Refashioning Masculinity

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.

Re: Refashioning Masculinity

Postby Jim2 » Sun May 29, 2016 11:49 am

moonshadow wrote:True.... or we can just pull a Caultron and be oursevles! (what ever that may be) - As for me, I enjoy balance. I like embracing all of me, both sides, masculine and feminine. That's why I enjoy acting like the man I am, even when wearing what is considered "feminine" attire. That's why when wearing my feminine clothes, I'll still play for the "man rule book", I.E. nodding with a "how are ya" when passing other men, telling male jokes, arguing for men's rights, and holding the door for people (not just ladies, EVERYONE deserves a certain kindness in public). In other words, while I may be "dressed like a girl"... I still try to be a gentleman.


I don't want to antagonize you, but Moon, I think you still don't fully get it. You say you like embracing both your masculine and feminine sides, but what's a masculine or feminine side? Certain clothes? You start by putting "feminine" in quotes when you talk about clothes but then remove the quotes n the next sentence. Presumably the quotes mean that you are referring not to what the clothes actually are but to how most people perceive them. But if they aren't really feminine, then how is wearing them an instance of getting in touch with your feminine side? Perhaps what you really mean is that of the characteristics that most people in society have come to call feminine and have called masculine, you have both. That's fine, but it's important to be clear, the idea that some of these characteristics are women's characteristics and some are men's is wrong. Skirts have been wrongly labeled as women's clothing. Similarly, being in touch with one's feelings is wrongly characterized as a woman's way of being, just as being rational is wrongly characterized as male. These are all human characteristics. We've made a fetish of separating human ways of being along gender lines, so that everyone has a script handed to them when they are born, a script based on their genitals. Rather than reading from the other side's script, I'd like to throw away the scripts all together. Speaking for myself, I find I cannot just do that. I've effectively been conditioned to see certain things as masculine and certain things as feminine. But basically, I ignore the boundary when I find something I like on the other side, but I'm reluctant to push the boundary too far as it can make me uncomfortable. But I don't for one minute think that there was ever any rational for the creation of these scripts. The scripts are, as I see it, all make-believe. Skirts aren't really feminine attire; we just pretend or have been brainwashed into thinking that they are.
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Re: Refashioning Masculinity

Postby Jim » Sun May 29, 2016 12:29 pm

My skirts are primarily about comfort, but I also have come to see a statement against sexism and rigid gender roles.
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Re: Refashioning Masculinity

Postby Orange Apple » Sun May 29, 2016 2:15 pm

skirtyscot wrote:When I put a skirt on, I am making no statement at all about my gender orientation (not least because I don't know what that phrase means). All I'm thinking about is wearing something which is comfortable and looks good. However once I'm out and about, the funny looks I receive remind me that I am challenging the idea that men cannot wear skirts. Maybe some people wonder about my gender orientation, but that's in their heads, not mine.

I believe that my reason for wearing skirts is the same as yours. I want to be comfortable and look good to challenge the perception that men are not allowed to wear skirts. The more that people see men wearing skirts, the less it will be something that creates funny looks.

But the statement that I make by doing so is unrelated to my personal motivation. It's in the head of the person who is seeing me. I have no control over it. If the thought that they have when they see me relates to my gender orientation, that's the statement I've made, whether I wanted to or not.

That thought sounds kind of "heavy", and that's not my intent. We make statements all the time. My full beard is a statement. You can't do anything interesting in life without making a statement. Skirt on!
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Re: Refashioning Masculinity

Postby Fred in Skirts » Sun May 29, 2016 5:51 pm

As a Straight Male gendered human I wear skirts because I enjoy the comfort, not because they are supposed to womens clothes. :thumright: Skirts, dresses, tunics, high heel shoes etc, were all worn by men and in many places today still are. I read in an article a while back that nearly 80 % of the male population of the world still wear these articles of clothing. :hmmm: You can call them kilts, skirts, robes, man dresses, tunics, or what ever the name for them may be in what ever language you speak, BUT they are still just comfortable clothing.

I don't wear skirts to get in touch with anything other than comfort. :dance: I also wear some tops that are said to be ladies wear but If I am wearing them they are men's wear. I am not trying to get in touch with my feminine side I am in touch with my human side. :hooray:

Those that say that they are getting in touch with their so call feminine side are well wrong! :hide: :hide:

I have ordered a new camera so I hope to add some pictures of my fluid style (fluid because I like to change some things up) and of course I have the fashion sense of a DODO bird :rofl:

If I have offended anyone here with my missive I have not intended to do so.

Fred :kiltdance:
Fred :kiltdance:

:whistle: Hi I am Fred and I wear skirts and dresses all of the time. :hooray:
"It is better to be hated for what you are than be loved for what you are not"
Andre Gide: 1869 - 1951
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Re: Refashioning Masculinity

Postby Grok » Sun May 29, 2016 11:32 pm

Jim2 wrote:
moonshadow wrote:

. Skirts have been wrongly labeled as women's clothing. . I've effectively been conditioned to see certain things as masculine and certain things as feminine. . Skirts aren't really feminine attire; we just pretend or have been brainwashed into thinking that they are.
Yes, we have been programmed to regard skirts as feminine.

It is interesting to see how skirts are regarded on the other side of the aisle; that is, whether or not women like to wear skirts.

The City Data web site/forums have had a few threads which asked this question-why don't more women wear skirts?

Many women who have responded seemed concerned about practicality. They would often list what they see as the draw backs of skirts. There are also women who described the sensation on wearing skirts as "weird" and "uncomfortable".

Occasionally, a woman would comment that she likes skirts. I think these women must be Skirtonians (people who enjoy wearing skirts).

I think the gender thing is a red herring. I think the real distinction is between people who don't like wearing skirts, and those-male or female-who do.
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Re: Refashioning Masculinity

Postby moonshadow » Mon May 30, 2016 12:26 am

Jim2 wrote:I don't want to antagonize you, but Moon, I think you still don't fully get it.

You're exactly right... when it comes to the ways of society... I don't get it at all! It seems that each week the rules are changing, but I suspect that there are no rules, pretty much everything in the human condition is arbitrary, and there are over 7 billion people in the world and likewise 7 billion different opinions on a catrillion different topics. It's impossible to keep up!

Jim2 wrote:Presumably the quotes mean that you are referring not to what the clothes actually are but to how most people perceive them. But if they aren't really feminine, then how is wearing them an instance of getting in touch with your feminine side?

I believe there is more to a femininity than a skirt. In fact, the idea that skirts are considered by many westerners to be "women's" only terrain is totally arbitrary and false (obviously). That being said, over the eons, humanity seems to have established what is masculine and feminine in nature. It's a difficult science for sure, but on the all, it has a lot more to do with our personality, our character, and how we are on the inside and less to do with what's on the outside. When it comes to what's "on the inside", I have observed that I have masculine and feminine characteristics, and to make my point more clear... I've probably got more feminine characteristics than your typical every day "man". And it has nothing to do with clothes, skirts or trousers. It is my behavior, my character, my soul, etc.- Hope that helps clear up any confusion.

Jim2 wrote: That's fine, but it's important to be clear, the idea that some of these characteristics are women's characteristics and some are men's is wrong.

I would have to agree with that, however that's not the way our society is set up. It would be nice with all gender barriers were torn down indeed, but it's just not the way it is. Some skirts are more manly than others, and other skirts are more womanly than other still. I choose skirts that tend to fall on the "women's" end of the spectrum because I like the style, for whatever reason. Now I can sit here and dress in the most feminine skirts I own, cross my arms and call myself the "Brawny Man" , but I wouldn't expect society to go along with it. No they are going to call me anything but "masculine". And that's fine with me. I like my style, whatever that style may be labeled by western culture.

Now if I were to grow a full beard (which I can't do), don a full nine yard kilt (which I don't have), scruff myself up a little, then they might put my likeness on a roll of heavy duty paper towels... But since that's not my m.o., I'm fine to be whatever it is that I am. I choose instead to simply embrace what I am, and my style. Maybe it's feminine, maybe it's the most manly of masculine and I just didn't get the memo... it really doesn't matter to me what it's called. I am what I am, I think we all would do well to not get too hung up on labels. Labels change about like the weather.

Jim2 wrote:Similarly, being in touch with one's feelings is wrongly characterized as a woman's way of being, just as being rational is wrongly characterized as male. These are all human characteristics. We've made a fetish of separating human ways of being along gender lines, so that everyone has a script handed to them when they are born, a script based on their genitals.

