Women know clothes are important… It’s because when a woman walks into a room, her outfit is the first thing she says, before she evens opens her mouth. Women are judged on what they wear in a way men would find incomprehensible - they have never felt that uncomfortable moment when someone assesses what you’re wearing and then starts talking down to you, or starts perving you, or presumes you won’t “understand the conversation… simply because of what you put on that day.
In the worst case scenario, however, a wrong outfit can ruin your life. It can lead to a judge dismissing your rape case, as evidenced by the 2008 “Skinny Jeans” case (where it was claimed a woman wearing skinny jeans couldn’t have been raped, because no man could take a woman’s skinny jeans off unaided); or by the Amnesty International survey that found that 25% of people believe a woman is still to blame for being raped if she dresses “provocatively”.
How women look is considered generally interchangeable with who we are - and, therefore, often goes on to dictate what will happen to us next.
When women fret over what to wear in the morning, it’s not because we want to be an international style icon… No - what we’re trying to do is work out if everyone that day will “understand” what we’re wearing; if we’re “saying” the right thing, in a very nuanced conversation.
At its best, fashion is a game. But for women, it’s a compulsory game, like netball. And you can’t get out of it by faking a period.
”—How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran (via colporteur)