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How Clothes Limited & Empowered Women Through History With Professor Einav Rabinovitch-Fox

Case Western Reserve University Professor Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, author of Dressed for Freedom: The Fashionable Politics of American Feminism and a recent article in the History News Network on fashion and race, joins host Richard Levick of LEVICK to discuss the intersections between fashion, politics and modernity. Often condemned as a form of oppression, fashion could and did allow women to express modern gender identities and promote feminist ideas. Professor Rabinovitch-Fox examines how clothes empowered women — particularly women barred from positions of influence due to race or class. She starts from the 1890s shirtwaists through the miniskirts and unisex styles of the 1970s and shows how the rise of mass media culture made fashion a vehicle for women to assert claims over their bodies, femininity and social roles. She also explores how Ralph Lauren’s HBCU Tribute Line is part of a long history of fighting for recognition through fashion. Listen here