I have included part two and three of these short excerpts about Victorian underwear. At the end of part one; it explains that to achieve the extreme waistlines of the 1860s, children had to be constrained into corsets from a very young age, causing complete distortion of the ribcage an internal organs. Torso binding!
The reasons given for women’s fashion in these excerpts and in general, are absurd. Women are dressed for maximum accessibility with minimum contact. This is exemplified by the final picture in part three.
Observe the boots in part two, the tightness and rigidity. My mother once told me that in her great grandmother’s day, boots sometimes contained small apertures in the sole, into which weights could be inserted. When I asked her the reasons for this she said, ‘it was in order for women to learn to pick up their feet!’ This is a highly unlikely explanation. Clearly women’s fashion has been designed to imprison, impede and contain. Yet at the centre they are left completely accessible, even the pantaloons have spacious holes in them, and prior to pantaloons all that was required was the lifting of the skirts!
You will hear a lot about how this was convenient for urination; in that case why bother with impeding skirts and restraining corsets at all! Equally nonsensical is a supposition that it has all got something vaguely to do with religion. The explanations women are expected to swallow for their sartorial suffering are extraordinary. We should keep in mind that everything has a purpose, and that all women’s fashions have been dictated by men. Men have certain requirements of women’s clothes. First and foremost they require easy reproductive access, second they require a low level of skin to skin contact, corsets were designed not to be taken off! Third they require that fashion should physically weaken and disable women making them easy to control. When you take these three requirements into consideration all women’s fashion from every era, becomes easily explicable. As women, through feminist activism, gained more freedom and threw away their agonising corsets, new fashions were introduced to impede them. Being extremely slim, weakened them through dieting and to some extent replaced the heavy skirts and corsets of former eras, it also restrained the flesh! High heels impeded movement, and the ability to run and fight. Stockings covered the legs, and camisoles reduced skin to skin contact, surgery and bras restrained breasts.
Fashion is never about beauty; though it is at times about ridicule and absurdity, its purposes are far more practical. Men know that women’s fashion has been designed for their convenience. To make it easy for them to approach, enter quickly without much struggle or foreplay, and withdraw to the study for a glass of port!
Perhaps the most amazing observation of all, comes in the middle of part two, when our host notes: that over forty-thousand women were burned to death in England alone, during the relatively brief period that crinolines remained in fashion; due to their hoops getting caught in stoves. She comfortingly reassures us “that all fashion has its drawbacks!” Thousands of deaths, being presented as a mere pimple, on fashions venerable face.