"I'm not ashamed to dress 'like a woman' because I don't think it's shameful to be a woman." (Iggy Pop)
I came across the above quote on a Tumblr blog, and thought it was really interesting. I haven't been able to find the source of the quote, so for all I know it's possible Iggy never said this, but the thought is relevant nonetheless.
I think I may have touched on this topic on a previous post here, but I wanted to write a bit more about it because it couldn't be more true. Men's fashion freedom isn't just about men, it's about everyone. It's about empowering people to be themselves. Once we strip away the gender stereotypes and labels on clothing, what are we left with? A dress on it's own is neither male nor female, it's just fabric. When someone says, "Dresses are for girls.", they are really only projecting their opinion onto that garment.
I've been following an interesting photo set named Switcheroo, where the people in the series swap clothes between the photos. It usually involves a man and a woman, which is what makes it so interesting. Body size /shape isn't really accounted for, so sometimes the outfits can look a bit jarring just based on that, but overall I've found it an interesting photo essay on fashion freedom (even if that wasn't the intent). Anyhow, I'm willing to bet that most people would think the women look perfectly fine in either outfit, but would find the men strange in the women's clothes. Which takes me back to the quote.
I believe the reason for that feeling is because somewhere deep down in our society, men are still considered more powerful / better than women. I think a lot of people who feel uneasy about men in women's clothing feel that way because of this sexist meme.
I think the point was illustrated perfectly on the television show The Doctors in this clip. In the segment, they show a photo of a woman in a skirt next to a photo of a woman in a pantsuit, and then ask the audience (by round of applause) which woman they think is more successful. The audience felt that the woman in the pantsuit was more successful, while the host went on to say that whereas in the past women who dress more like men are seen as more successful, a new poll suggests women in skirts make a better first impression. Is that perceived balance of power between the sexes changing in our society, and what will that mean for boys in skirts? On a side note, I thought it was fun that the male hosts said they were going to wear skirted garments on the show, but to my knowledge this has never happened. If they did indeed rock it and you saw it, I'd appreciate a link to the clip.
What I've been trying to get at here, is that I feel the topic of men's fashion freedom is inclusive and important for women as well, and this post is predominately for the female readership. I think you girls should support men in skirts & dresses because in the end it's also going to empower you by breaking down gender stereotypes and allowing people to live their lives how they see fit without judgement based on chromosomes, and I think that equality is a cause that we should all champion.
At the end of the day, a dress is just a dress, and what's truly important is the person wearing it.
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