For your consideration:
But why is that the case?
Because in the years just after WW2 women started to wear pants, in public, and they took a load of flak. The same comments came at them: “queer”, “dyke”, “lesbian”, “emasculator”…. But they fought back by being feminine and alluring in pants.
Men in dresses haven’t fought back, or learned to be masculine and virile (for want of a term) in a dress. Partly it might be due to the color and style of dresses, but that’s a matter of choice.
FWIW, the Roman Soldier conquered most of Europe while wearing a tunic which wasn’t much more than a minidress. No one accused him of being ‘girly”; at least no one lived to brag about it.
Well, there was at least one mob of warriors who probably called the Romans ‘girly’ and a lot of other things beside, and held them back hard enough that the Romans decided to build Hadrian’s wall and define everything on the other side of it as not worth conquering. But they probably didn’t call them names about what they wore.
…it never would have occurred to the Scots to tease anyone about not wearing pants.
As long as you touch base in femme-land from time to time, forays outside it don’t discredit your womanhood. Manhood is defined as being vastly more breakable. Women struggled and put up with disrespect to get a robust definition of womenhood. Few men have, in clothing or elsewhere.
Not my struggle to win, though; what I do is *supposed* to trash my masculinity. So even I’m not helping with the problem (maybe making it worse).
In the eyes of sexist people (which is most), a woman who hints at being masculine is raising her status (and will get flak, if anything, attempting to shove her back down into the woman box), a man who hints at being feminine is lowering his status.
Would I wear a dress with legs looking like that? No
An interesting question that gets right to the heart of fashion aesthetics in the context of gender.
If he took herself seriously got his bod waxed, got rid of the ball cap and basketball shoes, I know the reaction would be different. Some things go well with a dress and others don’t. Hairy legs? certainly not.
A dress in our world means feeling good about your feminine qualities whether you were born male or female. What point is there in wearing one if you don’t feel you have any?
The bystanders were repelled by his insult to the dress and the feminine aesthetic.
Ummmm….deep seated misogyny and homophobia based on fear and loss of social position? Our cultures don’t seem to have a problem as long as the man wearing the dress looks ridiculous, but if the person is attractive to them has or even HAD a penis men view this as a “trap”, or least say they do.
I think it’s also very culture-specific.
I think it’s much more than about the actual pieces of clothing. A few people hinted at it or at least started to. I see it as a scale balance. A woman can “get away with” wearing traditionally male attire (though it’s usually now women’s attire fashioned after it) as long as she also adds enough female accouterments to it. As long as the rest of her presentation leans heavily femme, the “male” attire doesn’t produce a negative reaction for most onlookers.
If you think of men who wear kilts or even other tribal garments still worn by men around the world, the look is often balanced with a great deal of heavily weighted and traditionally masculine presentation.
So, imo, it’s okay to wear specific styles of clothes as long as you don’t cause the scale to move near it’s balance point or tip in the opposite direction.
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