Fashion and Feminism

Henriette Dahan-Kalev and Shoshana-Rose Marzel

Book chapter

DOI: 10.5040/9781474232371.ch-009
Pages: 171–188

Fashion has often been associated with women’s obedience to codes of dressing that aimed at their objectification and rendering them sexual objects for men. Therefore, feminist and gender critiques study fashion and dress as oppressing patriarchal tools. However, clothing has also been part of feminist combat for more than 200 years. In this chapter we wish to shed light on the ways in which feminist movements have used clothing in order to promote their agendas over the last two centuries.

Our working hypothesis is that the issue of dress in the feminist movement has been instrumental, as it has in other ideological movements. However, within feminist movements, contrary to others, dress forms changed over time. They began with the female demand to wear pants during the French Revolution and continue today with the contemporary struggle over the feminine Islamic dress in Europe. Thus, in the feminist perspective, freedom and civil rights equal the right to wear whatever a woman wants. Moreover, clothes in the feminist struggle frequently contain an important symbolic dimension, often taken as a subversive act against gender oppression.

The thread linking the French Revolution to present time’s “burka scandal” shows that great political events propel cultural changes, and clothing is one of the most important. Proper attention can provide us with significant knowledge about the effect of clothing as a political factor during these events. The same can be said concerning gender research: not a lot has been written on clothing, although there is much on the body (Bordo, Irigaray, and Kristeva are only a few among the many dealing with this topic).[1]

Dress and the struggle for female civil rights during the French Revolution

During the French Revolution, dress became an important issue: one of the ways in which revolutionaries’ values were to be obtained and symbolized was through the adoption of class-less styles of clothing, which expressed the ideals of Fraternity, Liberty, and Equality.

Several decrees concerning clothing and gender issues were also passed. For instance, as it became easier for women than for men to get food, some men disguised themselves as women in order to do so. To prevent this, a new decree was voted and approved on August 7, 1793, stating that “a man wearing woman’s clothes, will be punished by death.”[2]

Moreover, on October 29, 1793, a new revolutionary edict stated that:

No person of either sex may constrain any female or male citizen to dress in a particular manner. Everyone is free to wear whatever clothing or adornment of his sex seems right to him, on pain of being considered and treated as a suspect and prosecuted as a disturber of public peace.[3][4]

As much as this decree sounds neutral, it is not: although every French person has the right to wear whatever clothing or adornment he or she wishes, no one has the right to wear clothes outside of her or his gender.

Moreover, the history of this decree’s promulgation reveals women’s conflicts during the French Revolution: it was promulgated after a group of women appeared at the National Convention complaining that another group of women had tried to force them to wear the red cap of liberty as a sign of their adherence to the Revolution. The National Convention immediately passed a decree reaffirming liberty of dress (above), at the same time rethinking the old code of dressing. On the following day, October 30, 1793, Jean-Baptiste Amar (1755–1816) spoke for the Committee of Public Security as follows:

In the morning at the market and charnel-house [mortuary] of the Innocents, several women, so-called women Jacobins, from a club that is supposedly revolutionary, walked about wearing trousers and red caps; they sought to force the other citizenesses to adopt the same dress. Several have testified that they were insulted by these women. […]

Your committee [the women’s committee] believed it must go further in its inquiry. It has posed the following questions: (1) Is it permitted to citizens or to a particular club to force other citizens to do what the law does not command? (2) Should the gatherings of women convened in popular clubs in Paris be allowed? Do not the troubles that these clubs have already occasioned prohibit us from tolerating any longer their existence?

Thus, after having answered negatively to these questions, Amar proposed a decree suppressing all women’s political clubs, which passed with virtually no discussion.[5] Hence, in a very cynical way, male leaders of the Revolution exploited a benign clothing quarrel between women to crush completely women’s movements. The way in which it was passed and the abolition of women’s clubs emphasizes the gender inequalities at the time. This gender gap deprived women from rights that male revolutionaries had already achieved, such as education: many male revolutionaries were well educated, while female revolutionaries were often illiterates, even analphabets. Consequently, male revolutionaries were able to use their rhetorical skills, well acquired in French lycées, to manipulate women and reject their feminist demands. The gender gap also shows concerning utterances: in this report, only men’s words have been completely recorded, thus glorified, while women’s voices are appearing only as hearsay.

