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"Femininity is something to be celebrated, not squelched"

Don't get your panties in a bunch... this post is not an apologetic for girly men... God knows there are enough of them out there, too many of them appointed leaders in the Obama administration... this instead is a post about something sure to cause many a feminist to burst a vein... and quite frankly, feminists bursting veins is something I've come to enjoy seeing... so without further ado, I bring you Jennifer Fulwiler... may the vein bursting begin:

Though banning flowers was less common, many of the Communist movements of the 20th century specifically targeted pretty dresses and skirts as undesirable (most of the exceptions being calculated attempts to make their societies seem vibrant and happy). Such attire was seen as inefficient wasteful--think of how much more productive time a woman would have if she didn't worry about her clothes, and how much harder she could work if she didn't have to fuss around with silky skirt! Feminine dress also represented something that was anathema to Communist societies: the idea that women are different from men. Somehow in the pursuit of "equality" male behavior became the default, and all traditionally feminine behavior was seen as inferior. In order to claim their supposed freedom, women had to dress and act like men. In this worldview, skirts were a dangerously countercultural statement.

I've been thinking about this over the past few weeks as I walk around the house in my super-efficient jeans and t-shirts. It's interesting that the feminist revolution here in America also shunned classically feminine garb. And all the women's religious orders I can think of that are happily faithful to the Magesterium wear dresses or skirts for their habits, yet when religious sisters rebel against the Church, the donning of pants is often a symbolic part of that breach.

Could it be that there's more to this issue than meets the eye?

For the record, my closet contains one skirt and one dress, and I can count on one hand the number of times I wear them in a year. I'm most comfortable in pants, and feel secure that I don't look masculine while wearing them. It wasn't even on my radar that anyone in the modern world still thought that there could be "shoulds" involved in women's sartorial choices until I came across some pants vs. skirts debates in the Catholic blog world. And when I first saw these discussions, I dismissed all pro-skirts arguments without a thought beyond, Sheesh, people, are we in 2011 or 1811? But the issue has continued to nag at me, and, the more I think about it, I can't quite get comfortable saying that skirts and pants are completely interchangeable.

A beautiful dress is a little inefficient. A colorful, flowy skirt is decidedly girly. Both draw a sharp line between the genders. Could we women proclaim some truths of the Faith in the public square with our wardrobe choices alone? Could we add something positive to the world by wearing pretty skirts? To someone with my background it sounds laughable at first, but this idea just might be more powerful than we think. To wear a skirt is to shout the messages that the Communists described in Jung Chang's book once tried to suppress: that a full life isn't all about efficiency and work; that men and women are different, and that's okay; and that femininity is something to be celebrated, not squelched.

Go and read the whole piece... then pass it on to your nearest feminist, male or female, and watch the fireworks begin.  Take popcorn and enjoy yourself.  Their blood pressure will surely rise, color will fill them from the neckline up, and blood vessels will knot up in rage.

It's nearly guaranteed.


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Comments (11)

Ok, I read it. To me it see... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Ok, I read it. To me it seems Jennifer to dealing with personal issues here rather than grappling with any universal truths.

Homo Sapiens choice in clothing was primarily a response to regional/seasonal weather patterns and climate. Dress customs grew out of that reality. She needs to give some thought to people living in the polar regions and the Scots before getting all political/religious about it. Not ever lives in or came from a temperate climate.

Just when I thought I was a... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Just when I thought I was awake.

That should read, "Not everyone lives in or came from a temperate climate."

this instead is a post a... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

this instead is a post about something sure to cause many a feminist to burst a vein... and quite frankly, feminists bursting veins is something I've come to enjoy seeing... so without further ado, I bring you Jennifer Fulwiler... may the vein bursting begin.

What seminary were you in Rick? Seems you have still have a lot of hostility..particularly for women?