I believe I understand what you're saying. I seems to me you're advocating the removal of gender roles from the human condition. I can only agree with that. But speaking practically, I don't see that as becoming a reality any time soon. I agree that it would be nice to live in a world with no pre-defined gender roles, but at this juncture, complaining about it is like complaining about death and taxes. In the mean time, rather than shout into the wind, I choose to embrace the issue from a different angle. Just as modern women have chosen to embrace certain masculine characteristics, while retaining their womanhood, I similarly choose to embrace certain feminine characteristics while retaining my manhood. It doesn't bother me in the least to be considered a "feminine man", in fact, I'd say such a label would be more accurate than not.

But even that's just a label. We are what we are, and we all should be nothing more or less than that. :D

To recap and conclude this post, perhaps it's not so much that I don't get it, rather simply I just don't care. And that's not meant to come off as arrogant, but rather just to state my position bluntly. I am me. You are you. Fred is Fred, Carl is Carl, Jenn is Jenn, Dillon is Dillon, etc.... Simple. Let society grapple with that if they so desire... I've got a soul to explore (mine). 8)
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Re: Refashioning Masculinity

Postby dillon » Mon May 30, 2016 4:14 pm

I kind of understand Stu's point, but agree only to the extent that heterosexual men choosing to incorporate traditionally feminine clothing into their wardrobe, without being gay, transgender, or ultimately transsexual, are ignored by, even shunned by Feminism as a social/political force. And of course also rejected by gender-uniform-compliant males. We are basically the "red-headed step-children" of society, as far as achieving credible recognition and support. We don't fit the pegboard, being neither round nor square pegs. In this respect, we're on our own.

I don't, however, see Feminism as some toxic treachery, but simply as an outdated social phenomenon. We simply need a post-Feminist ethic to emerge that embraces the individual in all his or her unique differences. I think a majority of women in America would identify as Feminist, yet not see the hypocrisy in their expectations that men retain "the uniform", and are not entitled to adopt for ourselves the same choices Feminism demanded for women two generations ago. It indicates that Feminism has failed to eliminate the deep-seated belief in women, as represented by fashion, that they are the lesser to traditional men.
As a matter of fact, the sun DOES shine out of my ...
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Re: Refashioning Masculinity

Postby Caultron » Tue May 31, 2016 4:08 am

moonshadow wrote:...I suspect that there are no rules, pretty much everything in the human condition is arbitrary, and there are over 7 billion people in the world and likewise 7 billion different opinions on a catrillion different topics. It's impossible to keep up!...

So once again, let each person be themself.

I mean, we are anyway.
Courage, conviction, nerve, verve, dash, panache, guts, nuts, balls, gall, élan, stones, whatever. Get some and get skirted.

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Re: Refashioning Masculinity

Postby Pdxfashionpioneer » Tue May 31, 2016 9:27 am

Caultron's position was where modern Feminism started. I've lost track of where they are today, but I think more people are of the same mind as Caultron than we realize.

We have all gotten so used to the convenience of labels that people feel a little lost without them. Especially now when so many more people are daring to be themselves.

Presenting that example of a person being uniquely and unabashedly themselves is one of the reasons I have worn dresses to church a whole lot more frequently over the last 10 months than I ever intended to.
David, the PDX Fashion Pioneer

Social norms aren't changed by Congress or Parliament; they're changed by a sufficient number of people ignoring the existing ones and publicly practicing new ones.
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Re: Refashioning Masculinity

Postby crfriend » Tue May 31, 2016 10:02 am

The more I think about it, the more I am coming 'round to trashing the notion of men's "feminine sides" altogether and instead treating the psyche as a complete whole in which certain behaviours and emotions are expected to be suppressed or otherwise hidden. Sometimes this is for the good of everybody; we don't need a lot of hyper-violent testosterone-driven behaviour in the world. However, sometimes the demand for suppression of traits, behaviours, and emotions is entirely arbitrary, hurtful, and destructive; in essence denying men a core part of their being.

Since when is empathy solely the female province? I've seen just as many women be utter stinkers in that regard as men -- and women tend to be nastier in general than most guys. Why is it that fathers are looked at askance for treating their children with love and benevolence? Is that solely a female trait? I think not.

