amw (amw) wrote,

to take my mind off things...

I got the Chinese visa. That is the only thing i had still been really worried about, with regard to this trip. Apparently they like Canadians, because even though i only applied for two, short entries, i got a multi-entry visa valid for 8 years. Score.

Where i am not scoring right now is being a good Samaritan. I have tried to post my stuff up for free so that people can come pick it up, but so far only two power strips and a USB charger have been taken. (You can tell a decent person when there is an entire box of free electronics, some worth a fair penny, and the guy just takes a power strip.) The biggest Facebook group for giving your stuff away is a closed/invite-only group. I mean, WUT. Freecycle Berlin only has a very small reach. I am not sure what else to do.

If no one takes the stuff i will do my best to jam all the blankets and pillows into clothing bins later tonight, and i will put my mattress and rugs under an arch where i hope someone will pick it up before it gets rained or pissed on. It's ridiculous to be in the middle of a big city filled with needy people and the logistics just aren't there to get free stuff to them. I guess it's cheaper to buy new than to drive around picking stuff up.

So to try to assuage my anxiety around having to throw a perfectly good bedroom in the trash, and to avoid doing the housecleaning i really should be doing right now, i am going to rant about clothing.

While i was waiting for my visa this morning, i read a really fucking stupid comment thread on ONTD about those kids who were told to change their clothes before getting on a plane. Some brainwashed capitalist stooge was arguing that it's perfectly okay for private companies to set a "business casual" dress code, even if that dress code includes a blatantly sexist ban on an item of everyday women's clothing, and that it should apply to young girls as well. I mean, what the almighty fuck. Where do i start here?

I hate the politics of clothing. I hate any time society expects people to wear one thing or another thing. I think restrictions on clothing are absolutely horrific. One of the main reasons i am not visiting the Middle East on my upcoming journey - despite loving the food and being extremely interested in the history - are clothing norms and laws. I fucking refuse to accept that wearing a tank-top is offensive, just like i refuse to accept people in the West banning burkinis or headscarves. No one should ever get to tell anyone else what they can wear. For fuck's fucking sake. How is this still a thing?

For a long time, one of my primary decision points about whether i would accept a job is if they had a dress code. While it makes practical sense that certain jobs have dress codes (e.g. steel-cap boots on a construction site, armored vests in a warzone), in the vast majority of jobs the only reason to force people to wear certain clothing is either tradition or classism, and fuck both of those things. It is patently absurd that most office workers be expected to wear "business casual", let alone formal business wear. What kind of nonsense is it where people have to spend their own goddamn money on clothes that exist solely for the purpose of going to a job they are supposed to be getting paid to do?

Don't even get me started on gender norms. Did i ever write about the time i was about to get kicked out of a nightclub for wearing a tank-top? Yeah, i had to get the event promoter to vouch for me. Apparently security thought i was a man, and men can't show their shoulders in nightclubs (but women can). Or what about the time my roommate didn't get let into a nightclub because he was wearing a collared shirt and dress shoes? Or what about the times the same thing has happened in reverse because some nightclubs inexplicably think sneakers are inappropriate attire for women. Or fucking nightclubs that ban blue jeans on any gender. I mean. Don't fucking police my shit man. It makes me so, so, so mad.

I cannot even how mad it makes me. And i am not against the concept of dressing up. I have some friends who are obsessed with clothes. Just the other day a friend proudly showed off his latest set of bespoke dress shirts. He wears tailored suits to every occasion and clearly loves it. One of my ex-colleagues used to come to work hilariously overdressed for the tech industry, but he loved couture, so why not? Fashion is an art form with a rich history so of course there are people who love expressing themselves through it. But dress codes ain't fashion.

If someone wants to wear jeans, or a hoodie, or motherfucking leggings - on a plane! - then what the hell right does anyone else have to judge that? What kind of oppressive, bizarro, 19th century world are we living in where people still care what clothes you wear ANYWHERE? To call someone unprofessional or low rent or animal just because they choose to be comfortable... Jesus... It blows my freaking mind that anyone in the modern world can think this way.

Yeah there are far greater injustices happening in the world than policing people's clothing but come on. Clothing is one of the basic needs. You gonna get on someone's case for that, you really have lost your heart somewhere along the way.
Tags: clothes, rants

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