String Theory-Can a Feminist Wear a Thong?

17 Dec

As a feminist, I support the establishing and  defending of equal political, economic, and social rights for women. However, we are not all lesbians, or discontent with conspicuous clothing or deviant behavior. I have said on previous occasions that I appreciate women who can put themselves on display, yet remain proud and in-control. Angela Carter would agree with me here.  On that note, I wanted to bring up the iconic, yet controversial thong.

I love thongs because they compliment my body, make me feel beautiful in a way which embraces my womanhood, and allows me to view myself in an intimate type of way, which for me, is empowering.

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Natasha Bragg, author of “Behind, Beneath, and Between: Tracing the Thong” (http://dismagazine.com/discussion/22772/behind-beneath-and-between-tracing-the-thong/) brings up a conversing opinion stating that

The thong has come to represent more than primitivizing a culture’s misunderstood dress. It is brought up in the conversation of objectification, too. A thong bathing suit, like the ones Coco Austin, star of E!’s Ice Loves Coco, famously wears in her “Thong Thursdays” Twitter updates, has become representative of air-headed hyper-sexualization and material concerns.

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The million dollar question of whether a feminist can wear a thong is, according to Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, “symbolic of young people’s relationship to feminism.”

I believe Bragg presents a good argument. But why can’t I support the women empowerment movement while being sexy? Do these negate each other?

The word “feminism” has undergone a transformation as interesting as the history of the undergarment. Its relationship to dress is undeniable, but the blurred lines between gender studies and fashion design sometimes make themselves clearer by drawing attention to the differing priorities on either side. Sex is fashion and fashion sex; gender is sex and sex gender. Still, fashion can try to ignore gender, and gender can discriminate against fashion. It’s okay for a feminist to wear a thong, but is it okay for a thong to be representative of feminism? Perhaps more importantly: Can a thong be representative of anti-feminism?

Fashionably, the thong changes its mood every few years and represents something new. The thong is rebellious: It sticks out, hides again, becomes functional, emerges as decoration, and stretches itself thin.

And so I am taking a pantie pledge to continue wearing thongs as I establish myself alongside, if not above the patriarchy.

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