This event resulted in a paradoxical outcome: however free, the French people were still required to dress according to the fashion of each gender, just as before the Revolution. Hence, while the above law is often quoted to signify liberty of dress, it came hand in hand with women’s repression, as it forbade women not only to wear trousers, but any clothing belonging to the opposite sex:

Legislation forbidding women to wear pants was a reaction to the behavior of French feminists who had worn trousers […] during the revolution. Their clothing, their political views were unacceptable to the men who wielded power. The leaders of the revolution considered “clothing a statement of freedom and an expression of individuality” but not for women.[6]

During the French Revolution, some women joined the revolutionary army. Although their number is difficult to assess, they did take part in real combats, dressed in parts of men’s uniforms, including trousers. On April 30, 1793, a decree passed that ordered all women to leave the army, but only one woman obeyed.[7] However, these female soldiers were not numerous, and over time left the army entirely. Thus, to conclude the issue of clothing and feminism during the French Revolution, it can be said that revolutionary women, with their demands for equality, symbolized by their new demands for equal clothes, represented a threat to the masculinity of the revolutionary males. As Annie Geffroy explains: “the woman with red cap is, in man’s imaginary thinking, with trousers and arms, threatening, phallic.”[8] We can also conclude that revolutionary males were to a certain degree revolutionary, but when it came to their masculinity and the code of masculine dressing, they stood on guard. As much as the French Revolution generated many radical changes, it did not grant any civil rights for women.[9] Albeit unsuccessful, the feminist struggle introduced the idea for further women’s clothing demands; in 1800 a new French decree permitted women to wear trousers under the police prefect authorization.[10]

Clothing and feminist activism during the nineteenth century

The French feminist movement rose again in the Romantic generation, in particular among Saint-Simonians, in Paris:

The first autonomous women’s movement evolved out of the Saint-Simonian movement in the early 1830s. The feminists Flora Tristan, Jeanne Deroin, and Pauline Roland remain most strongly associated with this era, at the same time that the first feminist newspapers and journals tried to link the plight of the working class with the struggle for women’s rights.[11]

At this occasion, the relationship between feminism and fashion again surfaced, as some women dared to wear men’s clothes not for work purposes, as some already did, but to express a more liberated way of life:

The most notorious woman to wear trousers […] was the novelist George Sand, who was also famous for her love affairs. Although she normally wore dresses, Sand was known to go out disguised as a man. In this way, for example, she could accompany male friends into the pit of the theater. [...] Later in the century, the actress Sarah Bernhardt was frequently photographed wearing men’s clothing, both for some of her performances and in private life. As these examples indicate, the practice was associated with bluestockings and actresses.[12]

Some of these women went further: they called themselves Lionnes (lionesses in French) and adopted an entirely masculine way of life, wearing complete masculine outfits, riding horses, participating in hunts, smoking cigars, and betting at races, although, as states Diana Crane “[i]n various ways, these women were atypical or marginal.”[13] Nonetheless, this new behavior planted the seed for the idea of a legitimate change in women’s fashion.

Moreover, in 1848, following the overthrow of French King Louis-Philippe, the newly formed Second Republic made possible a proliferation of new parties, including feminist ones. The Vésuviennes, the most radical of these feminist factions, wished to promote various reforms, including women’s right to dress in the same way as men.[14] At this point, George Sand was a disappointment: the Saint-Simonians invited her to run for election, but she rejected their suggestion, on the grounds that women should first gain extended civil rights before being in a position to demand suffrage. Sand’s reaction proved difficult to understand for those French feminists who were in favor of female suffrage. Very quickly, during the Second Republic, women were put aside, and once again did not gain any civil rights.

