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How Men Have Imposed Women's Fashion

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Dating back to 1700 B.C, Chinese women practiced foot-binding; this process forced women to have broken and bent bones in their feet or what society considered, “...three inch golden lotuses” (Lim, “Painful memories of China’s footbinding survivors”). During the 1700s, European women wore five layers of clothing that included a suffocating corset which could, “... rupture the ribs…” (Meister). These decisions were made by a society that believed this is what an ideal woman should wear. Moreover, in The Awakening by Kate Chopin, the description of women’s clothing in the 19th century displays that society prefers women concealed in long, thick, and white garments. This society, which is ruled by men, often control the true identity of women by controlling what they wear. However, women who don’t have men to control their lives and are able to choose their attire are categorized by society as wild and sinful. Women are obligated to wear certain clothing and accessories (even if it can harm their health) because societies ruled by men force it on them.

Society imposes restrictive apparel onto women to show them that the clothes they wear are their only identity. Robert forces Edna to wear the, “...rough straw hat…” (Chopin, 17) by placing it onto her head even when the sun was, “...low in the west…” (Chopin, 17) because her outer identity as a well-behaved woman has become the only identity she is known for. Although Edna slowly becomes comfortable with her true character, she is still hesitant to be independent. Edna gradually transitions into an independent woman, but Madame Ratignolle disguises her own, “...complexion… [wearing] gloves that protect her wrists...in pure white…which became her” (Chopin, 19). Her identity ...

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...ciety needs stop the continuation of this rule that women must wear clothes only men approve.

Works Cited

"Chinese Women." Chinese Women. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2014.

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York: Avon, 1972. Print.

"Buried Alive: Afghan Women Under the Taliban." Buried Alive: Afghan Women Under the Taliban. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2014.

"History.org: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website." Anatomy of a Gown : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2014.

Lim, Louisa. "Painful Memories for China's Footbinding Survivors." NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 04 May 2014.

"The Peoples of the World Foundation." Indigenous Peoples of the World — The Karen. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014.

"True Islam - the Burqa." True Islam - the Burqa. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2014.
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