matociquala: (spies mfu illya bitch please _ truepenny)
[personal profile] matociquala
So I read some feminist fitness blogs, like you do. And one of them recently linked to a couple of posts that I'm not going to link to, but the gist of which was that women should not wear "running skirts," or "fitness skirts,"* because it's unfeminist to try to look cute when you work out. That women wearing skirts to work out "creates a sexist atmosphere."

That we can't take ourselves seriously as athletes if we're wearing sparkly ruffles. And that it's okay to mock women who wear them.

To which all I have to say is, "Fuck you, ladies."

If you're policing another woman's clothing, you are a horrible person.

(In fairness, the blog providing the links took exception to the idea that women should police other women's fitness wear, and admitted that if she didn't think women running in skirts looked serious enough, she needed to change her idea of what a serious runner looked like.)

Seriously, it hurts my heart to see women who claim to be feminists policing what other women wear, acting as though the only way to be taken seriously (to take yourself seriously!) as an athlete is to butch out, and blaming women (and how women dress!) for sexist behavior.

Now, I'm pretty butchy. I wear makeup twice a year, and skirts as costume. (They don't feel like real clothes to me.) I don't own a running skirt. I probably wouldn't wear one, because wind resistance. Although leopard print is kinda tempting, I have to admit.

But I'm also a fat girl (by endurance runner standards) who runs and you know what? I run in compression tights, with my belly pudge clearly defined. Gonna police my body for that? Gonna tell me spandex is a privilege and not a right? Maybe I should cover up my thunder thighs with a running skirt! But wait, can't do that, it's too girly!

Can't wear yoga clothes to yoga class; somebody might see my not-stick-thin abdomen.

Oh, wait. I don't care. And yoga clothes are comfortable, and form-fitting means they don't get in my way.

Why are you assuming the woman in question is trying to look cute for men?** Maybe she's trying to look cute for herself. Maybe she's more comfortable with her ass covered up, rather than outlined in skin-tight compression shorts. Maybe her running fantasy is that she's a marathon-winning princess. Maybe she's wearing that orange ruffled skirt because it's fun and outrageous and eyecatching, and she likes the way it clashes violently with her lime green kicks.

This association of things associated with femininity (skirts) as "bad" is a layer of misogyny. It's as simple as that.

If a woman wants to run in a skirt, it's none of your business. If she has dreadlocks down to her ass, it's none of your business. If she wants to run in a padded sports bra? None of your business. No bra at all? Ow, chafing and bouncing, but none of your business. If she wants to run stark naked except for a pair of bright purple Sauconys and an LED safety headband? No business of yours!

If she wants to run in a burqa? Her business. Not yours.

You don't get to police her body. You don't get to police her clothes. This is what feminism means. It means we respect other women's choices.

I believe in feminism. Feminism means that I believe that men should not be infantilized, that they are grown adult people who can make reasoned choices. Which includes not being sexist because a woman (or hell, another dude) is running in a skirt. Feminism means that I believe that femmes are people too, and that wearing lipstick does not make you less of a person. And if you want to go to a bouldering competition in a minidress, more power to you.

Climb hard.

I may have to go buy myself a damned running skirt just to show solidarity.

*These are basically spandex skorts with a compression short underneath.
**And if she is trying to look cute for men, or for a particular men, why is it any of your business?
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Date: 2013-03-05 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There are women who run the Disney Half Marathons in tutus.

Heck, there are MEN who run the Disney Half Marathon in tutus.

And there was at least one frog. (It's the Princess race. Someone decided a few years back that there had to be a frog. There has been one guy dressed as a frog every year since.)

This is why you're my favorite

Date: 2013-03-05 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
<3 I'm going to use that definition of feminism from now on, for everyone who asks.

Date: 2013-03-05 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Like, like, like! (Imagine all the happy thumbs ups with the words. =)

Date: 2013-03-05 09:10 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-03-05 09:13 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-03-05 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well put! And you are right.

Date: 2013-03-05 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*fistbump to iggy*

There's something wrong about working out in a skirt?

In summary:

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2013-03-06 12:38 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2013-03-05 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe she wants to look cute for another woman!

I just cannot with clothing and presentation policing. This kind of shit is why, as a teen, I refused to ID as feminist, because the "feminism" I encountered seemed a lot more worried about telling me what I could and couldn't do, should and shouldn't wear and was and wasn't allowed to like than it ever was about helping me deal with the jackass sexism that I swam in as an adolescent girl.

I ain't a teen anymore and I found better feminists for the most part. But this shit makes me mad mad mad.

Re: skirt to show solidarity - this is why I started wearing leggings and long shirts, which I've found are fabulously comfortable. One too many people "forbidding" women to leave the house "without pants" and I ended up going FUCK YOU I WILL WEAR WHAT I LIKE.

Date: 2013-03-05 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You kick butt!

Date: 2013-03-05 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh yes. Oh yes indeed.

If these were reducing options--if you could only find anything a woman could run in with a little skirt on it--then I would grump. But they're increasing options. It's like when my friend's kid wants to wear the same uniform trousers as the boys at her school: I am on the side with more options. (For the record, I think the boys ought to be allowed the same uniform skirt as the girls if they want it.)

Also: the companies that make running skirts make other clothing for women that allows for freedom of motion and ease of care. While it would be just lovely if we lived in a culture where those elements were reasonably available in all women's clothes, in fact we don't. Having clothing in which one can be both femme and active goes both ways. Having people who are thinking in terms of "the person in the skirt is a badass" ramifies both ways.

Date: 2013-03-05 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I read this saying "Fuck Yeah!" in my head, and then a bit out loud as well. It's similar to women criticising other women for running in make-up. I'm probably not going to bother putting lipstick on for a run, but why the hell shouldn't I?

