Everyone should be a feminist

There's a certain attitude that I see now and again when I'm dressed in vintage. It's not really all that common, but when I encounter it, it just rubs me the wrong way. I think I can best sum it up as the phrase, "I'm so glad to see women who look like women!"
There are a couple of things wrong with that. The first is the assumption that I (or anyone else, for that matter) am dressing for anyone other than myself. I'm not, full stop. I wear the clothes that I wear, outlandish and attention grabbing as they can sometimes seem, because I like them, and because they make me feel good, and like myself. Yes, they do communicate something about me to the outside world, but they are fundamentally about me. It's just strange to give someone a compliment that's more about the giver than the receiver.
This outfit, for example, says that I'm pretentious enough to wear a fur cape to work on, like, a Wednesday.
The second, and far more important, thing that I take issue with is the implication that it is somehow inherently better for a woman to look womanly. A woman in vintage clothing is presumed to be ladylike, elegant, and classy, to take more care of herself than other women. None of those things are bad things, per se, but neither are they traits to be rewarded. The world doesn't need to be divided up into "man things" and "woman things", and yet, consistently, it is. "I'm so glad to see women who look like women!" is problematic because the woman in question is basically being complimented on conforming to gender norms (among other things. There's another kind of admiration that I get that's more explicitly about being ladylike, in opposition to "trashy" or "slutty" girls who show too much skin. Eventually, I'm going to get to that, but I'm going to try to stay somewhat on topic with this post). It's telling that it's typically a man doling out this kind of compliment (I do want to qualify that I've gotten this from a woman once, and I wasn't any more jazzed about it). The presumption seems to be that because I dress in a manner reminiscent of a time when these gender norms were more strictly enforced, I must have the same notions about gender roles and sexuality as they do. Sorry; I only dress retro, I don't think retro.
The fact is, this kind of thinking doesn't just harm women, it harms men too. When masculinity and femininity are only defined in opposition to each other, if you don't fit into the "right" one, you're fucked. That's why a little boy can get into trouble because he likes My Little Pony, or a little girl can be kicked out of her Christian grade school because she looks too much like a boy. Gender and sex aren't binary - they fall on a spectrum, and as a society we need to learn that that's ok. Women bear some of the more obvious consequences of this style of reductive thinking, but men don't escape it either, and no one benefits.
So, people of the world, spice up your life. Wait, what? Sorry, got caught up in a Spice Girls moment. What I mean to say was, people of the world, if you want to give someone a compliment, start with "nice shoes." Leave the gender bullshit in the past.