Something which I have been thinking more of lately, in the past year or so, is feminism and that’s down mainly to Caitlin Moran and her wonderful book How to Be a Woman. I’ve read many girly guides to life in the past and many contain a wealth of knowledge of how to apply nail varnish, what your handbag essentials should be and how to choose a hat for Ascot. I have to say none of the information has stuck. I still apply nail varnish like I did when I was 13, the essential items in my handbag appear to be used tissues and old receipts, and I don’t wear that many hats let alone feel the need to wear one to gamble in (I don’t gamble either). When I read How to Be a Woman I chose it because I liked the cover, because yes I really do judge a book in that way. Caitlin Moran looked cool and my 13 year old self informed me to idolise this woman on the basis that she has a silver streak in her hair (I wanted one when I was 13) and no more information than that.
|Strident Feminist or 50's Housewife. |
Is it possible for a woman to be both?
I read the book while on holiday in Italy and then passed the book on to my mum to read. When I got home I gave it my boyfriend, because I knew he would enjoy things such as “bum-gina”, he then lent it to his mum, she also appreciated the “bum-gina” joke. After that I got on a chair, or my bed, and declared myself to be a strident feminist. I then got off the bed and watched my other idol, Lola Lamour, on Time Warp Wives which if you haven’t seen it is about modern women living vintage lifestyles 24/7 including being housewives.
The juxtaposition is still something that jibes me and I haven’t made peace with the fact that I have these two very opposed influences in my life. Looking around the internet at the blogs and tweets of other vintage ladies I feel they too live with these opposing forces. Many of the women on there are also very feminist and yet also dress in full vintage outfits; it seems the two even go hand in hand.
For me personally vintage is about standing out from the crowd and seriously refusing to go with the mainstream flow. I take pride in walking down our high street and looking not a jot like anyone else; I imagine it’s the same for many other people who wear vintage. It’s that stubborn quality which I feel links so well to feminism and could possibly be why it works so well with vintage. I’m refusing to conform to many things when I wear vintage and that doesn’t just extend to shopping in Topshop, etc.
I could be wrong, who knows! This is just how I feel about it; let me know what you think.