Anne Hollander has written eloquently of the way in which women have claimed the suit, that attribute of the successful man the world over, as their own, replacing with it those billowing petticoats that made women seem vaguely like mermaids, human on top and some hidden uncleanness below. But women's suits never have been and never will be precisely like men's suits -- perhaps because women have better fashion sense, perhaps because color-blindness is a male-sex-linked gene.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
On Beged Ish
The issue of cross-dressing (men and women wearing clothes associated with the opposite sex) is one that comes up from time to time. Most Ashkenazic Orthodox consider it to be forbidden for a woman to wear pants in most situations where men might be present. Some of those who hold differently assert that in the US, men's and women's pants and suits are readily distinguishable from one another, and thus don't fall under the ban. Supporting this view in a completely different context is this comment from Martha C. Nussbaum: