Monday, December 5, 2011

Hyperlinks – Sexy from the Start: Anticipatory Elements of Second Wave Feminism by Jennifer Scanlon

One of the main issues discussed in Scanlon’s article is the issue of fashion related to second and third wave feminists.  This issue is also related to issues of self-identity and issues of labeling people.  In her piece she talks about third wave attitudes towards reclaiming the idea of feminine as a new and powerful identify for women that is strong, resistant, sexual, raucous, and more.  It is also about reclaiming the word girl so that it is not used as a way to look down at females as weak and passive.  The idea is that women can where almost anything they want and still be able to be looked as feminist, powerful and as individuals to be respected. 
While reading Scanlon’s article I was greatly reminded of one contemporary feminist movement known as the SlutWalk movement.  SlutWalk is a movement dedicated to tackling issues such as rape culture where blaming the victim and finding excuses for attackers is common place.   The catalyst for the movement was when Toronto Police Officer Constable Michael Sanguinetti advised women that they should avoid dressing as sluts in order to help protect them from being targeted for rape and sexual assault.  A related instance of blaming the victim took place recently in Brooklyn, New York when after a string of sexual attacks and attempted rapes police officers were telling women that they should not wear provocative clothes.  According to an article by John Noel from NBC New York, one woman was approached by a police officer and was told, “Don’t you think your shorts are a little short?”  This should not be the case.  Women SHOULD be able to wear whatever they feel like and then feel safe and not subjugated.  One more interesting recent development related to fashion and feminist issues is the current interest in looking at women who wear Hijabs.  Naomi Wolf discusses the issue of westerners presuming that wearing a Hijab translates into oppression.  She describes that in fact, many women who wear them choose to do so and find them empowering.  She mentions one women who describes wearing a head scarf or more modest clothing as making her feel more free; freer of objectification, freer of sexual harassment and freer of having to worry all the time about how she looked compared to fashion models.
Honestly, I would like to see a world where NO ONE, was picked on, harassed or subjugated for what they wear or for any reason.  On top of that, no matter what someone is wearing, doing or saying, it is never okay to force, coheres and/or manipulate someone into doing something against their will. 

Hyperlinks (just click):
SlutWalk:  One, Two, Three, Four

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