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Do Real Women Wear Jeans?

Updated on May 12, 2009

The closest thing you can get to a 'real woman' these days...

There's a gazillion articles defending men wearing panties here, the underlying point of which is that men should be able to be whatever they want and be whatever they want. Women's rights have been around in the West for almost 30 years now (Swtizerland just got around to giving women the vote in 1982), and ostensibly, women are much better off than men when it comes to the right to do and be whatever they want to be.

However the women's rights movement has caused a backlash amongst some men who claim that Western women are no longer 'real women'. Their failure to be submissive to men is seen as being a crime against their femininity, and often times these men look to Asian cultures where women are seen as being less liberated and therefore more feminine. (I'm not sure how true this is in all cases, and have no doubt that many men who do seek women from other cultures for their submissiveness are often unpleasantly surprised.)

Common complaints about women who fail to meet the standards of femininity include:

  • Women don't dress like women, they dress like men.

  • Women are loud and overbearing.

  • Women are too opinionated.

These complaints seem to presume that women are here for the complainers personal pleasure and enjoyment and not their own. These complaints seem to infer that a woman does not have equal status with a man and should realize this and simply do her best to make herself pleasing. Keeping herself pleasing evidently includes dressing 'like a woman', keeping her mouth shut and agreeing with any man within a 5 mile radius.

The reality of such a proposition seems to smack of Stepford horror at best. Does real femininity equate to weakness? Should a real woman have to wear skirts? Should a real woman have to flaunt her sexuality as being her prime asset? Should a real woman have but few thoughts and a raging libido? And if she were all these things, would a 'real man' want her?

One notices that men who complain about women who aren't 'real women' tend to be overbearing in their desire to be able to control women. They're often men who have been hurt in relationships and who lash out at women because of the vulnerability they feel when they begin to fall for them emotionally. These men have a hard time trusting anyone and therefore instead seek control.

We're not talking about the fun kind of control games that men and women sometimes play in the bedroom either, we are talking about self esteem destroying control games that can spiral into abuse and violence if a man begins believing in his right to control too completely, if he buys into the fantasy he has created.

Obviously the idea of 'real men' and 'real women' is a false one. However it is a myth which persists to the detriment of our happiness. We should love and accept people for who they are, and not the first chromosomes that show up on a DNA test. We should judge people by what is in their hearts, not by what clothes are on their bodies. We should come to accept the fact that love involves risk and love can hurt, but true love doesn't require control to flourish.

Eventually we may all get to their point where these things are self evident, in the meantime if the words 'real man' or 'real woman' come up in conversation, slap the speaker and run away.


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    • profile image

      Gunnau 8 years ago from Central Coast NSW Australia

      Hi Hope

      Women have fought a brave battle to get the equality they deserve.

      They can perform jobs and careers not performed in the past and can say and wear what ever they like.

      Based on that, it;s men who are actually submissive and not allowed equality especially in fashion.

      Ask any married man who actually wears the pants in the house. It's not him.

    • SatinJenni profile image

      SatinJenni 8 years ago from Burlington Ontario Canada

      I always love you take on things Hope ...never a shortage of topics! I believe there are many different types of people each with their own perspective as to what constitutues a "proper woman". Personally I find a woman wearing a dress, heels Etc. to be very attractive, if only because she is "highlighting" her femininity. Otherwise its just her choice of clothing for the day. If she chooses pants over a dress, I don't think any less of her. In either case, domination of an woman simply because she is a woman is ridiculous. I do understand this is the case in many situations particularly by ethnicity or culture ..I find it abhorrent. As for educated and intelligent women, I'll prefer a conversation with an intriguing woman over one who displays lack of ability or initiative anyday. I find women to be much more than a body(..the body ages for both genders) They are my partner in the human race..equal in all respects. I could never live without her.

    • Hope Alexander profile image

      Hope Alexander 8 years ago

      Hey thanks for the comment Tom :) It's nice to get positive feedback from a man on this subject ... but you are right, Barbie is wearing shorts in the picture, which I guess means she's not actually real at all. I feel so disillusioned.

    • Tomgeekery profile image

      Tomgeekery 8 years ago

      Oh, the Barbie in the picture is wearing SHORTS! We can't have that. ;)

    • Tomgeekery profile image

      Tomgeekery 8 years ago

      Excellent article, and I hope that it challenges the perceptions of some who read it.

      In the past, I did put some pressure on my wife to wear skirts/dresses. I don't think it was out of a need to control, but I have had issues with control on a subconscious level.

      It's one of the great tragedies of our culture that even if a woman doesn't have to flaunt her sexuality as being her prime asset, she will be judged on it, regardless of what she does in life.

      I can't think of a better definition of a 'real woman' than a person who has a vagina (and was born with one) that has gone through puberty.

    • Hope Alexander profile image

      Hope Alexander 8 years ago

      Find me the part where I said appreciation of femininity = inward desire to overpower them and I will give you a chocolate fish ... I'm talking about the extremes of behavior... I never said it was wrong to like a lady in a pretty dress... but it is messed up to say a woman isn't a woman because she's not wearing a pretty dress...

      I'm also not saying that women are bad if they DO want to wear pretty dresses and giggle a lot.

      I also believe there could potentially be some middle ground between a living Barbie Doll and a 'beer drinking , swearing, spitting sex partner' ...

      The ONLY thing this hub says is that nobody should HAVE to be one way or another, or be considered better or worse for it. There's no fight to be had here, pardner...

      Unless you want to read things into the article and put up straw men to fight... in which case I have some cool windmills that need their asses kicked if you have time.

    • funnebone profile image

      funnebone 8 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

      This hub really got my panties in a bunch! I think it is unfair to assume that an appreciation of femininity is some inward desire to overpower them. If I wanted a beer drinking, swearing , spitting sex partner, I'd just stay home alone more!