all 17 comments

[–]sotired 13 insightful - 1 fun13 insightful - 0 fun14 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

While it's true that women need to cast out sexist stereotypes, this is more of a problem for men. A woman wearing men's clothes, short hair, and no make up is mostly accepted in polite society, thanks to all the work put in by gender-nonconforming women of long long ago. But a man in a dress and make-up, is not as easily tolerated.

You need to be asking men to shed their sexist stereotypes, and wear whatever footwear and clothes they please.

Edit: Personally, I never shave, never wear make-up. I used to exclusively wear pants and a t-shirt/tunic top for a long time, but I've recently switched to long skirts and tops/shirts/t-shirts, because I find skirts more comfortable. I own exactly one pair of slippers, and one pair of sneakers.

[–]Camberian 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Agreed. And sigh. Metrosexuality used to be a thing. Apparently not so anymore.

[–]Camberian 10 insightful - 3 fun10 insightful - 2 fun11 insightful - 3 fun -  (4 children)

I don't wear make-up, don't shave, wear gender-neutral or butch clothes, don't have any "feminine" mannerisms, talk straight to the point, rarely go out of my way to be "femininely nice", never wore a bra, and have never done or condoned gendering at any point in my life. I have always been open with my gender-nonconforming stance and have propagated it whenever possible. What else to do than that?

Personal opinion/question: I don't for the life of me understand why such a huge number of girls and women submit to this sexist gender bullshit. I just don't get it. It's as if - vaguely around the 2000s - someone de-brained all youths and implanted sexist gendering in their minds and souls. And absolutely no one questioned this.

[–][deleted] 6 insightful - 2 fun6 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 2 fun -  (3 children)

That's awesome. I hope that you can convince the women around you to follow suit. Do you know of any prominent women figures who do the same?

I don't think this is a 2000s issue... This has been along for a long time, unless all of the older women I know suddenly decided to conform to the stereotypes in the 2000s and I didn't notice the switch.

[–]Camberian 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

The 2000s are a watershed, I believe, at least in Europe. I didn't notice any pink/blue toys and any overt gendering kids before that here. On the contrary, most progressive people were wholeheartedly supporting individualism and gender-neutral behaviour at the time. The Lego advertisements (the famous comparison? You know?) are exemplary. This has changed. 100% changed.

And no, I'm afraid. These days you get laughed straight out of the room if you table this.

[–][deleted] 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

That's sad. Ten+ years ago I definitely looked to European brands to get gender-neutral toys for my kid.

[–]Camberian 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Yes, I agree. The aisles now are as separated into pink and blue here as they are in the USA.

[–]Lyssa 8 insightful - 3 fun8 insightful - 2 fun9 insightful - 3 fun -  (5 children)

I outearn most men. Works well, can recommend. ;-)

Irony is: since that is the case I became more comfortable with e.g. wearing dresses.

[–]DarthVelma 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Love your answer. Mine is similar...I'm going to work, where I do complex math for a living.

[–]Camberian 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

I'm sorry, but what has the one to do with the other?

[–]Lyssa 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Rationally: nothing.

Emotionally I was only ready to wear dresses and admit that I actually like to cook once I had secured my "status" so to speak. As long as I was younger, still figuringing things out and confronted with everybodies expectations I did not touch anything sterotypically female with a ten foot pole. I wish I could say that I always liked what I liked regardless of anybodies expectations but that would just not be true.

[–]Camberian 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Ah, okay. Thank you for the clarification ;)

Wearing such and such clothing isn't an expression of protest or status for me though. I wear the stuff I am most comfortable in, do the stuff I am most comfortable with, and have always done so. It happens to be slacks, jeans or sweatpants. I also love Centralasian trousers (the very wide ones). I like practical clothes, and most skirts - even wide ones - are not practical for what I tend to do.

I also don't associate cooking with being feminine. I like to cook and expect everyone to be able to prepare basic meals, whether male or female. It's a basic human ability and necessity.

What I probably mean to say is, that I come at all this from a completely different angle. I was never prescribed anything because of my sex, as I still grew up in an area and era where that wasn't usual for progressives (and my parents were such, and atheists as well). I simply picked what felt best and most useful for me. Which sort of explains why I have trouble with the extreme gendering going on these days.

[–]Lyssa 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Thanks, now I understand your question better!

