Should Clothing Be Gender-Specific?

I just found this great blog by a man who doesn’t believe that what has traditionally been considered “female clothing” should be reserved for women only. See for yourself how great he looks:

I think that this blogger is starting a really fantastic trend. If women can wear pants and suits, there is no reason why men shouldn’t wear dresses and skirts. This doesn’t mean that all men should wear them, of course. Just like there are women who are not into jeans and pants (like myself, for example), there will be men who wouldn’t want to don dresses. Still, for those who do want to wear them, the opportunity should exist.

N., for instance, loves my long blue skirt so much that I’ve had to fight him over it. And he’s been wearing my huge pink straw hat in public because he digs it. In Montreal, one sometimes sees men in pareo skirts and they look great. And there are also men who are starting to use accessories and makeup (I have a student who does that and the look is beautiful.)

It’s great to see that more and more people are refusing to allow silly gender stereotypes to limit their choices.

25 thoughts on “Should Clothing Be Gender-Specific?

  1. Every year, I go to a client and the hotel we stay at has a drag convention over the weekend. My co-workers are deeply uncomfortable with this. It’s great that people are breaking the stereotypes, but it can be dangerous to them personally, sadly. So much hate all over the clothes people choose to wear…


  2. I want to know where he got that dress and those shoes and that belt.


    twicerandomly :Stephen Harper wears makeup, so it must be going mainstream.

    Every politician in America wears make-up. It’s to hide all the necrotizing fasciitis from where their demon hosts are trying to melt through their bodies and enter the mortal plane.


  3. Beyond certain garments that correspond to specific parts generally had by one sex and not the other (bras and jock-straps, namely), gendering of clothing has always struck me as fairly arbitrary (to say nothing of changeable). That said, that guy probably has an easier time pulling it off in that he looks tough enough that I doubt many people try to bully him.


    1. I can agree with that. Other than clothing that is built for specific body parts articles of clothing being gendered don’t make much sense (and even the ones built for specific parts like bras really don’t need to be gendered as long as they are available to anyone that wants to wear them whether they “have the parts” for them or not).


    1. Yes, and those Elizabethan (?) type guys in tights and those short bloomer pants or whatever they are are essentially dressed like more modern ballerinas.

      Men (also) look good in sarongs (Java) and dhotis (South India) – they’re essentially straight skirts.


  4. I think pareo is another word for a sarong, or that a pareo is an item similar to a sarong. Then there are those skirt-like pants that samurais wear – are they perhaps skirts?


  5. I loved mod fashions of the Sixties, when men weren’t afraid to wear flowing scarves, ruffly shirts, and velvet. I used to be a goth, and a lot of goth guys like to wear kilts and skirts. You’d think men would prefer attire that gave them “room,” so to speak, instead of pinching and confining them in certain… areas. But few take advantage of the freedom to wear whatever they want, instead confining themselves neurotically to boring clothing in “man colors.”

    Of course, this is all an effect of what for lack of a better term I’ll call our “patriarchal” culture. (I actually don’t think our culture is even adult enough to be called “patriarchal,” but I’ll leave that subject for another time.) Anyway, you notice how women can go about dressed however they please and as long as their sex organs and boobies are covered no one blinks an eye. But men have very limited options on how they are allowed to dress to keep others from kicking up a fuss. The reasoning is what men do is still considered so important, even trivial things like the way they dress, that they have to have a lot of rules and transgressing those rules has more severe penalties. Women’s activities are still seen as unimportant so no one cares as much. Nowadays a woman can wear a complete man’s suit and will most likely get no reaction. But a man puts on a dress and it’s special and different.


  6. In many ways, men are stuffed into a much smaller societal box than women are, at least as far as what emotions they can display and what they can wear.

    He looks really good in what he’s wearing, and I wish more men felt free to wear whatever.


  7. People [especially Texas & Colorado goblins]: I have terrible news.

    Texas’s / Colorado’s most famous gender-bending DJ, transient, and mayoral candidate, Leslie Cochran, might be dying.

