'YOU'RE TOO PRETTY TO UNDERSTAND POLITICS'

June 06, 2017


'You're too pretty to understand politics'. Yes, these are the actual words a young male student ignorantly said to me a few weeks ago on a night out after somebody clocked a 'Vote Labour' sticker on the back of my phone. 

It angered me like no other. I could feel myself boiling up with rage at how impetuously and casually this sentence had been thrown out there. 

Was I supposed to just take it? It really got me thinking. 

What makes someone 'too pretty' to understand anything? Why, because I am a woman, should I be put in a category, expected to act in a certain way? It was as if I was being told that because I am a woman, who happens to be a fashion student and takes care of her appearance, I should be resigned to a life caring of only materialistic and superficial matters.

We claim that in 2017 men and women have reached their highest point of equality. I'd like to think is true, however there is a still a long way to go. 

Women are still treated like objects of desire and judged on their appearance. You may not even notice yourself doing it, but socially we have been programmed to subconsciously judge someone simply by the way they look. 

Now don't get me wrong, this goes for men too, but women often take the brunt of this judgement. Remember Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon when they met to discuss our Brexit policy?  The next day the Daily Mail headlined, 'Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!' Nothing about the content of their meeting.

This type of backwards looking and ignorant attitude towards women in politics is what keeps female politicians down; fighting hard to be heard and taken seriously on the same platform as male politicians. It takes away from the female voice and in some cases, attempts to question and hinder the credibility of the words that they are saying. 

How is it that we have raised a society in which a female’s appearance is still of upmost importance? And that if you are considered to be 'pretty' by society’s modern and quite frankly aspirational standards, then why can’t you also have a brain and be interested in the world?

I first encountered this kind of criticism when doing my A-levels. I decided to take a broad range of subjects; English, Textiles, Dance and Politics, much to the dismay of my college advisor. 'Are you sure you want to do dance and politics?' he asked me. 'Seems a bit broad?' 

Now on what basis other than ignorant naivety does it say someone cannot be both creative and academic? You should not be confined by society’s grouping of people. In fact, the rare ability to be both academic and creative should be celebrated not dissipated and pushed out of you just because it’s not 'normal'.

My degree is in fashion but that doesn't mean that A) fashion isn't a hard subject filled with social and political issues and B) that because of a choice of subject one shouldn't be allowed to understand or have a keen interest in something else, in this case, politics. If I wasn't a fashion student without a doubt I would have studied politics. I looked at many politics courses before ending up with fashion, and I got an A at A-level in Government & Politics studies. Through stereotypes and assumptions though, it's just not considered normal to be this way. But it should be. 

Politics is for anyone and everyone. If we spent more time educating ourselves in our day-to-day lives and less time judging other people for their choices, then we might actually end up having a more well-rounded and interested society. Political education is the key to making change within our world. Knowledge is power and without it, how is one meant to make any informed decisions about anything? 

The close call for Brexit and the current dismay and yearning for a change in our political system can all be traced back to a lack of political education. Politics is everywhere. It's our daily lives; its our roads, its our hospitals, its who collects your bins on what day of the week. Its all around us. Everyone no matter what creed, colour, gender or sexuality should have equal opportunity to participate in politics. 


So, if like me you ever find yourself in the firing line of derogatory and un-informed comments regarding your ability to understand issues that clearly, said offender has no idea about, politely tell them to piss off, and feel smug in the fact that you are not a naive and uneducated twat like them :)

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UK // FASHION STUDENT // PEONIE LOVER