When it comes to understanding feminism, we should start by understanding the history behind it all. You see not quite long ago, women even in advanced western developed and democratic countries were denied voting rights.
In the UK, women could not initiate divorce proceedings. If they tried to argue for their rights as human beings, they would get beaten up or sexually exploited to keep their mouth shut.
While cases of exploitation still abound, the fight led by feminism has led to developments in inequality between men and women. In this article, we look at one interesting topic of discussion that has come up in recent times- Feminist Jewelry.
We speak to leading experts from Vogue to the Huff Post to try and understand what feminist jewelry is all about. Before we go to the jewelry bit, let us first try to look at the concept of Feminism itself. We will then proceed to understand the relationship between feminism and jewelry.
- 1 Feminism: Meaning and Definition
- 2 Feminism and Jewelry: The Connection between the two
- 3 List of 5 Important Things Feminist Jewelry helps Women with
- 4 The Bottom Line:
Feminism: Meaning and Definition
Many people and groups misinterpret feminism as the domination of women over men. This is a gross misinterpretation. In reality, feminism stands for the fight to guarantee equal rights for both men and women in different societal roles. These societal roles are both in the real of personal as well as the professional domain.
Feminism then in the modern world is all about ‘freedom’. The freedom to take any partner with or without marriage, the freedom to practice or not practice a particular profession, and the freedom to have or not have kids.
While you might read the above and think that this is all but natural, women have to struggle for countless decades and even centuries to reach where they were. While Sheryl Sandberg, Angela Merkel, or Indra Nooyi are leading the biggest companies and nations, their path was laid down by their ancestors decades ago.
Feminism and Jewelry: The Connection between the two
Again, to understand the modern connection and relationship between feminism and jewelry, we have to take help from history.
- In the ancient period, chastity, barrenness, simplicity, and virginity were concepts associated with good character women. Jewelry was seen as something that courtesans and lose women would flaunt.
- This was because wearing jewelry could draw the attention of the male gaze to the neck, wrist, and face of the woman. This was something that was considered to being overtly sexual.
- Good character women were supposedly prohibited from wearing jewelry for the fear of attracting the sexual male gaze. However, women that owned jewelry would fault it as a symbol of their economic prosperity and value.
- They took great pride in showcasing heavy diamonds and considering them to be status symbols that showed their freedom and strength. The earliest markers of feminism were sown during the period.
This is why jewelry has always been intrinsically tied to the struggle and movement of feminism historically. Almost all historical traditions have showcased jewelry wearing women as lose and of questionable character.
List of 5 Important Things Feminist Jewelry helps Women with
In this section, we look at five important markers that have come to be associated with feminist jewelry in 2021.
1. The Freedom of Expression-
For women, jewelry is a medium of expression. Just like your normal clothes or your watch can say a lot about who you are, jewelry too can have the same effect. This is why you see terms like ‘Boss Lady’, ‘Fearless’, ‘Queen’, ‘Slay’, and others being used in feminist jewelry. For women, this becomes a tool for expressing who they are and what they feel.
2. Sign of Financial Independence-
The obvious that comes with owning and flaunting expensive jewelry is that ‘I can afford it.’ This means that financial freedom and independence are important in feminism. The struggle to earn livelihoods and get equal pay for equal work is one of the foundations of the feminist movement. Somebody independent has a strong personality in the world.
3. Drives home the point- I am a Woman-
While wearing jewelry has picked up in men, the same is nowhere close to the use by women. Women understand jewelry. They equate jewelry as being something of a performance. The weight it has on the body, the sound it makes, is all something that women love. The fight for feminism is entrenched in the fact that it is centered around women.
4. A Conversation Starter in more ways than one-
Every single time a woman does something different and away from the norm, someone or the other will try to point it out. Wearing feminist jewelry that is statement pieces can become a great conversation started to educate someone on what feminism is all about. Almost all of us have some or the other wrong notions about feminism.
5. Support to Feminist Artists and Companies-
There are a very definite set of individuals and companies that create feminist jewelry. Like the movement, they have dared to walk against the tide of things. By buying such statement pieces from these individual artists and companies, the struggle around espousing feminism to the world continues. Supporting one another is the key to strengthening the movement.
The Bottom Line:
Women are crossing every male-dominated bastion and performing at the highest levels. Whether it is the sciences, technology, or the corporate world, they are proving their worth in the best possible fashion.