In America, by the middle of the nineteenth century, dress had become an issue for the Women’s Rights Movement. In 1851, Mrs. Amelia Bloomer proposed a new feminine costume that consisted of a short skirt/dress over a pair of full Turkish trousers. Bloomer, a women’s activist, and a few of her fellow activists wore the costume because it was “comfortable, convenient, safe and tidy.”[15] According to Mary E. Corey, reviewing Sylvia D. Hoffert’s When Hens Crow: The Woman’s Rights Movement in Antebellum America,

The Bloomer costume became the symbol of a woman’s personal politics and a good deal of pressure was exerted on individual women to adopt it. When, for example Elizabeth Oakes Smith attended the Syracuse convention in 1852 wearing conventional dress, Susan B. Anthony objected to her nomination as president of the convention. Stanton is overheard remarking that a speech by Lydia Fowler would have been more convincing “if she had not appeared before her audience with her ‘waist lined with whale-bones.’”

Wearing reform dress was a powerful non-verbal way of announcing one’s individual politics, but it came with a price. As each woman soon discovered, the reform dress gave them freedom of movement that conventional dress did not, but it also restricted their public movement and privacy. Strangers reacted to it as an invitation to intrude upon, ridicule, and harass anyone brave enough to wear it in public. Reform dress was never widely adopted and the last holdouts had resumed conventional dress by 1855, amid a flurry of debate about its continued worth as a political symbol and visual metaphor.[16]

Thus, at the time, there were different feminist views on the political effect of fashion. According to Margaret Finnegan, some suffragists embraced fashion as a sign of gentility: “Accounts of woman suffrage conventions repeatedly describe women ‘elaborately gowned in the height of the fashion’, and some suffragists obsessively followed the latest styles.”[17] Others, such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, advocated various forms of dress reform, mainly the above-mentioned bloomers. However, even Mrs. Bloomer abandoned trousers in 1857, when she admitted she found the cage crinoline comfortable compared to the weight of petticoats.

Feminist movements did not act in a vacuum, but influenced each other. According to Bonnie Anderson, strong ties developed between different feminist movements, namely between France, Britain, the German States, and the US.[18] As fashion historian James Laver writes:

The formidable Mrs. Bloomer came to England in 1851 to spread her gospel and to try to induce women to adopt her sensible and certainly not unfeminine costume. […] This very modest attempt to reform female dress provoked an almost unbelievable outburst of excitement, ridicule and vituperation. What might be called the trouser complex came into full play. Women were endeavouring, it seemed, to “wear the trousers”, and the mid-Victorian man regarded this as an outrageous attack on his own privileged position. Punch, that faithful mirror of middle-class opinion in the nineteenth century, brought out dozens of cartoons emphasizing the consequences of a possible sexual revolution, a world in which timid men were in complete subjection to their bloomered spouses.[19]

Male opposition to women’s trousers has also to be understood as a threat to man’s identity. Wearing male trousers was viewed as an expression of masculinity: if women were to wear trousers as well, how would men express their identity? The association between trousers and masculinity has a long history in the West. Men wore bifurcated garments, such as breeches and trousers, from the fourteenth century onwards, thus “[a]n important consequence of the bifurcation of male dress was that it made it appear that only the male half of the population were possessed of the means of locomotion, rendering the sight of female legs in motion […] seem indelicate or indecent.”[20] Hence, male clothing symbolizes activity, while women’s clothing, namely dresses, symbolizes passivity. By being willing to wear pants, women undermined one of the most important visual signs of men’s power over them. However, as Laver goes on to explain: “as an attempt to influence contemporary fashion, the Bloomer Movement was a complete failure. […] Mrs. Bloomer had to wait for almost fifty years before she had her revenge in the adoption of ‘bloomers’ for cycling.”[21]

