Tag Archives: masculine


5 Jan

sexy business woman

Okay, every woman deserves at least one feminist diatribe.

And I’ve got some ranting to do. You see, I was just contacted about doing my first book signing (I know, major score, right? Right.), and I realized – oh heart be not faint – I have nothing to wear.

Now, this state of wardrobe paucity is the natural product of having been in treatment for the past three months. Style around treatment centers comes in the form of old t-shirts and baggy pants. Great if you’re spending the day talking about your feelings, but not so great if you’re planning to meet up with the director of a bookstore. It’s just a tad too unprofessional to really meet the guidelines of “business casual.”

So, having been indoctrinated in the way of the female, my head’s first solution to this problem was to immediately think “Target shopping trip!” Then, thinking it over some more, I realized that I have this nice, reasonably trendy black flowy skirt that I could pair with some starchy blouse or other.

Then, oddly enough, my head objected. “Skirts aren’t high-powered enough for a business meeting,” it frowned. “Suits are more likely to get the job done.”

Bring on the 180. Immediately, my mind flipped around and started demanding, “well why the Sam Hill are skirts not high-powered enough? Why do I have to wear more masculine-style clothes to be perceived as a competent woman? So what if I like being a little flirty in my business dress?”

It made me think, really, about how much women and their clothing are still given a perception rating out in the world. Skirt? Sorry, too soft, no job for you. Pants and a suit jacket? Welcome aboard.

Hmm. The feminist in me is disgruntled.

Because we’re still assigning messages about what clothes “mean” to the women who wear them. And excuse me, but I’d rather my impression not be reduced down to a belt and handbag. I’d prefer to be sized up according to how proudly I carry myself, how well I deliver my words, how firmly I shake your hand. Please, do not strip my capability down to a piece of fabric.