Saturday, February 26, 2005

Women's Clothing

Two news stories I saw recently, School Board Bans Photo Of Girl Wearing Tux and Condoleezza Rice's Commanding Clothes, bounced off each other in my head.

In the first one, a high-school senior's picture was yanked from the yearbook because she wore the tux that was required attire for the boys instead of the gown-and-pearls uniform for the girls. The school claims it's just because she didn't follow the rules, but the girl thinks it has more to do with her being a lesbian. My conservative father saw the story and didn't see anything wrong with the girl in a tux. He suggested that the school was either caught up in their own power, or else they were afraid that the boys would start wearing the gowns and pearls. Which you know some would, just for the shock value.

But the Rice story brought another possible explanation to my head. It discussed how Rice, on her trip to Europe, didn't wear the bland, pastel suits of other female dignitaries such as Albright, but instead wore all black: high-heel boots, a short dress, and a long jacket (cue Cake here). Here's the paragraph that linked the two articles:

But the sexual frisson in Rice's look also comes from the tension of a woman dressed in vaguely masculine attire -- that is, the long, military-inspired jacket. When the designer Yves Saint Laurent first encouraged women to wear trousers more than 30 years ago, his reasons were not simply because pants are comfortable or practical. He knew that the sight of a woman draped in the accouterments of a man is sexually provocative. A woman was embracing something forbidden.

So perhaps the tux was just too sexy for some of the school board members...

No comments: