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underbust corset

As Steele writes in The Corset: A Cultural History, "Behind the dress reformers' belief that menswear was intrinsically superior to women's clothing was the assumption that men themselves were more rational than underbust corset women." 


Wasn't it possible, at least for some percentage of women, that a life with corsets was superior to a life without, and that they were reliable witnesses to their own feelings and experiences on the matter? Could this be one of the reasons foundation garments, from corsets to girdles to shapewear, have never quite disappeared, even if they have gone underground, as it were, becoming hidden elements of  corset skirts sets dress?


Tellingly, men's corsetry is almost entirely left out of the "corset debate," despite their historically documented use for the military, in fine men's dressing, on the stage (more than a few male performers wouldn't be caught dead under stage lights without one) and of course, for personal expression and pleasure.


This speaks, no doubt, to anxieties about male identity, perhaps once the focus on the corset as a feminine article christmas costumebecame so entrenched in the collective consciousness.


No, the focus of the "debate" remains fixed on familiar anxieties about women, namely notions of female frailty and women's dangerous sexuality. Both ideas have passed down from century to century, from the preposterous "wandering womb" theory originating in the work of Plato and taught right up to the modern era of medicine, to the antiquated but oft-taught idea that women need masters, do not longgown dress have the capacity for rational thought, and should not speak up in public spaces or exert public authority, lest we all be led astray: Eve and the apple; Pandora and her box.

                           

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Created: Jul 14 · Admin: 132

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    underbust corset
    As Steele writes in The Corset: A Cultural History, "Behind the dress reformers' belief that menswear was intrinsically superior to women's clothing w...
    Jul 14
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