Saturday, November 27, 2010

Riding Side Saddle

Edwardian Promenade has another interesting post, this time about riding side saddle.  One of the things the post mentions is that it took a long time before riding skirts were designed with safety in mind.  Before that, it was common for women to get dragged by their horses.  The history of clothing is littered with stories of clothes that privileged a certain aesthetic for women over their own health and safety, and the fact that horse draggings went on for centuries before a solution was found is really sad.  Women were literally dying just to wear socially acceptable clothes. 
It's hard not to wonder about some of our own choices today and think about how they are privileging an aesthetic over health and safety.  For example, women (more so then men) get surgery to change their appearance, and although many of these procedures happen without complications, problems can arise.  Is this really what we want for women and men?  To feel compelled to change their bodies or put their bodies at risk just for other people?  Do we really want them to feel like they're getting dragged by a  horse?

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