In defense of feminine men

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.
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SkirtsDad
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Re: In defense of feminine men

Post by SkirtsDad »

moonshadow wrote:I'm not sure how this will be received here, but I drew a lot of encouragement from it.
Sadly Moon, I cannot share your enthusiasm for the article even though the subject had the potential to be very interesting. It came across as outdated, despite only apparently having been published 3 years ago, and appeared to me to be more of a reflection of the writer's own experiences growing up in New York than an informed piece of journalism. In trying to explain that male femininity cannot be easily defined the author then went on to label certain film characters as feminine based around her own arbitrary interpretation of femininity. Given that Disney was mentioned as having "an entire catalogue of Disney villains reinforcing the message that male femininity is inextricable from depravity" then failed to give one example, seeking instead to insist that this was also perpetuated in other films. Not being familiar with the characters in the films mentioned I looked these up; but failed to understand how these had been classified as "male femmes" save perhaps the long hair in one instance. If that was the deciding factor then I wonder how Lux would have interpret Braveheart?

Going back to the ideas of what might constitute as feminine I notice that "caring about one’s appearance" is mentioned. Given that in 2016 men's grooming industry worldwide was worth £14.8bn ($18.7bn) then surely that suggests that there must be an awful lot of effeminate men around somewhere. It dip a toe into the water regarding feminine traits being culturally coded, but didn't expand on this and on the whole I found the lack of discussion around the matter disappointing. Overall I thought the article was lazily written in that it offered nothing new (other than perhaps that New York now recognises 31 gender categories) and included outdated terms, such as tomboy, to a contemporary issue when the linked page even mentions that “Tomboy doesn’t feel present tense to me at all. It feels retro, this affirmative way of talking about a girl who likes boy things, as if boy things were better.”.

On the positive side, you do seem to have stimulated an interesting thread :-)
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Re: In defense of feminine men

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And then there are guys like me who fit all the molds and none of them. There is next to nothing feminine about me, yet I relate to ‘transgender’ emotionally and by innate personal nature. But for the sake of practicality it will remain an unrealized pipedream. There is little point in a man of my age, build, and complete lack of femininity electing to pursue my deeper nature. Too, I have not suffered the sort of existential crisis that prompts some middle-aged to older men to transition. If it was practical for me, and it would not affect those I love, I might feel differently and pursue a different course of action. But it makes little sense for me, just to be realistic, to try and reconcile my body to my mind. I have a good life and can complete it without a radical indulgence of deeply suppressed desire. Especially when there’s simply no assurance that doing so would absolutely enhance my overall happiness. So I will do my best to be a good person and take my satisfaction moment by moment, dealing with the occasional melancholy as I must, with the freedom to steal, borrow, adopt and adapt some of those feminine aspects that my soul craves.
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moonshadow
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Re: In defense of feminine men

Post by moonshadow »

SkirtsDad wrote:Sadly Moon, I cannot share your enthusiasm for the article even though the subject had the potential to be very interesting. It came across as outdated, despite only apparently having been published 3 years ago, and appeared to me to be more of a reflection of the writer's own experiences growing up in New York than an informed piece of journalism.
Thanks for sharing your points. I don't know much about Splinter. I only found the article by googling the subject. Upon checking out other pages on the site, I'd hardly call it a site of "journalism" anyway. Seems like just another website of political commentary and opinions.... in other words, a glorified blog.

As for being outdated, I'd have to disagree. Perhaps the writing would be outdated in extremely hip or other cosmopolitan areas of the globe, but in my corner, it's still ahead of it's time. "Tomboy" is still a popular compliment to assign a young lady in my locale, and gender roles tend to be very traditional. Still yet there are places even further behind than Appalachia.
SkirtsDad wrote:If that was the deciding factor then I wonder how Lux would have interpret Braveheart?
I don't know, but again, most successful men in Appalachia have a well groomed, trimmed head of hair. We have a word for guys with long hair here.... "unemployed". :(
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Re: In defense of feminine men

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There's also the potent issue in that the perceived definition of masculinity has changed (and been warped) over the years, so even in the three years since the article was written "the goalposts have moved". Worse is that there is no guidance in this respect for men. Behaviours which a few years ago were fine and normal for guys now land them smack in the trans-* pile, thus begging the question -- Who or what changed? Did the guy in question all of a sudden change or did society change and re-brand him?
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Re: In defense of feminine men

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Regrettably, the 'model' for male behaviour is becoming increasingly uncaring and aggressive.
This makes it difficult for any male to express any form of 'caring' attitude without having an unkind label attached, and this is totally independent of any sartorial choices one may choose to make.

I know the male is supposed to be the defender and so on, but what seems to be becoming normal is that 'attack is the best form of defence'.
Still, I suppose the next world war will sort all this out, as long as we can work out where it's coming from and stay out of the way of it!
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Re: In defense of feminine men

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trainspotter48 wrote:Regrettably, the 'model' for male behaviour is becoming increasingly uncaring and aggressive.
This makes it difficult for any male to express any form of 'caring' attitude without having an unkind label attached, and this is totally independent of any sartorial choices one may choose to make.

