Tag Archives: Feminine

Boys can Wear Skirts and Look Cute as Fuck

My boyfriend wears skirts. Not tunics, not man-skirts, and for sure not kilts. He wears skirts and he looks damn good doing it. Unfortunately, it took years for him to build up the courage to wear skirts as much as he wanted to. He suffered because of the male standards in our culture. I want to challenge these male standards and claim that continuing to follow them will be a detriment to our society as a whole.

Since around the 1920’s, it has become increasingly culturally acceptable for women to dress in pants. Today, women have access to blazers and suits that look great. Women have the choice to dress in a feminine or masculine way because they fought and earned that choice. Men have no choices at all. They must either dress in a masculine way or face ridicule. In our broader culture it is acceptable for women to want to be more like men, but for a man to give up his masculine power is a disgrace.

man skirt
“I want to challenge these male standards and claim that continuing to follow them will be a detriment to our society as a whole.” Photo from: https://i.ytimg.com

Men are culturally trained to reject feminine clothing in our society. This is because if a man wears feminine clothes, it implies the clothing and the people wearing it are as good as men. My boyfriend has been called sissy, fag, and other terrible names for wearing skirts. All these names come from other men. The idea of another man being happy and comfortable in a skirt is such a shock to them they feel the urge to tear down what they no longer consider a real man to preserve their own masculinity and their power.

Men need feminism just as much as women do. The core idea of feminism is that men and women are equal in society. True acceptance of this elevates women to the power of men, but it also unlocks the full breadth of the human experience to men. Feminist culture invites men to feel beautiful and powerful through makeup and clothing forbidden to them in a patriarchal culture. Feminism gives men a choice to be as masculine or as feminine as they wish, and it is not a mandate to become more feminine.

Even worse, modern masculinity standards are a parody of authentic manhood. We tell our boys to restrict their emotional expression, power through their pain, and never act like a girl. In order to preserve some idealized masculine fantasy, men are encouraging themselves to be less than full human beings. This unrealizable standard that men hold themselves to leads to corrupt and toxic masculinity characterized by external violence, hate, and internal self-loathing. Men, if you consider yourself a real man, call out your male friends when you hear them talking negatively about others in any form. A simple, “Hey man, that’s not cool,” is sufficient self-policing and is a start to changing minds. This is important if we want to work towards making our culture a more just and verdant society.

What is gender?

Gender is more than what’s in you pants.
Graphic from learn.uvm.edu

Gender, by definition, is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between and from masculinity and femininity. Nowhere in that definition does it say anything about the type of genitalia you have. Gender is a social construct forced on to people by society attempting to make everyone fit into one of two categories, masculine or feminine. Unfortunately, American society has decided that to be masculine means to be a boy and to be feminine means to be a girl. However, that’s not what it means all over the world. It some countries, the women are seen as more masculine, building homes and finding food, the bread winners if you will, while the men take care of the children and stay at home, taking the feminine traits for themselves.

Gender is the idea of certain characteristics belonging to a specific genitalia. Feminine with vaginas and masculine with penises. Who decided that? I understand that there is biology involved with men being taller, having a higher center of gravity, and having less body fat making it easier to gain muscle mass. However, women can be strong too. Most of the ideas surrounding what it means to be a man and what it means to be a women are created by what society wants and expects from us.

Society has told us that men can’t cry, can’t be scared, can’t be vulnerable because those emotions are deems weak, feminine, meant for women and women only. They say that men can be angry and scary even, but it doesn’t matter because they’re showing how strong and tough they are. They’re allowed to be scary because it’s what is expected of them. Women, however, are expected to be soft-spoken, weak, submissive, kind, and every other word you could think of that could also describe a daffodil. Women aren’t allowed to be angry, to be tough, to be strong because if we are, we’re called bitches or rude. We’re told we don’t smile enough, that we’re too rough and need to lighten up. Men would never be told to lighten up.

Gender is an idea, a box, that society wants to put us into so all the jobs that are required to keep a society going are dealt with. Women take care of the children, cook, clean, while men work with other men, bringing home the money and continuing the manly man’s world. What would happen if we stopped? Stopped being what is expected and turned society on it’s head? Do you think society would end? Or would it become something worth fighting for?

5 badass anthems every girl needs in her life

Adele is releasing her first album in 4 years on November 20th. She’s given the world an amazing preview with her song, “Hello.” The song has taken over the radio, YouTube, and even vine with funny, short parodies of the song. The song pulls at the heart strings as Adele sings of a past lover. A running internet joke is that “Adele has the kind of music that makes you miss a stranger you saw on public transportation 7 years ago.”

While I love Adele and routinely belt out her heart-felt ballads in the shower, I’m a little bit tired of sad love songs. If you’re anything like me and need songs that celebrate your independent, badass side I would highly recommend the following feminine tunes:

1.) Ex’s and Oh’s- Elle King

This fun Indy-rocker song is perfect for dancing around your room using a brush as a microphone or even for singing in the shower. The song is different from other lady-ballads because it’s from the perspective of a girl who knows she’s powerful and even a little promiscuous, in a good way. This is one of my favorite songs to jam out to in the car and it makes me want to wear 6-inch heels and do my best catwalk down the street.

lana
“There are definitely some feminist undertones in her music.”

