Guardian article by Hadley Freeman, 'You want to dress up in a cute animal hat? Oh, please, just grow up!' Should women be told what to wear if it's a feminist doing the telling?

(31 Posts)
RM76 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:46:32

I know this isn't a very serious article, but it does seem to be a trend.

You see women doing this type of thing to other women all the time.
I have read countless articles in which the author (normally a woman) throws up their hands in despair at the stupidity of other women, demanding that they stop doing X,Y and Z or they, and by extension women, will not be taken seriously.

Surely everybody has the right to be taken seriously. Do we really want equality for women that is dependent on another list of things they must do in order to obtain it, and if so is that really equality?

Just wondered what other people thought and was wondering if I'm missing something. Hope I'm making sense, not slept much. How do you end these bits?
Now I'm talking to myself, I don't know, Byeeee...

DuckMeInTheGrass Mon 04-Feb-13 17:50:49

I wear a leopard print hat with ears. I dont give a fuck what anyone thinks of it.

I think it just makes the author look stupid. Thats all she can come up with to write about? Other peoples hat choices?

Not read article btw.

I wear a wolf head hat with attached mittens! Like this

Why? Because I can.

FloatyBeatie Mon 04-Feb-13 17:56:47

I fairness to Hadley F. she did write a piece last week saying that it is not on, really, to tell women it is "unfeminist" to wear high heels and the like. So in general she is against the kind of authoritarian proscriptiveness that you mention.

I think this is just intended as a piece taking the piss out of a very stupid fashion. There is the additional serious point that it is a bit suspect to seek to make yourself look like a child. But surely womanly solidarity doesn't need to extend to refusing to give any critical expression to anything that women do?

LifeofPo Mon 04-Feb-13 18:03:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RM76 Mon 04-Feb-13 18:10:07

There is a difference between saying
'I really hate those hats, why do people wear them?'
and saying
'I really hate that hat, and think that by wearing it you make yourself look like a stupid person who nobody should take seriously' or ' by wearing that hat you have let yourself down as a woman'.

RM76 Mon 04-Feb-13 18:33:18

personalclown love the hat, and I'm sure you look lovely in it.
I wear a North Face woolly ear flapper, because I'm horribly middle class, want warm ears, and because I think an animal hat might confuse my dog. Who knows, he might think the next time he runs off on a walk he'll be my next headgear. (But I'm probably anthropomorphising him again, woo, hoo, look at that, what a big word I did use! Never thought I'd manage to shoehorn that in anywhere!)

PretzelTime Mon 04-Feb-13 19:41:34

Those hats are indeed childish but nothing to get angry over. They're funny! I'm certain no one is wearing them to job meetings, etc.

There is such a never-ending, constant attention paid to women's looks in media. I'd like everyone and everything to completely stop giving a fuck about that for a while, and start focusing on what various interesting women are doing and saying.

Pffft. I have enough to worry about with the Government cuts to disability, Toads transition to SN secondary, the rise in bills (like everyone else) and all the other day to day stuff that we deal with as adults.

So occasionally I like have a little carefree moment by wearing a stupid hat. It's good for my mental well being!!grin

LesBOFerables Mon 04-Feb-13 19:54:28

"You are strong, smart, intelligent women and you should not apologise for that or think you should be smaller/younger/stupider/thinner/more animal-like than you are. So just buy a normal hat, buy some normal gloves and most of all – and I say this with nothing but love in my heart and sympathy in my voice – grow up."

None of that sounds unfeminist to me. And it's not like she is running a campaign or chasing people with a machete. I think she is making a fair point about the cutesifying of fashion actually, typified by all those fashion blog photographs of women in their thirties forcing their feet into a pigeon-toed mince to look like gangly foals. It's the fetishisation of youth which is the target of her ire rather than women per se.

PretzelTime Mon 04-Feb-13 20:08:01

It's the fetishisation of youth which is the target of her ire
I agreed with that part of the article LesBOFand it would be better if she simply focused on that. Perhaps the silly hats is a thing to make people read it.

I don't think I have ever seen an article in a newspaper aimed at men about how they should stop dressing silly/unsexy/untrendy/childish, this stuff is always aimed at women.

FastidiaBlueberry Mon 04-Feb-13 20:38:02

I always find it amusing the way people get absolutely outraged by anyone identifying as feminist telling women what to do while not noticing how non-feminists tell women what to do all the time. Just pick up any woman's magazine or the Daily Mail and they're full of instructions to women on what to wear and what to do in order to be considered acceptable.