Indeed, by the 1890s, trousers called bloomers were adopted all over Europe as suitable cycling wear for ladies. Moreover, even before that time, the Rational Dress Society, formed in 1881 in London, approved of Mrs. Bloomer’s ideas on practical fashions. This society was formed by Viscountess Harberton and Mrs. King, who drew attention to restrictive clothes of the time and promoted alternative fashions that would not deform the female body. Moreover, the Rational Dress Society thought no woman should wear more than seven pounds of underwear, as every layer of undergarments made their movements more and more restricted. Rational dress as a fashion was finally adopted in 1895 by a handful of privileged women, but was not universally worn.[22]

In the meantime, in France, during the Commune, which followed the collapse of the Second Empire in 1870, women tried once more to gain power through clothing activism, including the right to wear trousers. However, their feminist demands were crushed, alongside all Commune’s movements, in 1871.

Female clothing change around the First World War

It was only by the beginning of the twentieth century that a real change in women’s fashion began to be felt and the cumulative efforts of political women’s rights movements had a real impact on women’s fashions. Female clothes changed and became more relaxed: haute couture designer Paul Poiret advocated not using corsets anymore, designing instead female pantaloons and non-fitted clothing. Coco Chanel had already introduced softer fabrics for easier feminine clothing.

However, the greatest female fashion revolution occurred after the First World War, when fashions changed alongside women’s roles in modern society. Women got new rights, penetrated universities, and entered the workforce in numbers.[23] First and foremost, underwear, whose purpose had been for centuries to design the female body, was left to promote a “natural” body: the corset was discarded and replaced by a chemise or camisole and bloomers. For the first time, women’s legs were seen, with hemlines rising to the knee as dresses became shorter and more fitted. A kind of masculine look, including flattened breasts and hips and short hairstyles, such as the bob cut, was adopted. Thus, abstract feminist ideas of freedom and equality of rights were translated into concrete forms and objects, as women first liberated themselves from constricting fashions and began to wear comfortable clothes.

After-war feminism’s attention to fashion

After the Second World War, feminists’ views on fashion moved forward, as many feminists began to perceive it as an oppressive tool used against woman. “Since woman is an object,” wrote Simone de Beauvoir, “it is quite understandable that her intrinsic value is affected by her style of dress and adornment.”[24] According to Elizabeth Wilson:

It was during the early part of the post-war epoch that Simone de Beauvoir wrote feelingly about the bondage of elegance: “Elegance is really just like housework: by means of it the woman who is deprived of doing anything feels that she expresses what she is. To care for her beauty, to dress up, is a kind of work that enables her to take possession of her person as she takes possession of her home through housework; her ego then seems chosen and recreated by herself.”[25]

Fashion in second-wave feminism

Dress was also important during the second wave of feminism. One famous event, the 1968 protest against the Miss America beauty pageant, on the Atlantic City boardwalk, witnessed participants crowning a live sheep Miss America and throwing “instruments of oppression” like bras, girdles, curlers, false eyelashes, wigs, and copies of Cosmopolitan and Ladies’ Home Journal, into a “freedom trashcan.” Activists also distributed a brochure entitled No More Miss America, later canonized into feminist scholarship.[26] This leaflet was divided into ten points explaining the ways in which the pageant valued female bodies over minds and presented an objectified version of female bodies for a voyeuristic male gaze. Thus, women who participated in the Women’s Liberation Movement were labeled “bra-burners” in mainstream media publications.

During the late 1960s and the 1970s women’s skirts shortened to miniskirts, abandonment of the bra was advocated, and tight clothing, sometimes even transparent clothing, was worn. These styles progressed to women undressing, so far as exposing their naked bodies. Thus, the question arises: can this undressing style—which meant an about-turn in controlling women’s bodies, from dressing to undressing—also be termed freedom? Feminists such as Orbach (1978), Chernin (1983), Baker (1884), and Coward (1984) drew attention to the new pressures brought on women by the advent of almost-nakedness as well as body-shaping techniques such as plastic surgery, diet, and exercise.

