Boys imitate what they see. If what they see is emotional distance, guardedness, and coldness between men they will grow up to imitate that behavior…What do boys learn when they do not see men with close friendships, where there are no visible models of intimacy in a man’s life beyond his spouse?
- Kindlon and Thompson, Raising Cain
"The poses, facial expressions, and body language of the men below will strike the modern viewer as very gay indeed. But it is crucial to understand that you cannot view these photographs through the prism of our modern culture and current conception of homosexuality. The term ‘homosexuality’ was in fact not coined until 1869, and before that time, the strict dichotomy between ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ did not yet exist. Attraction to, and sexual activity with other men was thought of as something you did, not something you were. It was a behavior — accepted by some cultures and considered sinful by others. […]
“Whether the men below were gay in the way our current culture understands that idea, or in the way that they themselves understood it, is unknowable. What we do know is that the men would not have thought their poses and body language had anything at all to do with that question. What you see in the photographs was common, not rare; the photos are not about sexuality, but intimacy.”
Source: Bosom Buddies: A Photo History of Male Affection, by Brett & Kate McKay
Indeed, this is why women have so many clothes! We need an all-purpose black skirt that does old fashioned, another one to do proper, and a third to do flirty… at the very least… and all in casual, business, and formal. And we need heels to go with each (stilettos = provocative, high heels = flirty, low heels = proper, etc, plus we need flats for the picnics and beach weddings etc). And we need pants that are hemmed to the right length for each of these pairs of shoes. You can’t wear black shoes with navy pants, so you’ll need to double up on all these things if you want any variety in your wardrobe. I could go on, but you get the picture.
Women’s closets are often mocked as a form of self-indulgence, shop-a-holicism, or narcissism. But this isn’t fair. Instead, if a woman is class-privileged enough, they reflect an (often unarticulated) understanding of just how complicated the rules are. If they’re not class-privileged enough, they can’t follow the rules and are punished for being, for example, “trashy” or “unprofessional.” It’s a difficult job that we impose on women and we’re all too often damned-if-we-do and damned-if-we-don’t.
Lisa Wade (via thefemcritique)
Yep, I have clothes I only wear for job interviews & meetings. I don’t even like them, but I know I need them to get ahead in my career.
And because it’s necessary for most women across professions, the clothing industry uses that to their advantage, charging far more for lesser quality than you get with men’s clothing. I know how awful my grab-bag wardrobe looks, but seriously? I can get away with looking unprofessional because I work at home—my bed’s right there, you know?—and I probably spend a bare minimum of $1K less than even the basics cost most women per year.
I never even
How did they get away with that
I LOVE THIS
What do you mean how did they get away with it?
History isn’t one straight line progressing towards a liberal society.
Look how much Americans attitudes have changed between 1980 and today. 1980 was the first time most very religious people voted, they abstained before that at the behest of their churches. Now they dictate policy at every election.
In my family photo album there are pictures from the 20s of a woman called ‘uncle bob’. She dressed in men’s clothing, and had a ‘companion’. This was a rough industrial town, they were working class, nobody cared. It was her business.
This is why politics is important - the moment you think everything is better today than it was in the past, you let other people take control of the direction society goes in - with you sitting back presuming we’re going forwards.
In 1891, while debating “the old, old question whether women’s dress is or is not sensible,” the members of a Brooklyn amateur dramatic company decided to try an experiment. First a woman tried on a man’s clothes:
“My! how nice it feels to be able to run up and down stairs in these clothes. You…
As the women’s suffrage movement gained momentum in the early 20th century, the picture postcard industry was utilised to denigrate women fighting for the vote.
Check it out: some of the same tropes and stereotypes anti-feminists use today (“You hate all men!” “You want special treatment!” “Feminists are mean to men!”) have been alive and well for at least a century. Vintage hate!
[I]magine what would happen if, instead of centering our beliefs about heterosexual sex around the idea that the man “penetrates” the woman, we were to say that the woman’s vagina “consumes” the man’s penis. This would create a very different set of connotations, as the woman would become the active initiator and the man would be the passive and receptive party. One can easily see how this could lead to men and masculinity being seen as dependent on, and existing for the benefit of, femaleness and femininity. Similarly, if we thought about the feminine traits of being verbally effusive and emotive not as signs of insecurity or dependence, but as bold acts of self-expression, then the masculine ideal of the “strong and silent” type might suddenly seem timid and insecure by comparison.
Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
(“Putting the Feminine Back into Feminism,” pg 329)
Ziryab (789-857 AD) was a Persian polymath: a poet, musician, singer, cosmetologist, fashion designer, celebrity, trendsetter, strategist, astronomer, botanist, geographer and former slave. Most people have never heard of Ziryab, yet at least two of his innovations remain to this day: he introduced the idea of a three course meal (soup, main course, pudding) and he introduced the use of crystal for drinking glasses (previously metal was the primary material). He introduced asparagus and other vegetables into society, and made significant changes and additions to the music world. He had numerous children, all of whom became musicians, and spread his legacy throughout Europe. He could perhaps be considered an ancient Bach.
The list of societal changes Ziryab made is immense – he popularized short hair and shaving for men, and wore different clothes based on the seasons. He created a pleasant tasting toothpaste which helped personal hygiene (and longevity) in the region, and also invented an underarm deodorant. He also promoted bathing twice daily.
The thing about patriarchy is that individual men, gay and straight, are often really wonderful people who you love deeply, but they have internalized some really poisonous shit. So every once in a while they say or do something that really shakes you because you’re no longer totally certain they see you as a human being, and you feel totally disempowered to explain that to them.
Men’s tailcoat, 1825-1830.
My lady, I cordially invite you to promenade in the park with me this afternoon at 3. Would you do me the honour of accepting?