A Man In A Dress | All Fashion Is Feminine
What do you think when you hear the words, feminine fashion? Do you imagine skimpy skirts and tube tops? Do you imagine pretty lacy undergarments? Do you imagine long floral dresses? Do you imagine short shorts and a tank top? Perhaps you imagine jodhpurs and a riding jacket, or maybe a sharp two piece business suit?
Have you spotted the pattern here yet? I could name almost any item of clothing and call it feminine fashion. That's because feminine fashion encompasses almost every form of clothing ever invented aside perhaps, from the jock strap. In the Western world, all fashion is by its very nature, feminine fashion.
When it comes to clothing at least, women can do anything. But do men have the same equal rights as women do when it comes to clothing choice? Clearly not. On your next trip to your local shopping center, see how many menswear stores carry skirts. See how many of them carry dresses. See how many of them carry underwear that isn't made of cotton and / or isn't a boxer short. Revel in the limited fashion choices that are offered to men, and ask yourself why.
Even if you're not interested in men who wear 'womens' clothing, the fact that we exist blind to the fact that male and female fashion, a fairly primal indicator of gender roles, is important. A woman can be what she wants to be. She can be super feminine or she can be androgynous. She can even be outright masculine in her mode of dress if she chooses to be. Though a few eyebrows might be raised if a woman pastes on a mustache and shows up to work, by and large, ladies have carte blanche when it comes to expressing themselves.
Men, on the other hand, have not been granted the same leeway. Men have, as a gender, been relegated to traditional roles whilst women have moved forward with their lives. In many ways its almost as if social evolution skips the y chromosome. Men haven't been victimized into remaining in their traditional roles, they've simply stagnated in them.
A notable exception to this generality is the movement amongst young Japanese men who are refusing traditional masculinity. They're known as 'vegetarian boys'. They don't seek to show off in pointless displays of strength, they prefer platonic relationships with women to carnal ones, and they occasionally wear skirts and dresses if the mood takes them. It would be heartening if this became a wider social movement, but in many respects it has all the signs of a temporary fad.
So, why is all fashion female? Why haven't men claimed their equality? And why does it matter at all?