søndag den 24. november 2013

Why Lolita Isn’t Feminist but Most Lolitas Probably Are So.

When I was writing the “Sexy Lolita?” post I got inspired to open up a can of worms and discuss feminism and Lolita a bit more, but I decided that this subject was big enough to deserve it’s own post. 

Lolita is from my own experience often described as a bit of a “rebel fashion-choice”, in it’s own refined and elegant way. Quite at the opposite end of the line from the torn look of punk. Most Lolita handbooks think that Lolita even might have started out as the chosen look of Japanese women who wanted to rebel against the strict dress-code and culture that kept women in “their place”, which would not surprise me. We’ve had our fair share of youth rebellions in the West too.
The question is, if Lolitas are still in the midst of a rebellion. If Lolita started out as a feminist rebellion in Japan, which it could definitely be described as, if the idea was to free women from a patriarchic society in the 70’s or 80’s, or whenever Lolita was born.

You can look at this question in two ways:
In my opinion, a fashion in itself cannot be feminist. Clothes cannot stand up to anything. What makes a fashion a way to rebel, is the value that you put into it, of course! And this value may be different for anyone.

It is widely accepted that you are a Lolita as soon as you put on a coordinate that can be described as a Lolita outfit and call yourself a “Lolita”. You do not have to sign your name in blood on a contract or go through any rituals or get a tattoo. In short, you’re not tying yourself up to any promises of loyalty to a set of values. You’re wearing an outfit that you think is pretty and that has personal value to you on some level.

Lolita clothes might at some point have been a tell-tale sign of a young woman who did not want to be tied down. Much the same way punk used to have a deeper meaning than misfit teens wearing pins on their backpacks for school.
Today, at least in western society, Lolita does not have that connotation and might have never had it.

But can Lolita be described as feminist, even if the clothes bear no meaning in themselves? Well, I'd say no. But I do think Lolita has a tendency to attract feminists. Both people who claim the lable, and people who just so happens to be very openminded and "modern" in their worldview.
Some of you people out there who have fallen prey to the mainstream misunderstanding of feminism might be a tad bit confused, but you might just be a feminist yourself without even knowing it.
Even the ones of you who're guys.

Lolita is a little less mainstream than most alternative fashion-styles out there, which means that you'd probably have to be extraordinarily open-minded to things that are different. From what I've observed, just.. you know.. living on a day-to-day basis, open-mindedness tends to go hand in hand with the idea that everybody should be equal. Which is the core idea of feminism- Men and women are equally capable, equally worthy of respect, and they should be treated as equals in all aspects of life. Simple as that.

Most people I've met are not dressing in Lolita to prove a point, but because they love it.
 I've met some people who do dress in it because they're tired of sexism and want to get away from it- Which would make their particular Lolita-life a statement. But Lolita in itself is not a feminist movement, and I kind of like it that way, even though I myself support feminism fully. 
Lolita is a free space for self expression, with room for you to put in whatever values you please. 

Though I'm kind of proud of the kind of people it attracts, at least where I live.
There is nothing better than celebrating whatever has value to you when you're in Lolita, being around openminded and non-judging souls who love the same thing you do, but for their own reasons.

1 kommentar :

  1. Really great post :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts on that matter ^^


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