I know the male is supposed to be the defender and so on, but what seems to be becoming normal is that 'attack is the best form of defence'.
Still, I suppose the next world war will sort all this out, as long as we can work out where it's coming from and stay out of the way of it!
It may be because we are in different parts of England, but I am somewhat curious about how you have drawn this conclusion. If I think back to my late teens then there were a lot of people that would tank themselves up with alcohol on a Friday night and go looking for a fight. Pubs didn't have security guards and too often a fight would start in a pub, quite often for a spurious reason such as someone had dared to look a someone else, and the fight would then extend out into the street. At school, and I was at a very middle class comprehensive, however there was no shortage of 15 or 16 year olds that could and did organise a fight with a 'rival' school. Without the aid of the internet or mobile phones they would co-ordinate a time an a place to scrap. I don't see any of that today. My son can quite happily wander round with long hair. No-one wants to cut it short or is worried about his sexuality. There are not gangs of youths roaming the streets as in my teenhood. On the whole I would say that violence is far less tolerated than it used to be. This is not to detract from national issues such as knife-crime, but even so, that is probably still less than in the 50's which was my father's era.
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Re: In defense of feminine men

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SkirtsDad wrote:My son can quite happily wander round with long hair. No-one wants to cut it short or is worried about his sexuality. There are not gangs of youths roaming the streets as in my teenhood. On the whole I would say that violence is far less tolerated than it used to be. This is not to detract from national issues such as knife-crime, but even so, that is probably still less than in the 50's which was my father's era.
I suspect that's because the coppers take an extremely dim view of overt violence now -- and this may be for economic reasons [1] -- than they used to. So that's not really where it manifests. Where it manifests is in non-violent, but still "bad", behaviour -- general discourtesy, aggressive driving, and other assorted bits that won't involve overt physicality. But it's still there, and, in many ways it's gotten worse not better.

True, I'd not have contemplated wearing a skirt in the 1980s -- but brave souls were, and I recall one of them on Boston's transit system (when it still more or less worked) whilst I was in male drab doing computer repair at the time (with a 5-kilo tool-kit at my side at all times). I received occasional grief for my "pocketbook" from the occasional ruffian at the time, but nobody gave me grief when I was carrying a o'scope, and the time I had a 7-foot long alignment jig in tow for an electrostatic plotter I received an extra-wide berth in the underground (it had wheels, but it was easier and faster for me to hand-carry it).


[1] Fights, between adults -- especially adult males -- can, and usually do. result in physical injury which countries with developed health-care systems have to pay for. Frequently, at best, one of the antagonists winds up in hospital with something minor; at worst, both wind up in hospital with potentially lethal injuries. This costs everybody money in the long run, so there's plenty of incentive to keep overt violence to a minimum, basic ethics aside. This is not the case in the USA, but the coppers here also take a dim view of physical violence.
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Re: In defense of feminine men

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I think we owe a lot of the freedom we enjoy to wear skirts (for whatever reasons) to the advancement of the internet. It has connected people, and more importantly, connected ideas. It has opened up the world to virtually everyone. I didn't know what a kilt even was until I happened to see a photo of one online in the late 90's.

The internet showed each of us, individually that we're all different, and unique, and that's okay. I couldn't begin to count the number of ideas I've absorbed into my brain that I read online somewhere.

As for the downtick in violent crimes, police brutality, and otherwise, general accountability for one's actions, I feel we can thank the smart phone. Virtually everyone these days are carrying around little evidence takers (video cameras). If I'm in a Walmart and get the crap kicked out of me for wearing a skirt by some thug, it's going to get recorded SOMEWHERE.... probably several times, they know that, and they also know there is no weaseling out criminal prosecution like in the old days of "hearsay" testimony. Even the most backward judges and courts in the land also know that when an eccentric person gets the snot beat out of them just for being different, it's already global news....
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Re: In defense of feminine men

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I think men are a lot like dogs. Fido may be the sweetest pet anyone could imagine when he’s at home with his owner. But, I can attest as a country boy, when Fido gets together with those other sweet pets, a different nature emerges, and in a pack everyone’s precious pooches will attack and kill livestock, tear sheep or goats or pigs to shreds. The competitive “dogs” within men - testosterone-fueled greed, rivalry, fear, and jealousy - are the essential sources of the inability of humans to live in peace and intelligently solve problems. Insecurity, magnified, is a hideous beast.
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Re: In defense of feminine men

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Stu wrote:Masculinity and femininity are innate characteristics.
Interesting statement given what Freedomforall said earlier about his feminine traits being learned through exposure to his sisters. (I know another guy in that situation. He had 3 older sisters and no brothers.)
Stu wrote:In a way, when a man puts on a skirt to emphasise femininity, he is reinforcing the perception that skirts are a signifier of femininity, which is the opposite of what we seek to achieve.
Exactly so.
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Re: In defense of feminine men

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Daryl wrote:
Stu wrote:Masculinity and femininity are innate characteristics.
Interesting statement given what Freedomforall said earlier about his feminine traits being learned through exposure to his sisters. (I know another guy in that situation. He had 3 older sisters and no brothers.)
Stu wrote:In a way, when a man puts on a skirt to emphasise femininity, he is reinforcing the perception that skirts are a signifier of femininity, which is the opposite of what we seek to achieve.
Exactly so.
Yeah, I don’t quite know what Stu meant by “innate.” Maybe, in a gender-blind society...maybe you could direct me to one?

