Fashion + Feminism

Does feminism cause a gender divide in fashion?

Does the word Feminism cause a divide between genders? This is an idea I believe has developed and changed within recent years. The concept of Feminism has been warped and perceived incorrectly by many people.

The word Feminism is defined as, ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of the equality of the sexes’. In essence, although it is intended to promote women’s rights primarily, it stands for equality between the sexes.

You would think that if everybody understood this, there would not be any form of divide. However, I believe this definition has been changed for many people due to certain self proclaimed feminists in the modern era. They have actually turned against men and instead solely promoted uplifting women.

This has caused unrest and conflict between men and women when it comes to certain topics. It diverts the subject from the promotion of equal rights, one I safely assume we all advocate for, to the promotion of either men’s or women’s rights separately.

What’s This Got To Do With Fashion?

But how does fashion come into this? Fashion is an art form that has evolved throughout history. It is a form of expression, primarily with a clear distinction between male and female clothing. But there have always been cases where these lines have been blurred and the divide between what is classified as male and female attire broken down.

I believe fashion is one of the key areas that blends the lines with ease. Fashion does not cause a divide between genders; it remains true to the real definition of Feminism – that of equality.

Fashion Movement

Fashion helps to promote equality with its vague boundaries and fluidity. Years ago the concept was that men would wear suits and women would wear dresses. But already it can be seen that a lot of women are wearing suits, fitted blazers and the like. A lot of clothing that previously would have been identified with men now becoming fashionable for women.

Fashion evolves and changes continuously due to social trends. Whereas once it would have been fitting for a man to wear flared pants, that has now shifted to being a more feminine trend. Previously it would be women wearing necklaces, bracelets and rings. But that has now become a trend for men too.

These examples show how fashion is one of the leading sectors when it comes to the promotion of equality and breaking down the gender barriers. Another sector now following this direction is that of make-up. The promotion of male makeup artists has exploded in popularity with some of the biggest makeup artists in the world now being men.

The fluidity of gender barriers helps to highlight their fragility. The concept that the word Feminism leads to a firm gender division is, I believe, incorrect. However, I do think it can raise obstacles and is perhaps a dated expression that should be re-assessed and altered. In certain cases I have heard the term humanism being used.

I believe this word encompasses both men and women in a better way. Surely equal opportunity for all genders is more appropriate now, rather than a movement primarily dedicated to the advocacy of women’s rights.

Blurred Lines

Returning to the point of how fashion is involved when it comes to Feminism causing a divide. While there are still distinctive lines when it comes to what men wear and what women wear, these will evolve over time. That is made clear by the designer fashion lines that are promoting men wearing skirts and dresses and women wearing suits and ties, etc.

These days people generally wear whatever they like, it comes down to personal preference. While this often coincides with current societal trends, people don’t have to conform to mainstream boundaries if they don’t want to. Fashion is consistently changing. What men and women commonly wear will change through time and won’t ever be set in stone by society. That in essence defies the concept of a clear gender division being upheld.

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