While female dress became less restrictive, this did not indicate that it had become more liberated since there were now more effective ways of molding the body in accordance with the ideas of feminine beauty. These new techniques for fashioning the female body operated in an insidious way. For though women were now encouraged to participate in exercise and to eat wisely ostensibly to improve their health and fitness, the real raison d’être for these activities was to attain the body shape deemed desirable by patriarchal society—a body shape which was becoming increasingly thinner.[27]

Towards the end of the twentieth century, feminists also began to point to the fashion industry as deeply harmful to women. Chapter 8 of Susan Faludi’s Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women (1991) discusses the beauty industry’s destructive presence in women’s lives by encouraging unnecessary plastic surgery as well as the purchase of unnecessary cosmetics. Faludi believes it also set unachievable standards of femininity for American women.

In a similar way, Naomi Wolf, in her book The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used against Women (first published 1991), argues that “the gaunt, youthful model [has] supplanted the happy housewife as the arbiter of successful womanhood.”[28] Beauty standards spread by the beauty industry and the press are used as a political weapon against women’s advancement.

Susan Bordo, in her book Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body (1993), wishes to emphasize the destructive ways in which Western culture monopolizes and hurts women’s bodies. Accordingly, eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia, which mainly affect women, cannot simply be defined from medical and/or psychological perspectives, but must be apprehended from within our cultural context.

Feminist new struggle following Muslim migration

Following Islamic immigration to Europe, a new debate developed: the controversy surrounding the burka worn by female migrants from Arab countries. Although many feminists targeted the burka issue in Afghanistan, the debate really took off when female Muslim migrants decided to dress in an all-covering garment, which is now often referred to as a burka. For some, the veil—or the burka—is a means for individuals to express publicly their deepest religious, philosophical, and cultural commitments.[29] Most feminists perceive it differently. According to Fadela Amara, founder and leader of the French feminist organization Ni Putes Ni Soumises, the garment “represents not a piece of fabric but the political manipulation of a religion that enslaves women and disputes the principle of equality between men and women.” She describes the headscarf as “the visible symbol of the subjugation of women.” Moreover, Amara also says that there is no difference between the headscarf (the hijab) and the burka in terms of political oppression. Both garments, she claims, represent “a political project that aspires for gender inequality.” In fact, Amara’s standpoint represents most French people’s positions. From March 2, 2011, new laws forbidding burka wearing were implemented in France.

Criticism of feminist attitudes to fashion

Alongside feminist demands arrived opposition, which included attacks on feminists’ clothing and bodies. Some French male revolutionaries argued that demanding civil rights made women ugly, as their counterparts from Anglophone countries asserted. According to Marian Sawer:

Punch magazine, whether in the UK or its colonial namesakes, promoted both visually and verbally the message that “women who wanted women’s rights also wanted women’s charms” (Eveline & Booth 1999). […]

The suggestion that campaigning for equality made women sexually unattractive was a useful way of discouraging them from joining the cause. John Stuart Mill acknowledged the effectiveness of this tactic when he wrote of the value of countering it by having pretty women as suffrage lecturers. This he thought would help persuade young women that joining the suffrage movement would not unsex them or cost them a husband (Caine 1979: 64). The suggestion that equality seeking makes women unattractive is a hardy perennial and closely linked to another—the suggestion that women who take up the cause do so because they have failed to attract a man and want revenge.[30]

We see that, either way, the male position concerns sexualization and femininity when the issue of clothing arises. Moreover, throughout the entire nineteenth century, the press attacked feminist efforts through depictions of ugly women through caricatures. During the French Second Republic (1848–51), and afterwards,

Daumier and others played upon the theme of role inversion, depicting political women as ugly, comical, funny-looking, masculine imitators. There were manly wives rejecting marital authority on the advice of Mme Deroin; children left in the arms of despairing fathers while their mothers played at politics; women with monocles, cigars, and beards; and men in skirts.[31]

Furthermore, the image of a young woman in culottes came to represent all feminists, as can be seen in nineteenth-century French caricatures, which satirized feminists’ efforts in the popular press.[32] For example, during the Commune events, following the fall of the Second Empire in France, the appearance of the Pétroleuse in the press was artificially portrayed as wild and antithetic to the bourgeois “natural” female figure.