But I also think that the assertion that men want skirts with no, whatsoever, association to some “innate” element of femininity is, like the proverbial ostrich, burying one’s head in the sand. Some claim it’s all about comfort, to which I ask “Have you tried really baggy shorts?” It’s absolute nonsense and feeds the stereotype that men have no right to their own feelings toward the trappings of femininity. Neither gender identity or gender-associated feelings are binary. If a group of this sort can’t deal with that fact, what hope is there?
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Re: In defense of feminine men

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dillon wrote:But I also think that the assertion that men want skirts with no, whatsoever, association to some “innate” element of femininity is, like the proverbial ostrich, burying one’s head in the sand. Some claim it’s all about comfort, to which I ask “Have you tried really baggy shorts?” It’s absolute nonsense and feeds the stereotype that men have no right to their own feelings toward the trappings of femininity. Neither gender identity or gender-associated feelings are binary. If a group of this sort can’t deal with that fact, what hope is there?
Take comfort dillon, As this thread, and countless others seem to indicate, we're a mixed bag, and still yet, there are men all around the world undoubtedly that would explore their feminine side if they felt they could do so freely and without harassment or prejudice.

The most important takeaway is we live in a culture now, that usually leaves us alone to explore whatever it may be that make each of us tick individually.
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Re: In defense of feminine men

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dillon wrote:But I also think that the assertion that men want skirts with no, whatsoever, association to some “innate” element of femininity is, like the proverbial ostrich, burying one’s head in the sand. Some claim it’s all about comfort, to which I ask “Have you tried really baggy shorts?” It’s absolute nonsense and feeds the stereotype that men have no right to their own feelings toward the trappings of femininity. Neither gender identity or gender-associated feelings are binary. If a group of this sort can’t deal with that fact, what hope is there?
Dillon, Here in the Cafe we have a very diverse group, some leaning to the very femme side and others leaning to the very masculine side of the equation. And in between we have the rest of us who cover the spaces between the two extremes.

We all have our reasons for wanting to wear a skirt. Mine are comfort and ease of getting dressed.(0) Others have different reasons, but to just say it is nonsense is putting all of us into one little corner and I don't fit in corners. No One Does!

Does it bother me that others see the femme side of me, not one bit. While I do not try to look feminine, the fact that others may see me as feminine is not my problem at all.


(0) And yes I have tried BAGGY pants and I find them very UNcomfortable!!!!
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Re: In defense of feminine men

Post by beachlion »

As said before, it is mainly comfort. I don't like being restricted by clothes. I always roll up my cuffs two turns to have my wrists free. My top button of my shirts are always unbuttoned with an extra button in the summer. Only in formal mode, I dress accordingly, a suit with a tie and even cufflinks attached. The last time was when I married almost 10 year ago. ;)

I connected the front and back of a roomy A-line skirt at the hem with a safetypin. That is baggier the the most baggiest short in my opinion. It already felt a little restricting. I think the feeling of the fabric against the inside of my tighs causes that feeling. When you move one leg forward, the fabric is also rubbing the other leg. It feels like both legs are surrounded by the fabric.

So I still maintain it is mainly comfort, a little being different from the herd and a pinch of exhibitionism. If I have feminine motives, I'm not aware of them and I would like somebody point them out to me.
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Re: In defense of feminine men

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dillon wrote:
Daryl wrote:
Stu wrote:Masculinity and femininity are innate characteristics.
Interesting statement given what Freedomforall said earlier about his feminine traits being learned through exposure to his sisters. (I know another guy in that situation. He had 3 older sisters and no brothers.)
Stu wrote:In a way, when a man puts on a skirt to emphasise femininity, he is reinforcing the perception that skirts are a signifier of femininity, which is the opposite of what we seek to achieve.
Exactly so.
Yeah, I don’t quite know what Stu meant by “innate.” Maybe, in a gender-blind society...maybe you could direct me to one?

But I also think that the assertion that men want skirts with no, whatsoever, association to some “innate” element of femininity is, like the proverbial ostrich, burying one’s head in the sand. Some claim it’s all about comfort, to which I ask “Have you tried really baggy shorts?” It’s absolute nonsense and feeds the stereotype that men have no right to their own feelings toward the trappings of femininity. Neither gender identity or gender-associated feelings are binary. If a group of this sort can’t deal with that fact, what hope is there?
Well, I think you are jumping from the plural to the singular and back. An individual man can absolutely like skirts for comfort alone (and baggy pants are not the same at all). Collectively, enjoying the "femininity" of skirts is undeniably part of the mix. For another individual man, the femininity may be most or all of the reason for liking them. For this individual man, it's undoubtedly a mix today, but started pretty close to "comfort alone". It's not a fair generalisation to say for example that the only valid reason for men enjoying skirts is comfort, that much is true, but that doesn't feel like SC at all. (It reminds me of some other kilt sites though.)
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