Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fashion and Gender Stereotypes

I'm at a loss today. I wanted to share fashion from NY Fashion Week, but ick! Lots of really unwearable styles that only a Kardashian could or would wear, street slouch without much appeal, and it seems that the bra has become the new everyday top. Well, maybe in New York if you're very skinny and under 25, but not here in the Midwest when you're fighting to keep a reasonable weight and are over 60. Bah humbug! I want someone out there who will design for a real person - the working girl of 30-50 years of age, the overweight person who can't find fashion anywhere, or the girl who doesn't go clubbing the moment she steps out of her job in the Financial District. Who buys these fashions anyway?

Here are some selections from Alexander Wang. Note - if you're not less than
115 pounds and under thirty years of age, you won't look good in these! 

Women get down and dirty. They're cops, cowboys and firefighters. They're all of those jobs that were usually illustrated by males in the storybooks I read as a child. Sure, women are nurses, teachers and mothers. But they're also garbage haulers, miners, and astronauts. I can't think of many, if any, jobs that are traditionally performed by men that cannot and are not also being worked by women.

Blend these together and you have a real person of any sex. All people can
be hurt emotionally, can weep in grief, can be analytical and can be nurturing. 

Fortunately there's cross-over the other way too. There are Mannies, not jut Nannies. There are male bank tellers, food waiters, teachers, nurses and receptionists. Motherhood isn't restricted to women; although men haven't managed to actually give birth, motherhood or the act of mothering is an important aspect of parenthood. Those sexual stereotypical lines drawn in the sand when I was a child have blurred and are disappearing. Thank goodness!

Gender stereotypical advertising like this was common when I was
growing up. Women were at home (although some had outside jobs) and
they were also responsible for all of the housework and child-rearing. 

There are still geographical or religious pockets where men's jobs are men's and women's jobs are women's, even in this country of job equality. Those barriers are breaking down and crumbling more and more every day. Still, although I want job equality, I also know that men are usually stronger, often taller, and also often faster than women in many situations. So, if given my choice, and while I'll still envy the ease with which the guys swim in the lane next to me, I'll be happy to have more males than females in the fire department and police department, and I'll leave most of the armed forces in active combat positions to men. However, I want to see women in all of those positions too.

Do I really care about who is wearing the uniform? Hell no! I want someone
wearing it who can perform the job. Man or woman - no difference. If my house
is on fire, I want someone putting that fire out who knows how to do it best. 

So here's to sexual diversity - male, female, and the many stages in between the extremes and stereotypes. Let's celebrate our differences and emphasize our similarities. Let's admit that we're all people who deserve equal respect and opportunity.

Face Off is on tonight, so I'm a happy person. Have a wonderful Tuesday, and remember to spread some kindness today.

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