Till boken - utställningen Kunglig Vintage - Livrustkammaren

When women everywhere were once forced to wear skirts and petticoats, and were forbidden to dress ‘as a man’, I’m glad to say times have changed. Yet while it is acceptable for women to ‘dress like a man’ now, in say jeans or shorts, there is still a great deal of stigma around men wearing clothing that is perceived to be for girls.

Even in an otaku community where there is more likely to be men ‘cross-dressing’ and wearing skirts and dresses, a big deal is made out of this whereas females crossplaying as male characters is everyday, expected. ‘Women want to be like men — what’s wrong with that, right?’ Yet it’s not the same the other way. Why is that? Is it still the notion of what’s a ‘manly’ thing to do? That being a ‘woman’ is just embarrassing still? It’s acceptable for females because they’re so inferior of course they would want to dress up like the more superior men?

This isn’t a feminist rant, but I don’t see the need for terms like ‘man-flu’, or more recently ‘meggings’. A flu is a flu and people are allowed to be sick. Leggings are leggings no matter who wears them. Leggings, or ‘stockings’ used to be worn by men anyway, as the article rightly says — just when did it become unfashionable for men and only fashionable for women?

Just by calling them a different name somehow makes them more acceptable to be worn, yet doesn’t change what it is. Why bother changing the name at all?

Despite what I think of media or even just culture telling women what they should be like, what they should aim to be, I feel the same amount of scorn for the perception that men have to be brawny and providers for their family and chivalristic in opening doors and pulling out chairs. That they should deal with illnesses without complaining because it’s ‘wussy’ or ‘girly’. What do they know of being a girl anyway?

Image from the Livrustkammaren (The Royal Armoury) / Erik Lernestål, on Wikimedia Commons.