In the most recent installment of the Gender and Sexuality Studies (GSS) Graduate Certificate program’s interview series, is featured ADHT’s own Shayna Goncalves. Shayna is currently pursuing her MA in Fashion Studies, as well as her GSS Graduate Certificate.
In the interview, Shayna touches upon her Fashion Studies thesis work on the mini skirt and its broader, historical and cultural framework:
…[I]n one part of the world, at one specific time, the miniskirt is thought of as a symbol of liberation and sexual freedom (think of the U.S. in the 1960s), but in another part of the world it is thought of as this thing that is a threat of the west imposing values on non-western ways of life – this is the viewpoint that many African leaders have expressed by legally banning the miniskirt and this logic has been doled out and consumed by some of the people living in their relative societies, such as those in the case study I am focused on taking place in South Africa.
Shayna goes on to further discuss her research, how it converges both her work in FS as well as in the GSS program, and how it represents larger struggles of hegemonic power dynamics, exemplified by the struggle in South Africa’s importation of “Western forms of dress.” “These cultural values are steeped in gender normativity. And so out of this, a lot women are forced to think twice about wearing a miniskirt because they are afraid of the powers around them.”
To read this interview in full, go to the GSS blog here.