But no matter what men did to the women, the pétroleuse remained a frightening but compelling figure, a fury with unbound, flying hair; a defiant madwoman, captured but wild; sometimes ugly and sometimes beautiful; often seductive; and always more powerful than her cowed male counterpart, who once arrested, became serious and unnaturally passive, while she remained unnaturally aggressive.[33]

The same can be said about the English-speaking world, where anti-suffragist articles as well as caricatures abounded in the popular press.[34]

Moreover, many do not share critical views on beauty, fashion, and the beauty industry, as expressed by Second-Wave feminists. Nancy Etcoff, in her book The Survival of the Prettiest, maintains that beauty holds a survival value, and that sensitivity to beauty is a biological adaptation, shaped by natural selection:

The argument is a simple one: that beauty is a universal part of human experience, and that it provokes pleasure, rivets attention, and impels actions that help ensure the survival of our genes. Our extreme sensitivity to beauty is hard-wired, that is, governed by circuits in the brain shaped by natural selection. We love to look at smooth skin, thick shiny hair, curved waists, and symmetrical bodies because in the course of evolution the people who noticed these signals and desired their possessors had more reproductive success. We are their descendants.[35]

Indeed, according to Louis Tietje and Steven Cresap:

Most of the time, beauty signals health, both physical and mental; health signals reproductive success. Ugliness, on the other hand, sometimes signals disease, hence reproductive failure. What could be more essential to the human project than desire for pleasure, disgust with pain, and, determining everything else, the need to reproduce? In such contexts it makes sense to say that we are naturally inclined against ugly people and in favor of beautiful people, however those categories may be interpreted. Paying attention to aesthetics in these contexts is discrimination in the positive sense, akin to prudence.[36]

Moreover, disagreement about fashion is another quarrel factor between feminists; Linda M. Scott, for example, in her book Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism (first published in 2004), maintains that the anti-beauty ideology of Second-Wave feminists is self-serving and elitist. Reversing the argument that mainstream imagery promotes normative beauty standards, Scott says this feminist bias is “a compulsion to enforce homogeneity.”[37]

Conclusion

Debates about clothing are a field in which conflicts and feminist struggles repeatedly occur. The French Revolution, nineteenth-century political events, the World Wars, and contemporary Islamic presence in Europe show that whenever a gender struggle arises, fashion and clothing are involved. Clothing was and still is employed to express one’s individual opinion, sometimes instead of using words. Conforming or resisting to dress codes is one of the immediate forms of social statements expressing consent or objection to the social order. Indeed, when observing the last 200 years’ “big events,” it is impossible not to see that clothing, and feminine clothing in particular, cause public discussion to erupt and stir up significant public storms.

In a very consistent manner, feminist struggle used clothing in order to promote its agenda. Often mixing practical arguments with symbolic ones in the demand for clothing change, feminists always understood that visual appearance cannot be detached from ideological struggle.

Most interestingly, the real revolution in feminine dress came after more than a century of feminist struggle: by the beginning of the 20th century, feminine clothing became shorter, easier, and, most importantly, women began losing the undergarments that for centuries had constricted their movements. Although most histories of costume consider the First World War to be the catalyst in women’s dress changes,[38] this could not have been so without the fashion changes introduced before the war itself. This means that although female fashion changed enormously after the war, the beginning of the change preceded it. Furthermore, though women activists were and still are a noisy minority, adoption of new clothing by the majority shows that women are attentive to changes. Women understand easily where their interests are, but can introduce them into their lives only when they feel secure enough to do so. Indeed, by the beginning of that century, and mostly after the Great War, new opportunities opened up for women in education, work, and politics. These new possibilities were symbolized as well as made possible through feminine fashion. Clothes are not only symbols, but also a way to live, to move, to run, to work, to sit, and so on.

