Dressing to Get on the Good Side of the Patriarchy

(Trigger Warning: sexist language, harsh language, pissed off feminist.)

Dear Huffington Post,

I am almost certain I have broken every single one of your rules as outlined in this helpful guide that tells us the top 23 trends that men hate. From the bottom of my cold, unfashionable feminist heart, I thank thee and bid thee a go fuck yourself.

Ladies, here are 10 Ways to Get the Approval of your Patriarchal Oppressors vis-a-vis the Way You Fucking Dress

1.     Don’t express your individuality with your hair.

Maybe you have brightly coloured hair, are or aren’t down with the ombre look, but either way, don’t do anything that would make you stand out. We like our women straight out of the early seasons of Mad Men, before Betty Draper found out that masturbating with the dryer was kinda liberating, and waaay before she whipped out a shot gun and murdered those damn noisy birds. Do you think your hair is cute the way you do it? Did you put a bow in it? You should stop that, because men don’t like that. Don’t try to do things with your hair. Maybe, actually, you should shave it off.

2.     Lipstick is for whores.

The only time you can wear lipstick is when you’re working the streets or greeting your husband at the door with a whiskey sour after a long day of work. We all know that women who wear lipstick are easy and sleazy and probably have no education or morals. They will burn in hell.

3.     Don’t wear heels; it makes you taller than men.

You aren’t actually supposed to be taking up space, and when you wear heels (which in turn make you taller), you appear to tower over others. Clearly this signifies some sort of power, which you, as a woman, do not have. This is problematic because you are supposed to be weak and vulnerable and small and frail. Quit fooling yourself, wear flats. Or maybe just go for the whole barefoot-and-pregnant thing. That’s the reason you exist, isn’t it?

4.     Don’t really actually ever follow fashion trends.

Because that means you are interested in more than just attracting a potential mate. And that’s not true, ever, so stop.

5.     If you wear heels, refer to number two for the proper guidelines as to when heels are appropriate.

Promptly burn in hell.

6.     Manage your make-up.

Don’t wear too much because you will look like a whore, but wear just enough to make you beautiful enough to want to own. Also, be prepared to hear about how make-up is oppressive because you should be beautiful without it—but don’t be surprised if you’re ugly and no one likes you.

7.     Wear form-fitting clothes.

We need to see your shape to remind us that you are a woman and can assume your proper place in our society. Form-fitting clothes allow us to be sure of your woman-ness. It will also excuse any ill or sexist behavior on the part of your society because obviously when you show off your body you are kind of expecting it and maybe even asking for it. Burn in hell.

8.     Don’t ever wear pants.

Those are for men. You are a woman. Don’t be silly. Pants are also part of a suit combination that many men wear to their work jobs in the real world. Clearly, since women aren’t supposed to work, pants are not meant for you.

9.     Wear skirts that are an appropriate length, such as down to your ankles.

We wouldn’t want you to show any skin or try to follow any trends. In fact, maybe a bed sheet or potato sack is a far better idea than any store-bought good.

10. Were you planning on leaving the house? Reconsider.

It’s a scary world out there and without the right clothing, accessories and ability to dress well in this cruel, male-dominated, fashionable world you might want to stay home until you’ve figured this whole thing out.

Follow @primafeminista on twitter for more sass.


  1. Annie Webber
    November 26, 2013


  2. DiscordantFlesh
    December 10, 2013

    The fact is all beauty trends are approved by patriarchy. The thing men hate most is a woman in her natural state. Unshaved, unpainted with no disabling footwear. There is much feminist critique of the beauty mandate. Also would have really liked you to avoid the w word, which is a misogynist slur against women. I would recommend anyone interested in critique of patriarchal concepts of beauty to read Beauty and Misogyny by Sheila Jeffreys. No matter how women dress females are a globally oppressed class. Patriarchy=male supremacy. 

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