Reading my Panties #1: a Collective Manifesto
Reading My Panties” is a collective zine for the underrepresented discussions within panties drawn on the theory of intersectionality and feminism. Panties, understood as an item of women’s undergarment for the lower body, record our daily usage and maintenance. It’s like a locked diary that we use frequently but barely scrutinise. We wear it, touch it, and embody it. From a very young age, we learn the rules of society and of appropriation through embodying our underwear. Pink, lace, bowknot, and floral prints represent feminine expression; elastic band, neutral colour, minimal design, stripe or grid patterns showcase the masculine expression. The mainstream design of underwear/panties showcases a clear expression of sexes and adds intentional ornaments for emphasizing differentiation. We embodied it every day and learnt the stereotypical gender expression unknowingly. For this, it is necessary that we can aware of this societal alienation and acknowledge our initiative through co-unlearning and co-creating.
The first issue of the magazine, “A Collective manifesto”, includes ten women’s stories of scrutinising their panties, which expose how the social constructs—self-objectification, gender regulations, conventional chastity, taboos, slut-shaming, body-shaming, etc.— hinder women’s sense of safety from pure autonomies. In this manner, the first edition aims to showcase the untold stories of women oppressed by societal regulations and social expectations by reading our panties.