2.) High By the Beach- Lana Del Rey

Pretty much every song by Lana Del Rey is a feminine dream come true. Although Lana doesn’t like to associate herself with feminism and often plays off the idea of the damsel in distress, many of her songs are really empowering. High By the Beach strongly embraces independence from a lover. In the song she sings about not needing her lovers money to get what she wants. I feel that many modern girls can relate to this because we’re expected, based on traditional gender roles, to depend on a husband to be the bread-winner.

Although Lana doesn’t want to be associated with this new wave of feminism, there are definitely some feminist undertones in her music.

3. Here- Alessia Cara

This jazzy song is a great mixture of new and old. The jazz-ish instrumentals mixed with lyrics very raw like Tove Lo‘s music make for a classy but badass feeling. This song is perfect for the anti-social independent girl. Talking about the drag that can be the club scene, Alessia Cara sings of her annoyance with being hit on at the club and her desire for a more intimate kick-back with her friends. She describes the crowded club with loud, trashy music and her negative attitude for those things.

This song is great for any girl who has ever found herself at a crowded party saying, “why didn’t I stay home?”

4. Gasoline- Halsey

This song is perfect for the badass babe who needs to explore the darker corners of her mind. Halsey reminds me of a darker Taylor Swift who’s very in touch with her crazy. While T-Swift’s girly songs may be fun, her over-optimism in her songs can get old for the girl who is no delicate flower. Halsey explores the dark side of society in this song while using dubstep-style instrumentals.

5. Gods and Monsters- Lana Del Rey 

As I said before, Lana doesn’t like to associate herself with feminism, but this song is very sexually empowering. Lana seems to describe herself as this innocent doe-eyed girl exploring her sexuality. This song follows her dreamy-style melodies while exploring a darker side of herself. In my opinion, Lana is describing herself as someone who is seen as an “angel” in a crowd of demons and chooses to dance with both the outer demons and her own inner demons. Jessica Lange, who is the epitome of all that is feminine grace as an older woman, covered this song for an episode of American Horror Story. Both versions are beautiful in their own way but Lange definitely brought out the ruggedness and desire of the lyrics.

Feminine power-ballads are few and far between in my opinion. Although there are plenty of female artists out there, there are few whose music reaches into the innermost depths of my soul. I hope after listening to these songs, you’ll feel some type of relief if you, too, needed some music to strengthen your inner goddess.

Breaking the stereotype

We live in a society where being different is frowned upon. Expressing who you truly want to be is unacceptable and can make you an outcast within friends, family, and professional environments.

People can be judged on every small detail starting from how you carry yourself to how you dress. Clothing companies strive on stereotypes created by a society built on fitting into a certain category, making it that much harder to tear down the walls and expand out of what is expected of us.

Don’t you wish we could define ourselves however we want to? Can you imagine a world where we are allowed to wear whatever we wanted to without being judged or ridiculed for not dressing how the world wants us to? The first place we need to start is retail stores.

boy and girl
“There are “girl” sections and “boy” sections that are separated in halves. If you are a girl, you shop in the “girl” section and vice versa. If you even think about heading to the other side of the store, eyes follow your every move, confusion and judgment covering their faces.”

Clothing stores are the definition of stereotypes. There are “girl” sections and “boy” sections that are separated in halves. If you are a girl, you shop in the “girl” section and vice versa. If you even think about heading to the other side of the store, eyes follow your every move, confusion and judgment covering their faces. It’s not their fault, really. Society has constructed those people into thinking that gender comes in only black or white, boy or girl, masculine or feminine, but that simply isn’t true.

People should be defined as just that, people. Some identify as a boy or as a girl, but some people don’t. It isn’t fair to expect someone to fit into a specific definition when it’s way more complicated than that.

I’m a girl who likes to wear “girly” clothing but I also love to wear “boy” clothing. When I head over to the “boy” section of a store, I want to feel comfortable and like I belong there, not as if I am confused or out of place. Clothing companies owe it to us to give us the opportunity to be our authentic selves, not to be forced to be the person we think we should be.

Designers need to catch up to the 21st century and start designing clothes that are gender neutral. I’ve been dying to see clothes that have always been made for boys being made for girls. Start creating masculine clothing that fits my small frame. One of the most frustrating experiences is finding a shirt or a pair of pants in the “boy’s” section that I love but having it be way too big for me.

If designers starting making “boy’s” clothes fit girls, it would allow for the inclusion of all genders as well as let everyone wear the clothes they want to and to feel comfortable in those clothes.

Of course, I know that beginning to make clothes gender neutral doesn’t create the end all of gender stereotypes nor the feeling of not fitting in; however, I believe we have to start somewhere and allowing for those who don’t fit into society’s ideal of gender were to be able to express themselves appropriately through clothes, it would be a good start.