FastidiaBlueberry Mon 04-Feb-13 20:43:01

But having said that, it is irritating to read that women should do x y or z whoever is writing it

WhentheRed Mon 04-Feb-13 20:59:42

In fairness to Hadley Freeman, she was asked to provide her opinion precisely on a woman wearing a furry animal hat. I don't think it is unfeminist to say that the hat is childish and silly. I also don't think it is unfeminist to point out the infantilisation that goes along with women wearing childish clothes.

In my professional life I once had to mentor a new entry at work. She was very young looking and tiny. She was also frustrated because in her performance reviews, people (mostly men) commented that she appeared to be young and immature; and that it was impeding her chances of success. Her complaint was that she couldn't help being young looking. While that was true, I had to point out that she wore shoes a size too big so she shuffled around the office, and she sat on a "Hello Kitty" cushion in her office. She was also always hunched over and shivering, because she didn't wear enough clothes for the office temperatire (designed for men in suits). It certainly wasn't her fault she was young looking but she wasn't helping herself.

I also recall at a lunch before Christmas one year where a discussion of children's toys came up. I was whingeing because my three year old had suddenly announced she wanted a Barbie. While everyone was sympathising with me, one young woman announced that she loved Barbies. The look on the older, senior men's faces was palpable. You could almost feel the disdain. Needless to say, the young woman did not last long.

We may all very well say that feminism is about permitting women to express themselves freely, and that includes allowing women to dress as children. However, that does not translate into the workplace. I would rather encourage women to give up the childish clothes, and fight for the right to progress in the workplace, etc., than fight for the right of women to dress as children.

MrsHoarder Mon 04-Feb-13 21:04:34

Hadley Freeman does tell men that they are making stupid fashion choices too. She is generally for adults dressing sensibly and ignoring silly fashion trends. I think its a good perspective to have in print

OneHandFlapping Mon 04-Feb-13 21:06:28

I've seen young blokes wearing those animal ears hats too, when it was snowing. I thought they looked cute and fun.

It's just an extension of this thing with young adults retreating to childhood, epitomised by onesies (for both sexes) isn't it?

LesBOFerables Mon 04-Feb-13 21:34:34

Yes, I suppose it's a cultural zeitgeisty thing. Probably connected to the fact that they don't bloody leave home until they're 34 these days.

RM76 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:43:04

I just thought that this was casual wear, and that a alternative list that women should conform to is a little illogical.
I in no way meant to disparage feminists, I am one.
It does seem a bit much to say that men/society tell us what to wear all the time and that's horrible (which they do at every turn, and it is horrible!), but as a professional woman I won't take other women seriously if they wear what they choose in their free time.
Of course I get that people do judge on appearance, but that in itself is wrong. I'm not taking particular offence at feminists judging women on their clothing choices, I'm offended by society doing it, and find it a bit much when we start doing it to ourselves, I want NO list, not an alternative one.
If we take this much offence at animal hats in winter, how the hell are Goths and other groups treated, or is that okay because some people think they are 'weirdo's'?(not that they are).
The clothes that are deemed acceptible are a social construct, they are only acceptable because the tribe says they are, they're just wrappings. If everyone thought all successful people wore clown hats, clown hats would become fashionable.
Anyway, sorry if that doesn't make sense, is a bit angry, but I just found out my cat died and I'm a bit upset. Will probably not bother with the thread again, sorry if it was a bit of a waste of time, thought it would be interesting, again, definitely NOT hating on the feminists.

LesBOFerables Mon 04-Feb-13 21:46:33

It IS interesting- we are just chatting about it and looking at it from different perspectives.

And I'm so so sorry about your cat- it's so upsetting when a much-loved pet dies, I'm not surprised you feel awful.

RM76 Mon 04-Feb-13 22:06:56

That last comment was just a general comment, not aimed directly at you LesBOFerables, sorry, just really sad right now.sad

PretzelTime Mon 04-Feb-13 22:31:08

Sorry about the loss of your cat RM76 sad
It sucks when a beloved pet dies.

RM76 Mon 04-Feb-13 22:35:57

pretzeltime thanks, I know I'm a bit pathetic but he was only a kitten really. Probably not the best time to talk about all the inequality in the world, sorry

PhilMcAverty Mon 04-Feb-13 22:45:51

I don't care what people wear exactly, but I do wonder why I'm only seeing women out and about in pj bottoms and cutesy stuff.

Men do have the market on twatty T-shirts, lauding getting pissed and the rest, but only women are out in night wear.

LesBOFerables Mon 04-Feb-13 22:51:06

It's ok, I knew what you meant.

Snog Tue 05-Feb-13 06:37:01

All this is nothing compared to the bizarre custom of wearing high heels which presumably Hadley wears?
In my view wearing high heels truly is unfeminist and we should have left them way behind with the chastity belts

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