I like books.


I live in a small town and enjoy writing about the inhabitants. I spend most of my time perusing through used book stores looking for that one great book that I don't have; consequently, I have rooms filled with books. I am a book addict.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

We've come along way baby; or have we?

In my Englightenment class we were discussing The Turkish Embassy Letters by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. There are many letters where she describes things like the clothes and the mannerisms of the people in the many different cities where she visited. We began discussing the corset and why women wore the corset and how when Montagu showed her corset stays to the naked women. These women so perceptive knew that Montagu couldn’t even get out of her own clothes without the help of another, and that the corset was so binding and so damaging to the woman that it was surely the ideas of a man to make a woman dress in such bondage of clothing. It was at this point our esteemed professor, Dr. Very Smart, sat back and let the graduate students have an opportunity to discuss this passage he had just read. At first, everyone looked around, hoping someone would begin. I am not sure if a guy said something or not but then I said, that’s how it’s always been, men deciding for women what looks best on them and how it must compliment them, the men that is. How this poor woman, traveled through deserts and over rough terrain in this corset that impaired her breathing and her digestion and she was pregnant at the time, and these tight contraptions were horrible on circulation, the musculature of the ribs and abdomen. Sorta like the rings on the neck of the women. The muscles eventually weaken and depend on the rings to hold the neck in its rightful place. No different, I said, than breast augmentation, or liposuction, or nose jobs, or all the other things women do to their body to achieve that look. I assure you, I said, that those women are not doing that to appeal to the appreciation of the women, no, it’s for men, all for men. After beginning, I realized that I was sitting on a soap box, spouting my feminist’s views and there are young girls in my graduate class, who think they are empowered but really are no more than little girls looking for a way to lure men. Not all, but a couple. One, for instance, has these really huge breasts, not real, but filled with silicone, and they, the breasts, are put on display by her wearing these tiny corset like tops that should only be worn under other clothes. Even in the winter, she wears these revealing clothes, putting her chest right out there for the world to see. And then there’s one girl who wears these pants that are so tight they have to cut off her circulation and she has worn shoes that elevated her up to two inches.

We, I’ve decided, or the collective we, are no different than the corset wearing coquettish women of the Englightment, or those who painted their faces with lead based paint, or those that had their ribs removed to make their waist smaller. We are, in fact, still slaves to men. The next time you go to the store, don’t buy an outfit for anyone but for yourself. Does it feel good, I mean can you move around and it not feel confining. Don’t wear those shoes that make your body hurt, get a pair of nice comfortable shoes. They dress for comfort why can’t we????


Blogger Mike said...

I'm not sure if I understand what you mean. Can you post pictures of these women in your class?

2:56 PM  
Blogger zelda1 said...


8:02 PM  

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