While disavowing binary oppositions, the derivatives of the dipole feminine – masculine should still be allowed to be a panacea instead of an obstacle for inclusion practices. Considering them as an evergreen illness of the modern society – especially when they correspond to the assigned at birth genders – that we still have to deal with, they can be used as a way to locate omissions and hiatus that lead to a specific presentation of the body depending on the gender.
The silhouette in particular, and of course the silhouette that garments create, are the foreground character in the game of gender perceptions, due to the cultural decision to render gender so dependent on sex. The physical body, sex-linked divisions and gender designations such as masculine and feminine are clearly constructed artefacts but sadly still occurring. However, placing them into the context of the fashion system could be a promising move and a crucial factor in shifting the social obsession of manipulating bodies so as to approach an ideal silhouette of masculinity or femininity that corresponds to idiotic set of laws determined under the biology-is-destiny formulation. Butler said that in such case, not biology, but culture, becomes destiny. Emphasizing the performative nature of presenting oneself, she let it be known that gender is something we do, not something we have.
And there follows fashion, and society, politics and the everyday life. The act of clothing is prolifically proactive – it responds to yet unarticulated needs of the wearer. The reason of each act may be different from one person to another, dependent on the decade, the social surroundings, the class and the character of each person. The importance lies in the subversion of perceived ideas and identity expression. Typically feminine or masculine ideals exist in shapes – broad shoulders, long neck, big biceps, small waist, lean figure, six-pack etc., in body manipulation – shaving or not, make-up, and in general conduction of life – sensitivity, consumerism, assertiveness, etc. The shift in the predetermined and expected ways is meaningful and truthful, not the actual suggestion. The minute someone feels the need and decides to question any established norm is a moment of wonder and awe. The outcome is somewhat irrelevant – it is however a medium to disdain the sameness in the world. Not in the sense that we each of us is unique – which we are, but that’s not the point being made – but in our right and duty to express ourselves uniquely. For example, long skirts and short skirts are not meaningful in themselves and they are not some kind of groundbreaking symbol of morality, gender politics, or notions of sexuality, just a minor indication of fashion reference, maybe. Maybe not. But the choice from wearing long skirts to wearing short skirts or vice versa is an indication of purpose and reason. The difference here is a misdemeanor – but can make a whole lot of difference. Same goes for shoulder pads – an augmentation of a few centimeters in the shoulder area may seem mundane, but the cause and purpose behind it as well as the intended outcome was sublime.