Skirt/dress-wearing vs. Masculinity

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.
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Stevej180
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Skirt/dress-wearing vs. Masculinity

Post by Stevej180 »

I found this video on YouTube (https://youtu.be/eXxtSSf8da8) really encouraging. The interviews were mainly with younger people so no surprise I guess - the middle-aged married couple were somewhat different in their views. Then I looked at what the guy was wearing - regulation jeans and Tee, and I thought ‘how boring’.

It would have been interesting to repeat the exercise with less ‘extreme’ examples in the images!
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moonshadow
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Re: Skirt/dress-wearing vs. Masculinity

Post by moonshadow »

Nice one!

Here's my response submitted to the video itself:

The interviewer was polite and asked straight forward questions, and the people he interviewed also seemed polite. I respect the one girl who could only said "I don't know". Better to give an honest answer of "I don't know" than to fly off the mouth something ridiculous.

I also agree with the older couple (the woman in particular). Harry's dress is not masculine. It's clearly well into feminine territory, but that's okay. There is nothing wrong with anybody (male or female) exploring masculinity or femininity as they see fit.

I myself wear skirts and I'm a guy. In my life I do normal "guy things". I could say "I don't live my life as a woman", but when you really get right down to it, aside from certain matters like childbirth, today men and women pretty much do all the same things from work to leisure. It is not uncommon for women to be in working fields that were traditionally mens, nor is it uncommon for men to engage in more traditional "womens" activities. These days both men and women work outside the home, and generally they share the responsibilities of homemaking, raising children, etc. So when I say that "I don't live my life as a woman", it begs the question, "how would my life change if I did?". And I'm must admit, I struggle to find any real measurable difference between the mundane lives of men and women in general.

So my point is, in all manner except for clothing, the lines between "masculine" and "feminine" appear to be blurring, and there appears to be overlap. It might be better to suggest that masculine and feminine exist on a spectrum rather than a binary scale.

If there is one change in society that I'd like to see, it's that I'd love to see people (men in particular) stop worrying themselves to death about anything they may do being perceived as "feminine". And this may or may not have anything to do with clothing. To give an actual real life example: My father's health is deteriorating, and he's probably not going to be around much longer. He's being forced to confront his own mortality and it scares him. He's a very masculine man, but he asked his sister (my aunt) a few months back, "do you think it's okay for a man to be scared?" To which his sister replied that it was, and the conversation continued "do you think it's okay for a man to cry?" He had no idea how to handle this, he had no idea what he was "allowed" to feel.

It is at this point where masculinity becomes "toxic". This is NOT to say that masculinity as a whole is toxic, indeed there is plenty of virtue in it, but when it has become so potent that it inhibits someone from exploring and expressing their own emotional state, it can have very negative effects, not the least of which may include severe depression, which might explain why the suicide rate is so high among men. It also may explain why men have a reputation for being so violent. It could be said that the only emotions men are allowed to express, lest they be accused of being "feminine" are anger and rage. Men are ostracized and ridiculed if they exhibit a softer side in common life situations.

So there's my thoughts on it.
"The price of freedom of religion or of speech or of the press is that we must put up with, and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish."

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Jim2
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Re: Skirt/dress-wearing vs. Masculinity

Post by Jim2 »

moonshadow, I like what you say about 'the lines between "masculine" and "feminine" '. Sorry about your dad's deteriorating health. It's interesting what you say about men and anger and rage. In my family, it was always my mother who expressed anger and rage. I can't remember a time when my father ever did so. The most I've ever seen from him is upset or disappointment. At 96, his health is not too good either with his eyesight going bad.
Coder
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Re: Skirt/dress-wearing vs. Masculinity

Post by Coder »

Excellent reply moon, and sorry to hear about your father. I think the way you framed “toxic masculinity” is the same way I feel about it, but growing up under the shadow of man bad/woman good - masculinity bad - it’s going to take a while for me to believe that without having to *think* about it.
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Jim
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Re: Skirt/dress-wearing vs. Masculinity

Post by Jim »

Good response, Moon. I went to YouTube and gave you your first thumbs up.
partlyscot
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Re: Skirt/dress-wearing vs. Masculinity

Post by partlyscot »

Jim2 wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:35 pm
In my family, it was always my mother who expressed anger and rage.
I never experienced my father in a seriously bad mood, (though my older siblings did, once) I was, if anything, somewhat more concerned about not provoking my mother's temper. On one occasion, in her older days, she realized that a couple of louts were about to try and take her bag while she was in an elevator. She rounded on them and, snapped, "Don't you bloody dare!"

"We weren't doing anything!" then immediately got off at the next floor and ran away!
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Re: Skirt/dress-wearing vs. Masculinity

Post by STEVIE »

Hi All but most importantly, Moon.
I can only say that my thoughts are with your Dad and you folks particularly. I have had but a taste of what your Father is having to face and he has my deepest and sincerest empathy.
That kind of puts some perspective on the whole discussion in terms of any fashion element but in terms of our lives, here is my thinking.
moonshadow wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:08 pm
If there is one change in society that I'd like to see, it's that I'd love to see people (men in particular) stop worrying themselves to death about anything they may do being perceived as "feminine".
The key is "to death", we have one life and one only and I have no wish to start a theological debate here. For the good of our mental and physical well being to allow ourselves to live freely and according to our own natures would maybe the greatest blessing of all. Perhaps the widening acceptance of non binary gender fluidity amongst our younger generation can give us some optimism, not just for fashion freedom but a whole acceptance of all the flavours and variety that human existence offers.
On a lighter note, I had a conversation with a Giggle of teenaged girls on Saturday. I think an appropriate collective noun.
They were most complimentary about what I was wearing and initially I felt a bit wary of them but apart from high spirits all was ok.
Point is, they were around 14 so potentially my Great Grandchildren. The compliments over, we discussed smoking and alcohol consumption in their generation and parental attitude. The clothes were of passing interest to them and onto other stuff. Perhaps the boys in their peer groups may be lucky enough not to kill themselves by virtue of an enforced perception of masculinity.
Steve.
rode_kater
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Re: Skirt/dress-wearing vs. Masculinity

Post by rode_kater »

Jim2 wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:35 pm
In my family, it was always my mother who expressed anger and rage. I can't remember a time when my father ever did so.
My first thought here is that if you're a strong guy you have to keep your emotions in check, because if you actually get angry it's possible you might actually hurt someone. A 1.6m female does not have this problem (though I guess the plates could still get it).

Though I guess this is just another self-preservation angle to hiding your emotions.
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Re: Skirt/dress-wearing vs. Masculinity

Post by Pdxfashionpioneer »

You nailed it Moon! Well done! Like everyone else I hope your Dad lives long enough to embrace his genuine self and proudly express his feelings.

And then let you know he loves you and is proud that you got to your self-acceptance so much earlier than he did.

OK. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but we can hope, can't we?
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: Skirt/dress-wearing vs. Masculinity

Post by Dust »

STEVIE wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:19 am
moonshadow wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:08 pm
If there is one change in society that I'd like to see, it's that I'd love to see people (men in particular) stop worrying themselves to death about anything they may do being perceived as "feminine".
Perhaps the boys in their peer groups may be lucky enough not to kill themselves by virtue of an enforced perception of masculinity.
This.

Masculinity isn't toxic. I'd go as far as to say it is necessary. But anything can be warped and taken to an extreme, and that will become toxic. Enforcing a warped extreme is even more problematic.
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