Tag Archives: underwear

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.

Protect Your Pussy! Rape-Resistant Underwear Soon To Hit The Streets

18 Nov

Critics are skeptical whether a new line of anti-rape garments truly prevent sex attacks, although the designers, AR Wear,  have raised more than $50,000 on the crowdfunding site, Indiegogo.

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Ladies, are you aware that common activities such as clubbing, going out on a date, running alone at night or traveling abroad could all lead to potentially dangerous situations? Are you properly equipped with any defense tactics and/or weapons in the event of a sexual assault? Is your cooch? This is the logic of AR Wear, the makers of  a new rape-resistant clothing line that includes yoga pants, shorts and underwear that promise to keep women safe and unwanted sex predators at bay.

The material creates a barrier that even the most determined rapists can’t break, rip or cut, “so that women and girls can have more power to control the outcome of a sexual assault.”

Cut-resistant straps and webbing create an “innovative skeletal structure” that the wearer locks at the waistband, so they can’t be pulled down or pushed aside.

But the AR Wear insists the garments are comfortable and easy to get off — wearers can release the hold by turning a tiny lock to a designated clock position.

Despite criticism, there’s clearly interest. The designers have raised more than $52,000 on Indiegogo — enough to start producing their line. They expect the pieces to sell between $50 and $60 online and are experimenting with plus-size and men’s lines.

The idea seems tactful, but I have a few issues with relying on carbon fiber panties to escape an attacker.

First off, women shouldn’t be expected to change. Here we go again with allowing men to do whatever the hell they want. Instead of correcting the cause, AR Wear is trying to prevent the effect.  Rape is never a victim’s fault, but ladies, you must exalt some common sense. Here’s some tips:

1. Don’t be a skank! Have some self r-e-s-p-e-c-t

If traveling to an unfamiliar place or with new people, take caution! Don’t leave your drink unattended, don’t get trashed, don’t stray from your friends. Don’t go home with a stranger, don’t bring a stranger home (especially if he appears to be foaming at the mouth…) These are textbook guidelines you learned in health class.

2.  Don’t Be Helpless

Take a self-defense class, and learn how to protect yourself from potential attackers. I carry pepper spray at times and am not afraid to use it. My loud and sharp mouth is also a great deterrent…

While AR Wear is a good idea as a last resort, I feel that it will cause some women to falsely believe they don’t need to be conscious of their environment.  If it came down to it, I don’t know if the garments would even do any good. I can imagine a rapist’s frustration when he’s unable to get through these things. If there is one thing I would assume it’s to not piss off somebody that potentially has a weapon.

Let’s invest in our youth with comprehensive sexuality education, which includes education about communication, healthy relationships and consent. Let’s teach our youth how to clearly say yes or no, how to protect themselves, and what to do if they have an encounter that doesn’t feel OK.

Let’s stop putting all the emphasis on what women need to do to protect themselves. Let’s put more emphasis on what everyone needs to do to ensure there is consent before engaging in sexual activity.  This won’t stop all rape, but neither will the underwear.