I’m a big fan of The House of Givenchy and I’m also a died in the wool feminist, so imagine my delight when a little over two weeks ago the world of high fashion collided with a very modern feminism at the Givenchy Paris Runway show. Instead of laying the usual casting information or breakdown of the looks on the seats, the mad scientists of Givenchy — Creative Director Riccardo Tisci and team — laid a single sturdy piece of card stock scribbled with a Future Feminism “manifesto” written by the transgender singer Antony, of Antony and The Johnsons, who also performed at the show.
I alighted upon feminism in college, where I spent hours over bagels on Sunday mornings at my friend Stacey’s off-campus house founding our campus’ now 20-year old Women’s Center. From the start, we were interested in gender and race and class and sexuality. Even back then, when I was a young woman with barely a toe in the world, I understood that feminism wasn’t just about women; it was about the world we inherited, and the world we would leave behind. When I read Monica Sjoo’s book The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering The Religion Of The World I began to get some meat around those ideas. Antony’s Future Feminism manifesto is Sjoo light. It’s her complex and heavily researched ideas boiled down for the busy masses. As much as I love a great philosophical treatise, what I love even more is seeing grand ideas trot down from the ivory tower (or burst out of this or that ghetto as the case may be), and infuse themselves into the actual world where the lot of us live.