    He’s looking in pretty bad shape. Life goes on and people die, and even Leslie couldn’t make it forever. But Austin’s changed, man, it’s such a scene, man. Every single loss of even just one more unabashed freak flag flyer like Leslie, or Jennifer Gale, or, God forbid, Roky Erickson [still alive but looking pretty shaky at Threadgill’s last year] is just one more pitmark in the slow-corroding groove that once was Austin. Fucking condos going up on Riverside. Fucking yuppie microphage widget stores on the ground floors of cutesy-poo neo-brownstone scenester fuckpads all up and down Congress and First, like an outbreak of fistulas. South By Dicksucking Southwest. The Christrimming Domain. Good-bye The Back Room, Austin Java, Katz’s Deli, all the good gay bars, the Dobie. Fuck. At least we still have Planet K and Taqueria Arandinas and the big shirtless fat man covered neck to navel in tattoos walking his little girl in her stroller up and down Manchaca.

    But Leslie! Leslie!! God damn. God damn, I just don’t even know anymore.


    1. correction: Austin Java is still around. I can’t remember that coffee bar I used to go to that closed because I was always drunk ten years ago, but it was a good coffee bar!

      The Sound Exchange. They took away the Sound Exchange and tore down most of the “How are you?” shit-mural we all loved like a stupid puppy and put in a fucking Baja’s.


  8. Oddly enough, we were talking about this very topic in my “Cultural Politics of GLBT Sexuality” last night.

    Personally, I find it to be absurd that fashion is such a dynamic issue for some people. What is deemed “okay” (ie, heteronormative) changes so much with the ebb and flow of fashion that it’s difficult to know what exactly is “acceptable” to wear. My dad would wear floral print shirts in the 1970’s and he never had his sexuality questioned. If my brother (aged 12) wore the same shirt today he would be gay.


  9. If a women dresses like sjhe does today and went back to the 14th century, she will be hanged. Men did dress like this in the 14th century, so he would not be hanged for sure. Did Jesus wear jeans, you know He did not, so if the Son of God did not then neither should we.


    1. “Did Jesus wear jeans, you know He did not, so if the Son of God did not then neither should we.”

      – Jesus didn’t use a computer either, so step away from yours right now! 🙂


  10. I have often thought about how silly it is, in daily life a man may be nearly topless or dont need button his skirt but at partys and so there is the opposit. Men have to wear shirt buttoned all up, tuxedo, longpants sox and hiding the feet in varm shoes.
    Women may wear small tops, loose tops, deep cleavage so the tits balance on the edge, skirt, dress or shorts no sox and open shoes/sandals vith thin sole. (Sadly, often high heels witch I think is ugly on anyone.)
    Myslef I don´t wear sox in spring summer or autumn, that is remarkable to other men.
    Its a type of social law: If dick, you have too wear sox, no dick you have to wear bra, no matter you need or like it!
    I do wear female stringtops instead of T-shirt if it is warm and in winter I wear them under other shirts, they are very pleasant too wear.
    I often buy women T-shirts as they are wider in neck (more cleavage if you like) thinner fabric and more colour too choose among.
    As a result of living with a GF, in winter constantly wearing nylon-knees and low nylon sox I found them too very nice, especially knees under jeans when working in coold garage and forest working, don´t need long underpants.
    There is tights in cotton or wool as fits to men also, fits very good and no risk of separated area between sox and long underpants, I use such now & then if very coold outside.
    I have for years worn now & then ballerine flats as my former GF always told me they were very nice too wear, I knew it alredy as we had near sizes. We often bought clothes too each other and had too test size in shop. Often I had too try on her dresses when she came home with the news, as she wanted too see them on too judge if it was a good bought. Some people stare, but what? there is no law against comfortable clothing or wrong gender in the free world.

    I don´t wear skirt or dress but I know it is nice, have been to masquerade in dress and didn´t even spoil the nylonknees although we all were drunk in the end.

    Jerra, living in Sweden


  11. “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.” Deut 22:5


    1. // “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.” Deut 22:5

      Do Jesus and other men here look more like wearing pants or dresses? 🙂


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