Dresses, elegance and power


Why are feminine clothes impractical? The traditional feminist answer is simply that men want to show their dominance by ensuring that women wear clothes which either restrict their movement, or in other ways render them less suited for survival without male protection (e.g. why do women wear sleeveless evening gowns at elegant parties during the winter, which makes it dangerous, and even potentially fatal, to have to escape out of the building in an emergency). The answer we are told is that men want women to be elegant playthings, totally dependent on men.


Gender has nothing to do with it. Status has. If it were a question of gender, men in a similar situation would wear army combat uniforms, or other clothing which would be practical for every eventuality. They would wear marching boots or athletic shoes. But they don't. They wear tuxedos and a top hat, and dancing shoes. These are not particularly suited to escaping during an emergency either. They not quite as impractical as women's clothing, but certainly less practical than the clothing worn by the waiters, or the janitors, at the same event., just as the elegant ladies of a dinner party are wearing less practical clothes than the waitresses.


The answer is status: by wearing impractical clothing, the economic and social elite of society is conveying: "We are protected and served by society as a whole, we can place our entire trust in our infrastructure, since it exists only for us." And exactly in this context, women are not inferior in status to men, but rather the opposite. No matter how a man treats his wife at home, elegant society requires that he open the door for her, that he offer her drinks, adjust her chair for her. In the context of social gatherings, a woman's impractical, but beautiful, dress says that "I place my trust in all of you, because it is your duty to protect me against anything that may happen, I do not need to think about my own well-being, because that is your duty", and the more impractical the dress, the greater status it awards the wearer, since it emphasizes her importance to the society by which she is protected.


So next time you wear a beautiful dress, think of it, not as a badge of weakness, but as an emblem of superiority and respect!