Women all say they want their men to be more caring and feeling -- yet when it comes down to it, a man who is sensitive and caring loses out virtually every time to the rotter who treats the woman he's with like dirt.

I suspect we can safely ditch the notion of "masculine" and "feminine" "sides" of our personalities. I believe we'd be better off treating the psyche holistically and nurturing the whole instead of trying to bury parts of it in the backyard. This is not about "adding behaviours", it's about letting ones that are already there flower and take their rightful place alongside the others instead of hiding them.

The very fact that we term certain behaviours "masculine" or "feminine" indicates that we're uncomfortable with ourselves and what we're capable of -- for good or for ill.
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Re: Refashioning Masculinity

Postby moonshadow » Tue May 31, 2016 1:04 pm

Well, ultimately society WILL label us. And not just us (male skirt wearer's), society WILL label everything. That's just what people do.

Now male skirt wearer's are as unique as the skirts we wear, and our personalities vary greatly. Whether or not we choose to label ourselves, and if so, what that label is, is entirely a personal choice. We must accept the fact however that we will most likely not change the minds of the world populace, to attempt so would be futile and very frustrating.

Sometimes labels can be a good thing, it may bring a person a sense that he or she is a part of a community, and helps that person to better identify their inner self to said community. It gives groups of people a common denominator, and ultimately gives power in number in regards to social change.

Sometimes labels can hinder us. Sometimes in order to exercise certain liberties, we must adopt labels that may no be true to our inner self. This thought occurred to me this morning when thinking about this subject, my next move, etc. For example, a male skirt wearer typically has zero rights in regards to the work place. The SCOTUS has ruled that an employer can require a certain "adherence" to societal gender roles while in the work place at least. This translates than while it's the custom that women can wear trousers OR skirts, men must always remain in trousers only, and this double standard is backed by law apparently....

... However, there is a loophole (and this is my point), with the current transgender issue on the table, soon the day is coming when a transgender woman will be allowed to wear traditionally female clothing[0] at the work place, and this will be protected by law. Now I believe that this would be an insult to the overall nature of freedom, liberty, and the breaking down of gender double standards, and further enforces gender roles, however the world often doesn't conduct itself on the notions of that "I believe". It is what it is, and the fact is, that in the future, a man may have to play the transgender card to wear a skirt at the office. (and conservatives though it was only about bathrooms! :lol: ) It still smacks of the double standard however that women do not have to call themselves transgender men to wear trousers at the office!

And unfortunately this seems to be the direction that men's fashion freedom is going.

But hold on.. lets rewind a little. Lets go back to when women first started donning trousers. When the movement hit it's zenith in the 60's, from my understanding it WAS about women blatantly becoming less "feminine" and not binding themselves to female gender roles. Sure they retained the freedom to be feminine if they so desired, but when needed, or when the mood struck, they had no qualms about presenting as a masculine figure. They put on their trousers, burned their bras, divorced their husbands, got a job, and started managing their own life! In essence it was more than just a change of fashion, it was a lifestyle change. No longer were women to be bound by the whims of their husbands. They could now make it in a mans world. And as a result, society has come up with various labels for the modern woman, some are kind, some are down right derogative. Do they care? Most don't seem to. For the most part women are quite proud of themselves, and they should be.

Perhaps that's what this whole article is about... "refashioning masculinity". Perhaps the old stereotypical "male" is a dinosaur. Our world seems to be becoming increasingly unisex. With women running around "not worrying about" what they are labeled... why do we?

But to each his own... if a man wants to obsess about not being called "feminine" then that's his prerogative I suppose. It's not my mental energy he's burning. As for me, I could care less what I'm called. I'd rather be called "girly" than quite a few other things I've been called in my life. Further, personally, I've found this new side of me (call it what you will) to be quite enlightening, and has certainly open many doors in my life, in addition to pointing out some locked doors that I never knew were there. (I.E. work place double standards)... then again, once we identify a locked door... we can begin the process of picking it! Ahhhhh!! :P :wink:

[0] Traditional by western standards. This point was not to split hairs over skirts being "female clothing"... lets face it, in the minds of the majority or western society... they are.
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