However, even in the West, feminist achievements are not definitively secure. Nowadays, new feminine struggles burst out in Europe. In some neighborhoods, mainly in France and Germany, where most inhabitants are Muslim, women’s clothing is a constant topic of contention. In male-dominated spaces, women, mainly young women, are ordered to be “decent,” and to do so by covering their bodies. Thus, skirts are now considered to be much too attractive, and consequently forbidden. Women’s oppression in these neighborhoods has inspired a French movie (2008) entitled La journée de la jupe, translated as Skirt Day. The dominant protagonist, played by Isabelle Adjani, demands that one day a year will be called “Skirt Day,” during which women would be allowed to wear skirts freely. Another female movie character then asks: “We fought to wear pants for 200 years, and now, we’ll be drawn back to wear skirts?!” Sometimes, fiction meets reality: prominent leader of Maghrebian origin Fadela Amara (mentioned earlier) had declared on October 25, 2011, that every October 25 from now on would be La journée de la jupe (Skirt Day) as a protest day against violence against women.

Notes

[1] Julia Kristeva, New Maladies of the Soul, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995; Luce Irigaray, This Sex Which Is Not One, Catherine Porter, trans., New York: Cornell University Press, 1985; Luce Irigaray, Speculum of the Other Woman, Gillian C. Gill (trans.), Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985.

[2] In original French: “Celui qui sera trouvé déguisé en femme sera également puni de mort.” A. Ray, Réimpression de l’ancien Moniteur: Convention nationale, H. Plon: 1793, online at http://books.google.co.il/books?id=IJMMAQAAMAAJ&dq=%22Celui+qui+sera+trouv%C3%A9+d%C3%A9guis%C3%A9+en+femme+sera%22&hl=en&source=gbs_navlinks_s (accessed June 21, 2014).

[3] Quoted from the site Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution, website by Lynn Hunt of UCLA and Jack Censer of George Mason University, http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/294/ (accessed June 21, 2014) (our emphasis).

[4] In original French: Art. 1er. “Nulle personne de l’un et de l’autre sexe ne pourra contraindre aucun citoyen ni citoyenne à se vêtir d’une manière particulière sous peine d’être considérée et traitée comme suspecte et poursuivie comme perturbateur du repos public. Chacun est libre de porter tel vêtement et ajustement de son sexe que bon lui semble.”

[5] The site Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

[6] Diana Crane, Fashion and its Social Agendas: Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001, p. 113, quoting Aileen Ribeiro, Fashion in the French Revolution, London: Batsford, 1988, p. 141.

[7] Dominique Godineau, The Women of Paris and their French Revolution, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998, pp. 242–7.

[8] In French: “la femme en bonnet rouge est, dans l’imaginaire masculin, dotée de pantalons et d’armes, menaçante, phallique.” Annie Geffroy, “‘A bas le bonnet rouge des femmes!’ (Octobre–Novembre 1793),” Les femmes et la Révolution française, Toulouse: Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 1990, pp. 345–51, quoted in Claude Guillon, “Pauline Léon, une républicaine révolutionnaire,” Annales historiques de la Révolution française [En ligne], 344. Avril–Juin 2006, mis en ligne le 01 juin 2009, consulté le 01 août 2011. URL: http://ahrf.revues.org/6213 (accessed June 21, 2014).

[9] For a useful summary of this topic, see Jean-Clément Martin, La Révolution française, Paris: Le Cavalier Bleu, 2007, pp. 35–6.

[10] In order to permit women to work on sites where trousers were needed. Philippe Perrot, Fashioning the Bourgeoisie: A History of Clothing in the Nineteenth Century, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994, p. 20.

[11] Sandra Reineke, Beauvoir and Her Sisters: The Politics of Women’s Bodies in France, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011, p. 8.