Not sure what this alludes ... (Below threshold)
Olsoljer:

Not sure what this alludes to, but it is a welcome break from government politics.
IMHO the feminist movement is a complete bust as far as empowering women - most of them who have risen to a position of national recognition are obnoxious bitches and deserve derision more than any respect. If failing to defend female politicians, and in fact assisting in attacking them, failure to take a stand on the atrocities committed on females throughout the world is any indication of a "feminine movement", I would rather have a good bowel movement.
As far as what women wear, if you will note, women who wear dresses get more second looks than those who wear pant suits etc. Even women who are not necessarily attractive. While I believe in equality for the sexes, an individual should dress in what is deemed appropriate for their job. I don't expect to see a female mechanic in a dress (interesting thought though) working under my vehicle. On the other hand, I sure don't expect to see a girly man wearing a dress under my vehicle either.
If respecting women, buying them flowers, candy, opening doors, offering them a seat on a bus is insulting to a female, I offer no apology. I like females who are females and their sexual orientation has nothing to do with feminity. Some of the best working relationships I have ever had were with lesbians, neither one of you has something to prove to the other and work takes precedence over posturing.
Personally, nothing is sexier than a female in a dress wearing flats - oh for the return of the early 60's!

"What seminary were you ... (Below threshold)
Woop:

"What seminary were you in Rick? Seems you have still have a lot of hostility..particularly for women?"

My guess is that there were one or more women on the church committee that made the decision Rick had the maturity of a 12 year old and couldn't be trusted with under-age children, to be 'brutally honest'...

My current spiritual state was probably impacted in some way by my stint as a potential ordinand of the Episcopal Church in 1998. During that two year Ordination Exploration Program, I learned quite a bit about myself, but even more about progressive Christianity. Needless to say, I was, to my chagrin at the time, found not worthy to continue toward ordination in the Episcopal Church. Seems I was a bit " too rigid theologically" as some were quick to point out. I think however that my downfall began when I inadequately expressed how I felt about my penis. Yes, my penis. It seemed that the ECUSA was very concerned as to whether I could talk freely about my member during the psychological phase of the program. I was literally speechless about it at the time, given that I had never really considered giving much thought to the notion before.

RIck couldn't talk about his, uhm... "wee-wee" without busting a sweat - no wonder he has 'issues' with women who are mature enough to want something more than that. I bet Rick's wee-wee gets even smaller in the presence of a feminist.

For Rick, feminsits are just someone else to hate. Nothing new....

I have nothing against skir... (Below threshold)
Lynne:

I have nothing against skirts and dresses- I'm a woman and I own plenty- but I think the choice to use them to display femininity depends on the women herself.
For example, most when most people think of Katherine Hepburn they think of her wearing slacks- and looking very sexy in them.
On the other hand, all the recent pictures celebrating the late Liz Taylor's beauty depicted her in gauzy organza dresses.
I don't think Hepburn would have been as sexy in organza dresses as Taylor, and I don't think Taylor ever wore slacks as fetchingly as Hepburn.

It just depends on who you are.

Woop, your posting (#5) is ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Woop, your posting (#5) is the least intelligent thing I've ever seen, and I just got through cleaning up after my dog.

My unsolicited advice is that you seek professional help. At least find out if it's too late already or if there is still some hope.

I married in 1988, after th... (Below threshold)

I married in 1988, after the years of tv telling me I could bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan...I'm a woman. As a young wife I was asked all the time when I was going to get a job. After 4 children I was asked when the kids are in school, what are you going to do with your life? Now I hear all the time, when the teens move out are you going to be someone? To me the skirts or dresses have not taken away as much as the thought that a woman staying home with children and a husband is sometimes seen as a failure and needs something to do when they are all gone.

To me feminism has shamed or attempted to shame the woman to believe that at home she is not fulfilling her potential and is equal to a man. I always have been amazed that I have been the one blessed enough to stay home, to watch the first steps of my children, to comfort them when they are sick, and be the one who takes them for walks, etc. Anyone can care for a child, but for me, the one that gave birth to them, me I could be the very one to witness all of the sweet experiences has made all the difference in my life.

Signed a mom
of three sons and one lovely daughter

I guess when you're a ball ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

I guess when you're a ball of frothing hate like woop, it's the only motivation that can make sense to you.

You, Jennifer, are a lady. ... (Below threshold)
Olsoljer:

You, Jennifer, are a lady.

There are no feminists near... (Below threshold)
Bill Johnson:

There are no feminists nearby. I will not let them approach. They can live their own life without me - and don't ask for anything.

That said, I like the girl's reasoning. Girls are (or can be) pretty. Women in mao jackets, not so much. Code Pink - well, we reserve unprintable words for them and their appearance.




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