New feature: The professional masquerade
Jess McCabe // 28 January 2010
Women working in corporate finance are expected to adhere to sexist and objectifying dress codes, says Amica Lane
“Womanliness therefore could be assumed and worn as a mask, both to hide the possession of masculinity and to avert the reprisals expected if she was found to possess it — much as a thief will turn out his pockets and ask to be searched to prove that he has not the stolen goods.”
Joan Riviere, ‘Womanliness As Masquerade’, The International Journal of Psychoanalysis
Once upon a time, the articles of clothing one wore served a very practical purpose. To shield us from the cold, allow us to work or hunt with ease and likewise. Over the centuries of wearing garments; the threads began to integrate into our skin, especially for women, and became a mask; a way of extroverting our inner selves to the world through signified implications. At some point in our history, image became a fundamental essence of our identity.
Image copyright Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek, used with kind permission, from Exactitudes.com, a 14-year project to systematically document dress codes of various social groups