• Jessica

Rachel Antonoff + Keds: Kicking Stigma to the Curb

Updated: Oct 27, 2019

Who are you calling hysterical?

Photo via Lede Co.

Designer Rachel Antonoff x Keds kick sexist stigma to the curb — right where it belongs. In honor of National Voter Registration day, in a bid to encourage voter turnout, the darkly funny design calls attention to lingering sexism inherent in contemporary society and the political system today.

Most of us have been accused of PMS-ing when we're acting a little saltier than usual. Well, ”adverse" women are often labelled hysterical in order to dismiss the validity of their complaints. In fact, this sexist criticism has roots in a time when hysteria was considered a psychiatric phenomenon that was studied by (male) physicians.

This design of these Keds empowers women by reversing the inherent power dynamic. They do so by taking the non-PC insult and turning it into a joke.

Photo via Keds

"It's like a bumper sticker but even better," Antonoff explains. "I think we live in a time where it's good to know where you stand and what you believe in right away. And it's important to be able to put it out there."

This ability to come under attack but to overcome it is particularly relevant today, as more women are stepping into prominent positions of power globally. As this occurs, we see them facing intense scrutiny and criticism for virtually everything they do.

In a climate where women are so scrutinised for perceived emotionality that politicians and public figures feel pressure to appear stoic, this claps back. The modern "hysterical female" DGAF that the more traditional male gaze seeks to silence her. "[L]et everyone on the Senate floor know who they're dealing with," says Antonoff.

Like the so-called "Nasty Women" before us, we "Hysterical Females" can now have a turn at sticking it to the patriarchy — and ever so fashionably.

Now, how about some fashion tips for tall girls. (I'm not one of them.)

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