Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

Because, as a woman, I must stand as a tribute to patriarchy no matter what my choices are, because choice is an illusion?  That is, according to the logic of some.

If I dress in a modern way, with heels and more revealing clothes, slut shaming is the rule of the day.  I’ll also garner far more sexual attention than if I were covered.  BUT, if I cover and dress more modestly, regardless of the history of abuse that caused me to make that decision in the first place, I am participating in patriarchal cultural norms.

Well, what the fuck am I supposed to do?

I often hear cries of “Embrace your body!  Don’t be ashamed!”. Yeah, no.  I’m not ashamed of my body.  My body is quite lovely, and if you saw it, you’d likely agree.  The point of my choice to cover is to remind myself first, others second, that my body is mine.  It belongs to me.  I took a dangerous stand against one specific male in my life who truly believed that my body belonged to him.  It didn’t.  It doesn’t.  It’s mine.  I cover my body because I don’t want him, or you, or anyone else looking at it.  Period.  End of story.  I don’t give a flying fuck if you think I’m doing it for the patriarchy.  I can’t change your mind.

When people decide they know better about how someone else ought to dress and feel about themselves, they are giving lip service to feminism, and nothing more.  When somebody tells you why they do this thing that you have decided is a failure in asserting their own claim over their own body, you’re just ignoring their lived experience.  You know better than they do.  They’re not feminist enough.  They’re brainwashed.  Etc., etc., etc.

Fuck you.  And fuck your elitist attitude.

Women have the right to wear what they please, and you may keep your opinions to yourself.  It’s not all black and white.  All covered women are not male tools anymore than all uncovered women are.  Cause, you know, Rebecca in her mini skirt is showing her legs.  Does that mean because men can see her legs that she is displaying her legs for their titillation?  No.  It’s 90 degrees outside and Rebecca is hot.  Also, mini skirts please Rebecca.  End of story.

If you see me and I am veiled, am I veiled because a man told me to?  Because obviously, I have no brain, or will, or agency of my own, right?  No.  I am veiled because it damn well pleases me to be veiled in public.  Because my body is mine, and I’ll do what I fucking want with it.  I will dress it however I fucking please, and I will speak up for your right as a human being to do the same.

You won’t hear me making value judgements on the way you choose to dress, because I am a real motherfucking feminist, who believes people can decide for themselves, based on their own lived experience, what is best for them, and what makes them feel empowered and most comfortable.

Take your goddamn feminist policing elsewhere.  Preferably back behind your own closed doors, where you can evaluate the reasons why you think you need to be the arbiter of other people’s clothes.

Bye, Felicia.

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8 responses to “Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

  1. I imagine you are beautiful veiled.

  2. Jolene Poseidonae

    <3 Love to you. And fuck 'em.

  3. Yeah, veiling or not veiling won’t solve the problem of patriarchy. Only solving the problem of patriarchy solves the problem of patriarchy. Which starts with women deciding to raise their sons differently, and taking calculated stands against those who benefit from patriarchy most.

    In the meantime, we can choose to display or not display what is ours. Men are going to think they have a say, and are going to be vocal, because they will assume that whatever we do, it is for them. Whereupon we need to very vocally explain that they need to shut up.

    If we cover. “My clothing choices are not about you.”

    If we choose “sexy” clothes, “My clothing choices are not about you.”

    If we are told that we look “too frumpy”. “My clothing choices are not about you.”

    If we are asked why we are engaging with the male gaze, “MY CLOTHING CHOICES ARE NOT ABOUT YOU.”

    Fin.

    • Exactly. My son will see me veiling. He will also see his sister not veiling, and he will know that either of those choices have nothing to do with him, or his father. When boys grow up with female role models who act for themselves, in accordance with their own needs and desires, they will see girls and women acting as humans with free will, and won’t see a difference in our humanity based on gender. What sets feminism back isn’t that some women are choosing the veil, it’s people, male or female or neither or in between, who tell others they shouldn’t make some choices because it makes them uncomfortable.

  4. Exactly, Columbine, fuck what anyone thinks. There was a time when I wore all black and freaked the school and the parental figures out. Guess what? They got used to it and to this day, I still prefer black. (shame it’s in fashion, but that’s another story. :)) Do what makes you happy, screw popular opinion, I say.

  5. true feminism for the win! the people who decide that body policing is ok need to take a long walk off a short pier. the more people understand that women are just as deserving of body autonomy as men (and anyone else), the better off the world will be. i think it is fantastic that you are staying true to yourself and doing what you believe is best for you and showing your children that they can do the same with out any shame.

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