I come from a working class background where most women were housewives or earning a few bucks at the side at most. I knew I did not want that and I knew I wanted to go to university. While my parents supported me as much as they could, I had to find my way largely on my own and for the longest time I did that in a kind of "guy mode". :-)

[–]vitunrotta 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Interesting question. I have thought about this a lot myself, and can only say that for me it just seems "too late." A lot of me liking certain types of clothes, wearing make-up etc. has to do with the fact that I actually grew up in an ultra-conservative Christian sect, where any femininity and "looking like a woman" (painted nails, make-up, earrings etc.) was considered sinful. Women were not allowed to "show" that they were women. The female body itself was considered shameful. So in a way, as I am no longer part of this sect, I am free to be a WOMAN and dress up how I bloody well like. A lot of times that means quite feminine attires. I certainly don't want to feel guilty about wearing make-up now - as I've been guilted into not wearing it in the first place.

I said for me it's "too late" to change these things. Basically that means that due to my upbringing, I revolted HARD and as an act of defiance started to adopt a lot of ultra-feminine traits. As I was still quite young when this happened I managed to (unfortunately) create very unhealthy ideas about what womanhood is and what it looks like. So you know... For me, I will be battling with this probably for the rest of my life, but I don't know how well I'll succeed. And also, I kinda feel like... this isn't my problem to fix per se, due to my past and how femininity was originally portrayed to me as the biggest form of sin?

I don't know if I make much sense, sorry if this was just a weird ramble. But, I guess my point is, women like me exist as well - who have had a strange path to womanhood. For us it may not be as easy to shed off the typical ideas of femininity. I also don't like to feel like I'm somehow a lesser feminist because of this. I want to be free to express myself in any way that I want and not feel like I am failing because I don't do A or B. I have absolutely nothing against women and men dressing in any way they like, and I think the only way to really fix the problem is to widen the gendered norms - especially for men.

Hope this made sense. EDIT: typos.

[–]venecia 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I think you'll get varied answers here, so this should be interesting. We don't all agree on everything, just a few core truths. :)

Personally, I've felt no need to hide my femininity or consciously buck stereotypes related to appearance. I wholeheartedly support any woman who dresses and acts as she pleases. In the example of me, I could be ''hurting'' feminism by continuing to shave, wear makeup, whatevs. In the example of women who present more butch, they can be ''hurting'' feminism by erasing feminine presentation or implying that it is lesser. I don't believe either one.

All we can do is the best we can. Woman is not a feeling, it is a fact, and we are all our own people! And I fully endorse another comment that we should be asking what MEN are doing to shed stereotypes. Men in women's clothing is not anywhere close to as acceptable as a woman dressing in men's.

[–]quickbeam 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I was raised by a very gender non-conforming mother, yet I never felt like she made a big deal out of it. It was just normal. Sometimes she wore make-up to go to a party, but not on a daily basis. She always kept her hair short. She wore practical clothes. That could include skirts, but was often pants. I was given different types of toys and often my mom bought me boys' clothes because the darker colors made it easier for me to play in the dirt (which I loved). I was raised on the "Free to Be You and Me" ethos, essentially. In my adult life I've generally preferred to hang around with and date people who are also gender non-conforming in this quiet matter-of-fact way. I don't have any children or I'd raise them this way too, but I did work in childcare for a number of years and I hope I gave boy and girl children the same messages. I definitely let the boy children I interacted with know that it was okay to cry and be sensitive and encouraged both sexes to play with any toys they liked. EDIT - A super important thing to do with female children is to compliment them on things that do not involve their appearance, such as how high they can jump or how creative an artwork is or how well they learned to count, etc. One thing that I do lately to encourage feminism specifically is to challenge liberal men in my life to read books authored by women. First, I ask them to name their 10 favorite books written by women. A shocking number of men can't. Then I encourage them to change that by reading only women for a while or reading 50% books by women for a year. I think we need to create a world where everyone is spending more time in the female perspective and realizing that that perspective looks many different ways.

[–]PostmodernJukebox 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

im not aggressively feminine myself but i think part of it is because of how i grew up. other girls would say "you have to wear bras from victorias secret" (actual quote from a classmate in middle school) but my family didnt have the money for that (and im big and most physical retailers dont carry clothes that fit me espescially not fancy underwear stores. it's humiliating and expensive buying nice bras.)

a lot of unspoken rules like "you have to shave" "you have to lighten your dark skin" "you have to do XYZ" blew right past me because im autistic as well.....not including the things i cant/dont do because of the sensory issues like makeup and shaving. i keep my hair short for the same reason: tangles hurt much worse for me than they do for the average person so i keep my hair short and dont have to deal with it. as a result im not very feminine and people assume im a lesbian or a TiF.

ive spoken my peace about it in the past but most other girls didnt care. if theyre comfortable with long hair and shaved legs and thongs and makeup then thats their decision........but it does bother me nevertheless. probably some latent insecurity on my part if im being honest. i do feel maybe some women do this because its just second nature at this point....they've done it so long its just familiar and comfortable. or maybe some of them do it because they dont feel safe not performing femininity. i cant claim to know everyones life and far be it from me to impose my will on others.....