March 13, 2009

Mantyhose and other masculine things

In my Intro to Women's studies class, one of the things we talked about was gender roles of course. Duh, it's a women's studies class.

We talked about things that, at least in America, are deemed masculine and things that are deemed feminine and how that shifts over time.

I thought of none of that when I was looking at this post from Sociological Images talking about that phenomenon of "mantyhose".

The article discusses the UK based site Project E-MANcipation.

From the website: “Project E-MANcipate is a project to accelerate the acceptance of male pantyhose as a regular clothing item.”

Hey, I’m all for men and women wearing pantyhose if they want to (as long as no one makes me wear any) but what sort of “emancipation” is being advocated?

Is this about emancipation men from the confines of masculinity so that they can wear an item associated with femininity?

You can read the whole post for y'selves, its pretty good. Personally I hate pantyhose and have no idea why anyone would willingly choose to wear such a garment. But...I've always seen pantyhose & tights as gender neutral anyway. Despite the fact that they seem to be overwhelmingly be worn by women, you can't forget about athletes and dancers that wear the hose.

Speaking of which, the article talks about how the Project seems intent on masculinizing (I made that up...I think) pantyhose, which is kind of annoying because it just seems like men can't wear a damn garment without making it MANLY MANLY. Pantyhose is gender neutral (and was actually rather masculine at some point anyway, which goes to show how different masculinity is now from back in ye olde day) and I think it should stay that way. Hell, clothes should be gender neutral in general, I think, but I can say that because my closet is technically about 50/50 female/"male" (in quotes because I use the term quite loosely). Bleh, it's silly the gender constructs we build, even sillier when we expect them to stretch across the world.

On the other hand, I have to think of the people that don't really mind or prefer, so much, feminine clothes versus masculine clothes which kind of complicates it, also because I'm that way myself sometimes. Sigh.

I've filled my quota thinky posts for the day!

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