Women have enough to do deal with without fighting each other and deciding what other women's choices should be. *buys ALL the running skirts*

Date: 2013-03-10 07:25 pm (UTC)
ext_3319: Goth girl outfit (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I'm probably not going to bother putting lipstick on for a run, but why the hell shouldn't I?

Can't think of any reason. I might wonder, if I saw someone wearing a great deal of eye makeup while running, if they weren't risking having the stuff get into their eyes when they worked up a sweat, but they probably know more about waterproof and sweatproof stuff than I do,

I can think of a very good reason to put SOMETHING on my lips when running: preventing chapped lips. Why should it matter whether it's decorative or not?

Date: 2013-03-05 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Why don't these people spend their valuable energy and time battling Westboro Baptist, or the Taliban, or mad anti-abortionists?

I will answer my own question. Because it's easier, and smugger, to criticise the women closest to you.

I will wear what I damn well please. So should we all.

Date: 2013-03-05 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]


Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I think I'm going to join you in the acquiring a sparkly running skirt in solidarity.

Date: 2013-03-05 10:15 pm (UTC)
feuervogel: (corset)
From: [personal profile] feuervogel
If there is a brand of running skirt that fits thunder thighs-and-ass, please tell me, because I love wearing skirts, but I hate the chafing. (I hate wearing hose, even queen size won't stay up. Also it gets unpleasant in summer.) And the sticking to plastic chairs thing. And having to sit carefully so I don't flash everyone.

(And a book rec? Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano. A friend loaned me their copy, and I really liked it.)

Date: 2013-03-05 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for the rec!

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Date: 2013-03-05 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2013-03-05 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Fuck yes! And women policing other women's clothing choices and bodies is just adding to the "divide and conquer" patriarchal/mainstream attitude that promotes this notion that women can't really be friends and are always backbiting and being catty to each other.

Also I adore those pics of Iggy!

Also also between the title of this and the post before (in my feed)/after (in terms of time) it, I've got that song stuck in my head. Not that I mind! There are plenty of songs that are far worse to have stuck in my head!

Date: 2013-03-09 02:28 pm (UTC)
clhollandwriter: (Default)
From: [personal profile] clhollandwriter
Unfortunately a lot of women believe the attitude about backbiting and cattiness. The world would be a nicer place if they didn't. And then avoiding their company because you don't want to deal with it is also unfeminist.

Date: 2013-03-05 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you!

To add to wearing a skirt, maybe the person wearing it because they see themselves as someone else while doing so. Silly as it may sound, a skirt is the closest gladiator thing I own but running in one with the right leggings, I am Xena! I am Wonder Woman. I am Artemis of the hunt....yeah don't see where the looking cute for men thing came from. For all anyone knows, the person wearing it is doing it to look cute for a woman.

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2013-03-06 02:53 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2013-03-05 10:40 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-03-05 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"This is what feminism means. It means we respect other women's choices."

I love you this much:

Date: 2013-03-05 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Right back at you.

Date: 2013-03-05 10:54 pm (UTC)
ext_3038: Red Panda with the captain "Oh Hai!" (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Hear, hear!

Date: 2013-03-05 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'll admit I occasionally shake my head with Title 9's tendency to add random flower decals to things, mostly because it turns clothing I would like to have into clothing I'd really prefer not to have, and that makes me sad.

I love the idea of skorts - I used to wear skirts a lot, but they are generally lifestyle non-agreeable with me. Unless I'm going dancing somewhere where it makes sense to just color coordinate my underwear. The only reason I don't wear skorts more is that I haven't found ones I like - most of what I've found involves "boy shorts" that are both tight and very short. Tight is probably okay, but tight and short leaves me thinking I'd get a better fit just color coordinating my underwear. (I have one pair... that's okay. Though pretty much any skort isn't going to work well with a recumbent.)

Date: 2013-03-06 12:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have been seeing "athletic skirts" with knee-length compression shorts....


Does that help?

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From: [personal profile] clhollandwriter - Date: 2013-03-09 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2013-03-05 11:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Amen to this. I saw a dude running in a skirt, just yesterday. I have no idea why; none of my business. I wanted to cheer regardless.

Date: 2013-03-06 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, that's cheer-worthy.

Date: 2013-03-05 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love you. And this. By my definition, feminism gives us the right to choose what to wear and how to wear it without this kind of censure.

Date: 2013-03-06 12:08 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-03-06 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Actual conversation that recently took place here:

they: (twirl in dress) "How does this look?"
we: "Very pretty"
they: (disappear, change, twirl in different dress) "How does this look?"
we: "Very pretty"
they: "...are you ever going to answer anything other than 'Very pretty'?"
we: "Well, you are very pretty. You are very pretty when you're stuffed-up and puffy from a cold, have bed-hair, and are wearing an old T-shirt and yoga pants".
they: "'re going to be completely useless if every time I try on an outfit ask you 'How does this look?', you answer 'Very pretty'."
we: "Well, if you have two outfits, I can tell you which one I like better. That first dress? Much better."
they: "...I'll send the other one back."

Also, when I was doing a lot of running, one of the things I really liked was bike-shorts-length spandex underwear. It's very comfy, and it prevents chafing in the Parts Region. Then you can throw whatever crappy shorts over the top of those, just so people aren't exposed to my spandex-clad Parts Region.

Date: 2013-03-06 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Parts Region" is my new favorite euphemism, and the name of Scalzi's next band.

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Date: 2013-03-06 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What's comfortable, what makes sense for you? That's what matters. Punto final.

Date: 2013-03-06 02:15 am (UTC)
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