Saint, Harridan and Saint Harridan

We who are attracted to the clothes at Saint Harridan use many different words to describe ourselves. We use words like studbutch or boi among many others. Some of us embrace the word woman, others like man, some prefer neither or both. Rather than viewing these multiple words as a problem, we believe they reveal something about us as a community. They reveal that we are complex and diverse. The words, and the fact that we don't agree on them, show that we are pushing the hell out of boundaries. 

The boundaries that were built to define what it means to be born female-bodied are changing and expanding. Expanding because of the many civil rights movements. Expanding because of art, science, academia and politics. And these boundaries expand when individuals are bold enough to act outside the visible and invisible lines. 

Dress is a very personal form of activism. Sometimes it's risky. Sometimes it's very risky. Often it requires courage and conviction. At Saint Harridan, we want to make clothes that support this form of self expression, this form of personal dignity, personal reverence, and yes - this form of activism. 

If we were to use words like stud or butch, we would inevitably represent some people, but leave others out. We looked for a word that could expand our options. A Saint, among its many other definitions, is "a founder, sponsor or patron of a movement." We think that's fitting. If you, by your very existence -  including the pronouns you choose, the clothes you wear and the gender you perform - are undermining the gender binary, then that makes you a leader in this movement. And, in our book, that makes you a Saint. 

Using the word Saint is also a nod to the notion that there is no one religion and no one doctrine that can dictate one's relationship to "God." If you believe in a entity bigger than the self, then you have a relationship that no one can take away from you. 

Harridan is a reclaimed word. It means "mannish woman" and has been used as a slur - to keep women from venturing too far from societal expectations.  Venture, my friend. Venture. Claim your power. Claim your dignity.