Wednesday, April 2, 2008
So this probably won't be very long, but it's been on my mind a lot lately. Several posts (xJane's comment #8 over at Mind on Fire, G's post at Figuring It Out, and Chanson's mention of a Carnival of Sexual Freedom) have had me thinking about women's bodies and sexuality. I figure that which ever way we look at it, we're pretty much doomed to be making a choice that someone else will see as blatant submission to the patriarchy. For example (and shukr, I hope I don't say anything that will offend you) we sometimes criticize Muslim women for wearing a hijab, or a head scarf (and I'm making an assumption here that they are two different things--I'll edit me if I find out later that I'm wrong). We accuse them of being an accessory to men's ideas about not being able to control themselves at the sight of an attractive woman. However, we also criticize women who wear revealing clothing. We accuse them of objectifying themselves and giving men an excuse to not control themselves at the sight of an attractive woman. Either way, it's all too easy to hurl accusations of submission to the patriarchy. Either way women come out reduced to objects of sexual desire. Supposing I dress "modestly" one day and "immodestly" the next, different people are going to respect or despise my decisions depending on how they look at the issue. I just wanted to put that out there. Because really, I don't believe that the way we dress ultimately matters one way or another. Maybe I'd even go so far as to say, "when in Rome, do as the Romans do." Then, where ever I am, I'll fit in. I'm beginning to think that fashion shouldn't have to be a moral decision (even though I've been making it one for myself lately). Indeed, I'll go ahead and say it and then stop torturing myself and others about it. Fashion shouldn't be a moral decision. You know you. Dress in the way that makes you like you. To hell with everyone else (can an agnostic say that?:).