| By Rachel Monique Maskell
He told me not to
How are things? I’m coming into finals and feeling crazy. So much has happened and is happening, but overall things are chugging along.
In my last email I shared some personal things, like I do, but I decided to also post on my personal Facebook. I wanted to connect with people that aren’t on my email list and tell them about the loss of my friend and how I was doing.
A minute after I posted on Facebook, a ‘friend’ that I hadn’t heard from in a while messaged me and recommended that I not share what I did on FB to my email list. My first thought was that I did something wrong and I should delete the post. My second realization was that he’s an internet marketer and his list is not only much much bigger than mine, his purpose is hugely different. And then my third thought was, here’s a dude once again trying to censor women because it makes him feel uncomfortable.
Whether or not he was conscious of doing this it’s an issue women have been coming up and fighting against for centuries. Since the time we began domesticating animals we have become classified as property and relegated to censorship and control.
Yes, we have come a long way. Just think of what it took for women to wear pants let alone have the right to vote or own property. Fashion trends for centuries have represented man's fears of a woman’s body and his inability to control himself so he blames Her. The infamous Eve who tempts man. Poor Adam. It wasn’t his fault. It never is.
And perhaps in some ways it isn’t.
I struggle with this but I recognize that we can’t keep blaming men and expecting them to change the system. They work on half the brain capacity of us. They are hindered by their greatest strength which is single focused attention. They do not have the empathy, the compassion, and the capacity to understand the intricacies of life as we do as women. But this knowledge requires responsibility and forgiveness. It requires ownership of our own life and the independence from the approval of the dude. Whether married or not this is FN hard. The world is not set up for that, nor are we trained to think differently.
So what does this have to do with fashion?
Choice to wear what we want ( thank you to all the women who came before to fight for this). Choice to wear what makes us feel good, that makes us more of who we are and want to be.
Choice to invest in products that we believe in because they support other women in foreign countries who aren’t as far along as we are with personal liberties.
Choice to purchase wisely because we understand limited resources and Mother Nature is no exception.
We have fought hard for the right to have choices. We are still fighting for equal pay and a shift in women’s role in the workplace, at home, and in society. But these changes aren’t going to come from the men who created the systems in the first place. It’s going to come from us women. Individually and collectively.
With Mother’s Day this Sunday I pray that you take a moment and not only think of where you can make different choices but that you take a step in creating a more positive and sustainable world for our future generations.
Thank you for letting me rant and the freedom to chose to speak my mind.