humble opinion, Feminism + Fashion can coexist. On that note, what do you think of my outfit? Notice how I explained all my ideas first? :) #priorities