Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fashion Feminista Rant

On Thursday, the CBC ran a brief story noting the fact that there are disproportionately few women in politics.  It quotes the NDP's failure to reach it's own policy of gender parity, as well as the Sask Party's low representation of female voice.  My first reaction to hearing this story referenced on the radio was like when you are sitting at a soccer game enjoying a salty bag of spitz, and then you bit into a bad one.  The nastiness permeates your mouth and sinuses instantly.  Then you just can't get rid of it.  And frankly, you are a little afraid of spitz, fearing you have broken that invisible barrier into the bad section of the bag.  I can only imagine one job I would like to have even less, and that would be accounting. (no offence) I am an extreem introvert, and a creative person not given to a structured life.  Not for me.  But someone should represent me.  I really don't like the idea of a bunch of men sitting around the table deciding what's best in my regard.  And I think of my sisters of the past who fought diligently to get the vote for women.  Now we have the vote, but we brush off the representation of those votes?  That doesn't seem right either.

So I have had a few days to mull this over.  Women in politics.  All the while my fingers are feverishly snipping, and stitching on a sleek and stunning suit of clothing for the Be Discovered Charity Event. (more details on that later) What kind of woman goes into politics?  Is there a kind?  Do we have a responsibility to do our share of this duty, or is it just for a chosen few?  I'm not sure.  One thing I am sure about is that politics is still serious business.  It is a careful, calculated, orchestrated flow of acts and efforts which few have the competence to accomplish.  Clearly, Mr. Stockwell Day has shown us that we as a nation are not ready for media stunts to highlight and bolster campaigns, like the sports hero's and rock star's pr teams can conjure.  It's strictly old school charity events, baby kissing, wine/cheese/hamburger events and the occasional name calling in the political game.  What's this got to do with women?  Lots. 

Ok, now I am going to jump ahead to Tuesday night at the Regina Fashion Collective.  The place is packed with people, just hanging about.  There is a bit of anxiety in the air, made palpable by the 2 or 3 people buzzing around getting information, directing, discussing, meeting.  It's a fashion moment in history, the first group fitting at the collective.  This is the fitting I have been dreading for weeks.

I know this part of the story doesn't seem to fit in, but please bear with me.  I am going to be very honest with you my dear faceless crowd of readers.  Just like politics, I constantly wonder if fashion is a business that you have to belong to.  I can design, I can make a good coat, but I don't belong.  Square peg.  I looked around that fitting room at all those lanky 6' something models and the funky designers with their wild colourful dresses and I thought of politics.  Damn, there is something wrong with my head!  I'm a different kind of women than these.  Is that ok?  Will I be able to sell that?  I have tried changing and it just doesn't work that way.

There is a lot in this world I would give up to have my 18 year old body back.  True.  But is that what it's all about?  Is that important in life?  Are you really serving your community, country, your culture by designing another dress that shows your ass when you bend over to pick something up.  Is that what being a woman is all about?  Be the best bar bait you can be?  When did it go out of fashion to be taken seriously?  On the weekend I watched the film Bridesmaids (which is right up my, ahem, alley, in the potty humour department.) one of the characters is the obligatory fat bridesmaid, Meagan, played by Melissa McCarthy.  This character made the movie.  She has what many women, (dare I say half her size) dream of having, total acceptance of herself, complete confidence and the drive to make a difference with everything she's got! 

Here's my point (finally) when you look at these loverly ladies lined up, ask yourself which one of them could end up being our Prime Minister?  Well, is it the beauties?  No.  Because we will all ask them if they are able to handle the load of numbers involved in running a country, or if they have a hidden agenda to shag some foreign minister.  If she get's married and settles down, then people will say she isn't a good mother/leader of the country.  Women continue to be measured by their sexuality, and that perception is used to judge all other areas of her life.  So sadly, the fat homely woman would win that competition because she is fully aware of herself and she has consciously shaped that persona therefore she possesses powerful and imposing confidence.  Is this sad because she is unshapely and unsexy?  No, it is sad because there are so few people like her.  She is a rare woman.  That is why there aren't more women in politics.  I want to live in a culture that values this quality in a woman more than how pouty her lips are, or how short she dares to wear her skirt. 

So back to fashion.  Be it resolved that women who have great things to say, and great advances to make in the vast nation of Canada, will find beautiful and inspiring clothing to wear that will support their message spoken as a powerful, eloquent, confident, influential, respected, whole and complete woman from Deanna Tanner Fashion Designer & Tailor.  In Meagan's words, "I got your back!"