Saturday, April 18, 2009

slutty skirts.

The deliberation over women’s dress: provocative or empowering. It is a timeless debate. No matter what the case, what a woman wears is representative of her as an individual and as part her culture. In the case of `national culture’ for Tanzanians consumption of `Western’ fashion becomes part of this issue. Operation Vijana deals with just the consumption of objects signs and images originating from Western mass culture industries. The mini skirt in particular being a very controversial topic. The mini skirt raises politics of urban space and constructions of gender and the city. The mobility of the mini skirt allows for women to work easier whilst representing the city. It represented opportunity and threatened men by raising the bargaining position of women in the town

The sexualisation of the miniskirt is essential when discussing the men’s issues with the dress. Young men felt they were especially at loss in the issue of politics concerning Operation Vijana. They felt they were at a strong economic disadvantage to the `sugar’ daddies that the young women had relationships with because of the girl’s access. A woman her looking sexy will always be associated with prostitution, and will be assumed to gaining access to men and there money through sex. Is it valid to associate exposing skin with gaining power and to go as far as immediately linking it to prostitution? I am personally a believer of `returning the gaze’. I believe a woman looking sexy and gaining power and confidence as a result of this gaze is perfectly acceptable. I believe there are boundaries within each individual’s morals of what one will wear or how much to expose, as long as one is happy with what they gain through such means. Returning the gaze is a powerful tool that does nothing but help the advancement of any marginalized group.

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