Before you get confused, this article isn’t going to be about gender and the freedom to change, as everyone is free to be who they want to be, and express that. After all, for the most of us, we are fortunate enough to live in countries where freedom of expression exists. Today, I am going to discuss what it means to be a woman in 2018 because, despite the fact that our grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and those before them have fought for us, we still face some obstacles.
Via We Heart It
Firstly, being a woman is often associated with gender stereotypes. Let’s take a fashion perspective - whatever you chose to wear should not take away the fact that being a woman is about your connection as woman with the world and not a fashion statement. Despite this, fashion today tends to support unisex styles to create some sort of “equality” when feeling equal is all about the inside, loving ourselves and feeling comfortable. Trends tend to place people in boxes, which doesn’t bode well for a change. Wear what makes you feel good, regardless of what gender it is “supposed” to be for because in fashion, there are no rules. Just because we lack 100% equality between woman and man, even in 2018, there is no point in acting or dressing like a man for Brownie points. In fact, being a woman is pretty awesome, as you’re about to be reminded. Acting like a man will only take you away from enjoying your womanhood. That does not mean we are against woman who really feel like living their life more in a masculine way because they feel so. If they feel so, they should. The point is not to let this be decided by the society, trends or people around you. You can only make the most of being yourself if you live in your own skin, the one that you feel the most comfortable in.
We rebel against blurring lines between women and men, yet scream for equality. It’s pretty ironic, isn’t it? We constantly argue that women must have just as many rights as men, yet do not choose our battles wisely. We tend to forget to embrace ourselves first as being woman with all its facets. We all have times where we don’t feel like wearing masculine suit or get stuck in front of the mirror if that cute dress you actually love is a good idea. Powerful women sometimes fear losing their authority and power in the boardroom, consequently pursue man-like attitude for no real reason and opt out of that cute dress. We have to banish that automatism, because it’s not the least bit accurate. Look at men. Do they strive for acting like women? I can hear you saying ‘’but they are favoured more by the society, why would they want to’’. Well, the answer is hidden in the question. What the society has misconducted when it comes to women, would not be fixed by acting like men either. Society admires someone who proclaims her/his identity without endorsement by others or needing to impersonate others and wears a style with confidence, whether it’s a gingham mini dress or combat pants and studded boots. If society mocks people, it can be because they pick up on their lack of confidence and belief in what they are wearing – so wear something that’s you, regardless of what section of the store it came from.
Via Finch Interiors
On a more serious level, as long as you identify as being a woman, who cares what part of the shop your clothes came from? There are so much more important things we deal with on a day-to-day basis. I mean, what about equal pay? Because even in Hollywood, that’s still not common sense. What about women-led projects? Though it’s not anything new, they are only just being highlighted and having a spotlight shone on them, with female-dominated film projects such as Ladybird or feminist publications such as Girlboss, or even this very e-zine! This very moment can be pinpointed as the era where feminism changed the world – Greta Gerwig who wrote and directed Ladybird was the first female director to be nominated for Best Director at the Oscars in 8 years. Or Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, and self-proclaimed feminist, who can now play a key part in change as a member of the Royal Family. These are just a few examples of how life could change for us all, for the better, in the next few years.
Via Kensington Royal via Instagram
According to us, being a woman in 2018 is being creative, standing up, asking questions, speaking out without being asked. It’s ok to be opinionated. Nothing makes you more powerful than being yourself, and that’s why top businesswomen doing their own thing are at the place they’re at. They had a vision and a belief in what they are doing. They didn’t let the male gaze or self-doubt stop them. Because even in 2018, women suffer from self-doubt – gender discrimination still exists. In 2017, it was reported that 63% of women in US told Pew Research Center that there was a lot of it still going on in the workplace and women face more obstacles than men. Despite this, we are invincible, and pretty much nothing can stop us. I can say about this unfortunate statistic is that if gender discrimination exists, and is still impacting on women’s professional lives, it’s because we are getting all the more intimidating, fierce and proud, and let’s be honest – that scares the heck out of some men, because the equality is balancing itself out, and it’ll be a level playing field. Men will have to work just as hard as women to get to their desired position, some people just aren’t ready to do that. It seems obviously easier to scapegoat the female colleague in the team as the weakest performing. The problem gets worse when women reply to this by working harder which implies that they accept this inferiority; instead of standing behind what they have already created. It is all about choosing your battles wisely like I said earlier.
That doesn’t go to say that men don’t admire women’s work ethic, but as feminism becomes a huge part of modern culture, men are already striving to reach what their female colleagues, business partners or family members have reached. Instead of being threatened by high-achieving women, they are already acting like it’s a level playing field. Women’s reputation of standing in the corner and waiting to be told to speak has been long-forgotten by fearless, flawless women who are confident in themselves and their ideas. It will be exciting to see men “fight it out” in the workplace on equal terms, with equal pay, and with equal opportunities.
By Emma Philo - Editor at She Is Rebel