In the mid-1930s, criticisms of modern women's habits, clothing, and hairstyles exploded in the Burmese popular press, showing that “modern fashion” made a man no less virtuous and patriotic but rendered a woman immoral and unpatriotic. This article examines the nature of these criticisms and their motivations, and reveals that the controversy over the dress and comportment of modern women was a complex and multifaceted phenomenon sustained by irreducibly plural interests. It argues that neither the appeal for traditionalism and national sufficiency in the face of multiple modern and colonial temptations, nor the changing tides of Burmese nationalist movements sufficiently explain the preoccupation with modern women's fashion, and suggests that the discourse on modern women needs to be analyzed as stemming from a profound unsettling of existing notions of masculinity and femininity, and its effect on relations between the sexes.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 30th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.