Lipstick Feminism VS Men‏

Can I dress and act how I want and still receive equal rights?

Women are often depicted as sexual objects for the male gaze; it has become the new style of fashion for many powerful women such as celebrities to play on the natural sexual allure that women carry, to sell media products. This has been argued to be damaging to the contemporary image of females. Yes celebrities over sexualise their image for the wrong reasons, however “sex sells”. It is a complicated situation as it confuses the female population on whether it is wrong for women to be sexy and expect to be seen as anything else.

In my opinion, women should be able to dress how they  want, however sexy it may be and still be expected to be treated fairly. I believe women should sexually empower themselves, look beautiful and not be harassed by men, who think that because cleavage is shown, the woman deserves to be treated like a piece of meat. Don’t get me wrong – dressing sexually will create attention, which is natural, but when a man decides that it is appropriate to wolf-whistle, harass or do much more serious – then it is not the womans fault, but the mans as he can’t control his ridiculous behaviour.

I was wearing a playsuit that was V-neck, showing cleavage and I attracted attention, however when I had grown men approaching me, physically touching me, shouting and thinking they ‘already had me’, I was infuriated. By the end of the night, my friends and I travelled home, where we came across a man stating that I had caused my friends and I to be harassed because of what I was wearing, which only reinforces rape culture. What is it with people thinking the woman gives consent to be raped because she chose to dress sexy? These are unfortunately culturally specific views constructed socio-historically thus then causes naturalisation in the way females are perceived.

Masculinism, the movement that promotes the classic masculine virtues among men is threatened by the post feminism era; men argue that they are in a worse position because of the emphasis on female rights – women know YOUR rights, the fact men are threatened by this is a good thing! 

Western Imperialism, I believe is at fault in colouring our judgement of how a female should be and when a female is born, her nature is almost chosen for her, in that a female should be how she is perceived in the patriarchal media system. The fragmentation of the patriarchal system will be a neverending battle. Contemporary ideology surrounding the female is yet to be developed and to be accepted fully. Feminism is more popular than ever, however I believe females are as in the middle of how they should act as what the media is, due to the constant media effects of images of sexualised women across media platforms and the constant question of – is it ok to be sexy, smart and liberated at the same time? Gaayathri Nair stated that “a pro-woman intention has tangled with the male gaze to create a product that both supports and subverts misogyny and is as objectifying as it is empowering.” meaning that sexual empowerment can negate feminism, as females who use this method can backfire as their real intentions could be misjudged or forgotten and only the sexual aspect is seen to be represented. That being said, women should be free to choose what they want to be without ignorant souls blaming that the woman’s breasts made him do it.

I’ll leave it at this – If a lesbian can control herself in a female changing room, then a man should be able to control himself on the street.

image credit (x, x)

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