Fashion can be a powerful tool of change, especially when boasting a stigma-shattering message. Zooey Deschanel recently used style to do just this, wearing a simple T-shirt to spread an important message. The New Girl actor and singer wore a feminist shirt with the phrase “Hysterical Female” boldly printed on it. Deschanel posted a black-and-white selfie on Instagram wearing the Rachel Antonoff-designed shirt.
The tee nods to an outdated, outmoded, and downright ridiculous medical diagnosis that was historically reserved for women, characterizing them as irrational and emotionally unstable. But we all know those stereotypes still persist today, even if not under the same name.
The shirt does important work to take back this phrase, and reclaim a woman’s right to emotion and expression. The word “hysterical” was also historically used as a way to stigmatize mental illness, so reclaiming it had even more meaning as a way to promote mental health awareness.
The product description on the site reads: “Calling all hysterics! Let everyone on the Senate floor know who they’re dealing with.”
It’s an important message, especially in this political climate when women’s rights are under attack. Women have the right to get angry and vocal — and can now assert that right through fashion.
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