Who says feminists can’t be interested in fashion?

February 16, 2013

Honestly, I don’t know why I do it to myself, but I read an interview with Louise Mensch in last night’s Standard where she was talking about fashion. ‘If you’re a feminist, you’re not supposed to be interested in it,’ she said.


Feminism, surely, is about defining and getting equality for women. It’s about freedom – and that includes the freedom to wear whatever we want.

Deciding you want to wear those boots with those jeans and that top because that’s what you want to wear means that you’re in control of your own body. The epitome of feminism, in fact.

Mum on demoI’m saying this, of course, as the daughter of an original women’s libber. My mum and her friends campaigned for women’s rights wearing kaftans and Ossie Clark dresses (yes this is them, in an old newspaper photo). They all love fashion, and they’re all feminists.

Dressing for men is probably the antithesis of feminism, and you could argue that there’s nothing feminist about F*** Me shoes – but you could also argue that being in control of your sexuality is crucial for equality.

Yes the kind of fashion that makes women feel bad about their bodies is definitely not about feminism – but the beauty of fashion is that they’re Always Something Else To Wear.

No one will ever tell me what I can and can’t wear. I love fashion. And I’m proud to be a feminist.


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  • sarahhillwheeler February 18, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I agree. There seems to be a lot kicking around in the blogosphere about why you can’t be a feminist and…..However, in MOHO feminism is precisely about that, being able to choose what you want to wear. Maybe Dame Westwood needs to read Mensch’s column!

  • Cath Bore February 16, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Arrrgh! I hate all these rules that are attached to feminism, if you don’t adhere to them you’re not a ‘good’ enough feminist, or a proper one.

  • MummyTravels February 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Exactly! The thought that you can’t be interested in politics if you like lipstick drives me mad. Can our tiny brains not cope with both? Grrr. As you say, feminism is about the right to make our own choices – just as I don’t expect any man to tell me what I can and can’t do, I won’t put up with it from another woman.