Yep. Telemachus told Penelope to shut up.
We are referring here to a scene from one of the earliest written texts in western history, the Odyssey, a poem penned by the ancient greek author Homer. In the poem Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, loyally awaits his return while he's off battling in the Trojan wars. In the meantime she is trying to ward off suitors eager to woo her.
In the scene, Penelope enters a room full of suitors being entertained by some live music which in those days looked like a poet singing about heroes dying on the way back home after the war. Penelope is not too amused and tells the singer to switch to a happier tune. Enter Telemachus, Penelope's young son, who promptly tells his mother to go back to her quarters and pick up her loom 'as the speaking around here will be done by men and by me most of all, for mine is the power in this household'. yikes.
And that right there in a poem dating back 3000 years is perhaps the first written instance of a woman's voice being censored in the public sphere. Since then (and way before that too most likely) we've been dealing with different kinds of censorships, not just the shut up and go back to your sewing kind. And one of those has been to impose on us how we should dress.
Clothes are so much more than a piece of fabric. It's a statement, and can be a very powerful one too. In fact the moment we enter a room it takes about 2 seconds for people to size us up before we've even uttered a single word. Most would argue it almost makes no difference what we end up saying afterwards, the cards have already been played, especially when it comes to women.
Now that can be pretty disempowering. But we think it's more and more important to use everything in our power to express ourselves, not just through words but also by what we wear. Using the way we dress as a tool of self expression is as important today as using actual words to express our opinions. We've been silenced for so long that it is crucial that we use every avenue we have to convey who we really are, and how we dress is a powerful non verbal form of communication. So let's not water ourselves down and dress to blend in, conform or please everyone else but ourselves. It's time for us to become visible, to embolden ourselves and to express ourselves fully, with and without words.
As for our personal preference? We'd go for a colorful dress over a crisp suit or blazer anyday because that's what we feel most alive and authentic in, but that's no surprise to you now is it🙂 !
What do YOU feel most alive in? Is what you choose to wear everyday a true reflection of you ?
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