Laaaaadies! Does yo’ man wear mandals? Meggings? Manpris? Manties? Does he carry a manpurse…or perhaps saves himself valuable nano-seconds (mano-seconds?) by simply calling it a “murse”?
If so, please to be telling him to knock that shit off.
Not the wearing (or carrying) of those items* necessarily, but the whole…naming…thing. The Manparelling of Man Clothes, which LAST TIME I CHECKED, all had perfectly acceptable names that adequately described what they were WITHOUT making the distinction that there is a penis somewhere north of these sandals and inside these leggings.
Buzzfeed has an amusing (yet slight eyelid-twitch inducing) round-up of all the “manning up” of clothing items and accessories, including stuff like “mantyhose/brosiery/guylons/beau-hose”, “mewelry” and “guyliner.” Otherwise known as…tights, jewelry and eyeliner.
Eyeliner! Like for your EYES. Which men also have! Because men are human beings! Which I am pretty sure (no time to Wikipedia it) that women are as well. There is no immediate pressing need to rebrand a black smudgy pencil, or convince men who wear makeup that their eyelids require special manly pencils. (Besides, everyone knows you can’t spell “pencils” without “PENIS.”)
Listen, there is nothing wrong with men wearing whatever they want, including stuff that is considered traditionally “feminine.” You go break down those cultural barriers and societal constructs of gender, dudes! Rock the fuck on if you think leggings are fun and carrying a purse is convenient and that your eyes could really use a little pop of color around your lash line. I do not care, so long as you occasionally let me store my phone and ID in your bag and maybe let me borrow your lip gloss, like what, I left mine at home because I didn’t want to bring a purse to the club, okay? I’m not here to judge.
But as the article points out, when a woman wears a suit, it’s still called a damn suit. We don’t walk into Ann Taylor and ask to see their most professional “wuit” or “chickpants” or “ladyjacket.” Jeans are jeans. Shirts are shirts. Hell, even ties are still called ties when a woman wears them. If we carry a briefcase instead of an oversized purse we call it a briefcase. If we use a pen we still use…
Point is, if men want to embrace traditionally “feminine” clothing styles, that’s awesome. (Though I think calling sandals and cropped pants “traditionally feminine” is a bit of stretch to say the least.) But please — whoever is coming up with and perpetuating these names — stop and realize that you’re essentially still implying that it’s all “lesser” when we wear it, that it’s only okay (and not “lesser” or “fruity” or “whatever” for men now) because some marketing genius found some clever, punny way to shoehorn gendered language into the name. Separate and not even really all that equal, even when we’re talking about shoes, pants or some overpriced Lycra.
Acceptable words already exist. Man up and use them.
*Provided that Yo’ Man is following the gender-inclusive, universally established fashion rules for these clothing items: No socks or visible toenail fungus with your sandals; leggings are not pants so please cover the ass/pelvic region with additional fabric; and for the love of God if you’re gonna carry around a huge-ass purse please try not to smack me in the head with it on the Metro or subway. I WILL cut you, or at least glare tiredly.