By David Futrelle
So-called “gender critical feminists” can become quite ingenious when it comes to working their transphobic obsessions into conversaations that have nothing whatsoever to do with trans people or trans issues.
Consider a recent post in the GenderCritical subreddit that’s ostensibly about “fashion in the time of coronavirus self-isolation.” The author, calling herself itsnotaboutewe, sets forth a relatively straightforward argument: since people are dressing like slobs while working from home, maybe they’ll get used to this new sartorial freedom and won’t bother to dress up after the lockdowns come to an end, this bringing about the end of fashion.
“With so many people now working from home,” she writes,
it doesn’t take too long to figure out what to wear to work anymore. Some people wear sweatpants to sit in front of the computer while others don’t even bother to change out of their pyjamas. …
The clothes that our culture dictates we wear to look the part for our jobs are no longer needed. It doesn’t matter if we don’t dye our hair or shave our legs in order to look professional for clients if they can’t see us. There is no boss enforcing an uncomfortable dress code on women of high heels, tight pencil-skirts, stockings, makeup, and push-up bras.
No, but some people are continuing to dress up, even if they know no one will be seeing them, because it makes them feel more normal, more connected to the world before (and presumably after) the lockdowns.
I mean, I personally am dressing like a slob while I work at home during lockdown, but I was doing that already.
Even doing the weekly trip to buy essential groceries doesn’t require us to dress to a certain standard anymore.
No, but again I know that some people who are now making a point of dressing up when they go out, even if it’s just to the grocery store People seem to be divided down the middle on the whole dressing-like-a-slob-because-you-can question.
It’s like we are in survival mode but instead of wearing cammo we are in knitted jersey and crocs with socks. I haven’t worn a bra since February and quite frankly I can’t think of any person or situation I consider to be bra-worthy anymore.
itsnotaboutewe wonders if these habits will stick after the lockdowns come to an end, and concludes that they probably will.
Is this the end of fashion as we know it? By the time we are allowed back in public together again we will have missed at least three fashion cycles. We will all be wearing last years styles but I don’t think anyone will be able to make us care about it anymore. Who will honestly give a rat’s arse if they are wearing last seasons colours?
Either that or they may jump back into fashion even more enthusiastically than before because they’ve been deprived of it for so long.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with itsnotaboutewe’s argument — I obviously have some issues with it — it is at least a real argument. The premises may be a little off, I would argue, but it makes a certain logical sense.
That can’t really be said about where her argument goes next.
“I hope this massive societal upheaval goes some way to destroying fashion as a way of forcing women to conform to stereotypes,” she writes.
Perhaps cross-dressing men will at last realise they can wear whatever they want without having to pretend to be women, and we can leave the whole stupid concept of transgenderism behind us.
What the hell? This is what you might call a stretch, and then some. Trans women don’t dress the ways they do — in clothes ranging from traditionally feminine to androgynous — in order to “pretend to be women” like the stereotypical drag queens that itsnotaboutewe clearly pictures when she thinks about trans women. Trans women dress in these varied ways because they are women. Maybe some trans women dress in more conventionally feminine ways than this particular “gender critical feminist” would like, but so do some cis women.
Indeed, so do some cis women who consider themselves “gender critical feminists.” Though itsnotaboutewe’s post got nearly 80 upvotes from her colleagues in the GenderCritical subreddit, quite a few of those commenting on it disagree mightily with her argument.
“I work from home in general, as well as during the pandemic and I still get up every day, put on makeup, shower, shave and put on leggings and a t-shirt,” notes one commenter.
I find I’m more productive when I like the way I look and feel more “ready to go”. I just feel so BLAH when I pass the mirror and see under eye bags.
No need for pencil skirts and heels (although I live in a city where no one really wears that anyway to work but lawyers because it’s too cold and everything is casual) but spending some effort (to whatever you standard is) I think it still really important because WE see us.
“Getting dressed helps me keep from getting too depressed,” writes another.
Today I wore a dress with happy tropical fruit on it. It keeps the feeling of the world being totally out of control at bay.
Huh. I wonder if it has ever occurred to any GenderCrits that maybe some trans women dress the ways they do for the very same reason: it makes them feel like themselves?
Just a thought, GenderCrits.
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