[12] Valerie Steele, Paris Fashion: A Cultural History, Oxford: Berg, 2006, p. 164.

[13] Diana Crane, Fashion and its Social Agendas: Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001, p. 114.

[14] Claire Goldberg Moses, French Feminism in the Nineteenth Century, New York: SUNY Press, 1984. pp. 123–30.

[15] Crane, Fashion and its Social Agenda, p. 112.

[16] Mary E. Corey, reviewing Sylvia D. Hoffert, When Hens Crow: The Woman’s Rights Movement in Antebellum America, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1995, at http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=6735 (accessed June 21, 2014).

[17] Margaret Finnegan, Selling Suffrage: Consumer Culture and Votes for Women, New York: Columbia University Press, 1999, p. 18.

[18] Bonnie S. Anderson, “The lid comes off: international radical feminism and the revolutions of 1848,” NWSA Journal (The National Women’s Studies Association Journal), 10, 2 (Summer 1998): 1–12. See also Gerda Lerner and Linda K. Kerber, The Majority Finds its Past: Placing Women in History, Chapel Hill: UNC Press Books, 2005, p. 41.

[19] James Laver, Costume and Fashion: A Concise History, New York: Thames & Hudson, 1995, pp. 180–3.

[20] Steven Connor, Men in Skirts, http://www.bbk.ac.uk/english/skc/skirts/MenInSkirts.pdf (accessed June 21, 2014).

[21] Laver, Costume and Fashion.

[22] Pauline Weston Thomas and Guy Thomas, fashion history site: http://www.fashion-era.com/rational_dress.htm (accessed June 21, 2014).

[23] Lerner and Kerber, The Majority Finds its Past, p. 45.

[24] Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, London: Jonathan Cape, 1953, p. 534.

[25] Elizabeth Wilson, Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and Modernity, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1985, p. 125, quoting de Beauvoir. Italics in the original.

[26] Carole Ruth McCann and Seung-Kyung Kim eds, “No More Miss America,” in Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives, New York: Routledge, 2003, pp. 80–2.

[27] Llewellyn Negrin, “The self as image: a critical appraisal of postmodern theories of fashion,” Theory Culture Society, 16, 99 (1999), p. 104.

[28] Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women, New York: Anchor, 1991, p. 10.

[29] Josh Corngold, “A paradigm of an intractable dilemma,” Philosophy of Education, 1 (2006): 106–14.

[30] Marian Sawer, “Cartoons for the Cause: Cartooning for Equality in Australia,” Ejournalist—Australian Media Traditions Conference 2001, http://www.ejournalist.com.au/v1n2/SAWER.pdf

[31] Joan Wallach Scott, Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997, p. 80.

[32] Laura Strumingher Schor, “Politics and political satire: the struggle for the right to vote in Paris, 1848–1849,” The European Legacy, 1, 3 (May 1996): 1037–44; Barbara Caine and Glenda Sluga, Gendering European History 1780–1920, London: Continuum, 2002, p. 76.

[33] Gay L. Gullickson, Unruly Women of Paris: Images of the Commune, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996, p. 181.

[34] Laver, Costume and Fashion, p. 182. See also Susan E. Marshall, Splintered Sisterhood: Gender and Class in the Campaign against Woman Suffrage, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997, pp. 93–140.

[35] Nancy Etcoff, Survival of the Prettiest, New York: Anchor, 1999, p. 24.

[36] Louis Tietje and Steven Cresap, “Is lookism unjust? the ethics of aesthetics and public policy implications,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, 19, 2 (Spring 2005): 38.

[37] Review by Jeanine Plant of Linda M. Scott, Fresh Lipstick:, Redressing Fashion and Feminism, New York: Macmillan, 2004, http://feministreview.blogspot.com/2006/12/fresh-lipstick-redressing-fashion-and.html.

[38] See for example Katina Bill, “Attitudes towards women’s trousers: Britain in the 1930s,” Journal of Design History, 6, 1 (1993): 45–54.

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