While casually browsing the internet, I couldn’t help but notice our poorly informed mass media seems to be concerned about the “feminisation “of men. Thanks to the newly identified Caitlyn Jenner the issue of what it is to be transgender has somehow been melded into a discussion about the mass feminisation of men.
I mean…skinny jeans is a concept I don’t fully understand so at a push, you could put forward the feeble argument that pastel colours aren’t very masculine? But who really gives a damn, who really cares that much about what another guy wants to wear or how he chooses to act?
I am not talking about the so called feminist fashions that adorn the beautifully sculptured male models that parade the catwalks of Paris, London and Milan. I generally tend to find the outlandish fashions displayed on those stages never actually trickle down to the everyday people I see on my way to work. But I do reside in London, one of the most culturally diverse places on earth and I still can’t tell you, with any degree of certainty, that the men I see around me are looking more feminised.
Now for the purpose of this post I am going to exclude gay men (sorry guys) because I think modern liberal society has issued gay men with an unspoken licence to be open and free with fashion and expression. I’m just talking about your average straight guy who spends his hard earned money on male grooming products, gets his chest hair waxed or is more than willing to take his fiancee’s name in holy matrimony.
There are some interesting theories as to why this feminisation thing could be happening to our men. Some feel it is due to the rise of women in the workplace over the last 20 years, others claim that it is the increasing number of single mothers spending time with their male children. Could it be the increase in the consumption of dairy products over the last 50 years? Or our favourite “get out clause” for all of society’s ills; access to the internet!?
Unfortunately I’m not Detective Columbo, I can’t figure out where the source of these concerns originate. All I can do is assume there are some traditional, heterosexual men who feel insecure about the social nature of influence and change; I’ll step further into the abyss of personal opinion and say with that insecurity comes the juvenile outdated notion of “you’re not a real man!” that provides a momentary illusion of comfort on those cold and isolated nights.
Any regular followers of my blog will know that I was raised in the company and culture of women, so consequently I learned the value of good personal hygiene, the importance of sensitivity and the significance of listening. Yeah sure, I don’t care too much for football teams and I hate the taste of beer but I would still argue, with no false ego, being exposed, influenced and guided by the culture of women has made me a very attractive prospect to the opposite sex.
Other than specific biological, physical and behavioural traits being a man really isn’t about what society tells us it should be, it’s whatever the individual wants it to be. Trust me, you will always have a pack of men somewhere who make ill-informed assertions providing a false and fleeting moment of superiority. I speak on this issue because I just so happen to be a man, but equally if you are a woman who has no interest in Disney’s perception of femininity then more power to you.
If we want true equality in any society, even these modern ones, then we have to acknowledge the influential cross pollination of cultures, sexualities, and identities. As a human being you have every right to explore any element of your humanity that you choose.
Being a man is more than reinforced stereotypical ideals that you find in any given Fast & Furious instalment and it’s certainly more than a preference in clothing, skinny jeans included. If like me, you like to smell good, you moisturise your skin or you’ve attempted to tackle that uni-brow then I stand and applaud you for it.
The influence of women on men is not a negative and it’s not that things are changing, they’ve already changed! Being a man, or woman for that matter, isn’t something that anyone can define for you it is something that you have the freedom to explore and re-define on your own terms.
Until next time!
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”