Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Will society ever come to be so unconcerned with gender identity that males who don a feminine garment will be viewed no differently than females who wear men's items?

Asked by ETpro (34584points) January 19th, 2012

Inspired by this question and particularly the answers so many of our distaff jellies gave. Lots wear male boxer underwear. Who cares? But let a man don panties. He’s immediately lumped with RuPaul or labeled a pervert. How long till we are all cool about the continuium we all lie on, somewhere between Rambo macho and Marilyn Monroe fem? Will tomboy always be a compliment and sissy a slur? Isn’t this just playing into male superiority?

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33 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

Ha, Ha. I find this question so funny, because societies differ so much over what is appropriate to wear, we have wonder where gender even applies. In the Middle East, men wear dresses. Here in the U. S. there is such a wide diversity of clothing, it is impossible to draw the line.

zenvelo's avatar

@YARNLADY C’mon, those are robes, not dresses. And lots of men wear kilts, but they are distinctly different from skirts and dresses.

But to answer the question, I’m not sure that we’re all that close. Even here in the SF Bay Area, cross dressing isn’t accepted by many.

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t see it happening until society ceases to raise males believing they are somehow superior and being a female automatically makes you a “crazy bitch, whore or pms ravaged maniac.”

But gee whiz, wouldn’t it be nice!

Nullo's avatar

I don’t think that we’ll ever get there, really, not without a lot of carrot-and-stick. Which suits me fine; I like classic approaches to gender identity.

fundevogel's avatar

I hope we get there. Too many people care way too much about what other people are doing. Unless actual human (or animal) welfare is being effected there really isn’t any reason why one behavior should be acceptable and another shunned.

YARNLADY's avatar

@zenvelo Yes, I picked out a poor example. My grandson wanted to have a princess costume for halloween, but his mother refused.

ETpro's avatar

@YARNLADY I have to side with @zenvelo on this. Yes, it’s funny, but it’s also serious, and it’s about gender equality. You know darmed well that the reaction to a woman wearing men’s boxer briefs or a man’s sweatshirt is TOTALLY different than that of man wearing panties or a pink cashmere sweater.

@rooeytoo Yes, it indeed would be grand. And it will happen too.

@Nullo Not surprised you do. They work in your favor. Love the pursuit of ”...Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happienss”? All righties claim they do. But they mean like,like mine, liberty I’m OK with, and pursuit of only the things thant make me happy.

@fundevogel Amen to that.

@YARNLADY There you go.

fundevogel's avatar

@ETpro A sweater has never meant so much.

marinelife's avatar

It would be nice to think so, wouldn’t it? I think we are moving more toward that, but we won’t be there for a while.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Well, I have seen a lot of changes in my life, so I wouldn’t be surprised. In the 60’s and 70’s, we would have never guessed that legalizing same sex marriages would even be discussed. However, being legal and being accepted are two different things. I know that I will probably never change my own feelings about such things. Maybe when my generation dies off….

GracieT's avatar

I have a good friend with three girls and one boy, the youngest. She could care less about boy vs girl clothes, toys, anything really. Her husband is a different story. When I first met her husband I thought he felt likewise, however that is not the case. He is very intelligent and a wonderful husband/father, but when he was discharged from the Marines he changed. Now, even though he is the same man in many ways, he is more concerned with how his son dresses and acts. It makes little to no sense, but he seems to worry about how his son is perceived. I don’t understand why he is this way now because he left the Marines stating that he didn’t share many of the perceived characteristics of that branch of the services.

6rant6's avatar

“But let a man don panties. He’s immediately lumped with RuPaul or labeled a pervert.”

Project much? More in boxers than panties, probably

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

There is something about a guy’s “junk” hanging down, encased in frilly nylon panties that just doesn’t compute.

SpatzieLover's avatar


Personally I think it’ll take another couple of decades before it’s no longer a news story here in the US. However, it will happen. The process will likely speed up due to the amount of autistic kids being born. Why? They choose to wear what’s comfy to them in the color they prefer.

downtide's avatar

I think it will happen eventually, but maybe not for another generation or two. I think Europe will get there before the US.

DaphneT's avatar

Skipping all the above answers, mine is Maybe. What’s the benefit? Does it benefit society in some way? Does it improve the lot of men/women/children in some tangible way? There was a time when no one wore underwear, then it became required by fashion to wear liners between our skin and outer clothing, now we are at a stage of skimpy is better, but it has to enhance the body. How do girl-cut panties enhance the male body?

fundevogel's avatar

@DaphneT It always benefits society when people are permitted to be themselves without ridicule or harassment. It doesn’t hurt anyone when a man wears traditionally feminine clothing, it does hurt people when doing so is characterized as deviant and a harmless activity becomes a source of guilt, shame or stigma.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Not with the concept of gender still in place.

fundevogel's avatar

@incendiary_dan So….men can’t expect to be accepted wearing feminine clothing so long as they think they’re men? Seems a bit excessive. No one cares about women cross dressing and we certainly haven’t had to abandoned the idea of a feminine gender to accomplish this.

ETpro's avatar

@marinelife Yes, it certainly would be a more live and let live society. And I agree we are moving toward that. It’s upsetting a lot of reactionaries. But progress always has upset regressives, and yet they have never been able to derail progress for long.

@Skaggfacemutt I think you are quite tight, it often takes one or more generations leaving the scene before a major shift in culture can occur.

@downtide It’s pretty clear that Europe is the more progressive.

@DaphneT Society is nothing more than a collection fo people. As people change, that forces society to change. I can’t tell you for certain how society will change over the next 25 years. But having lived nearly 7 decades now, I can assure you society will change in a generation,.

@DaphneT Well said.

@incendiary_dan I don;t see what the concept of gender must disappear, We just need to realize that our own position on the gender continuum isn’t going to fit everybody.

Keep_on_running's avatar

Maybe in the future, but society took a turn not long ago which pretty much told women, you should be more like men in this society. Instead of saying, no, maybe society should change to become more accepting of women, we said no, we’ll change to fit in more with this masculine landscape, because that’s all you could do back then. With it came business clothing and women embracing masculine suits, which then leached their way into everyday clothing not just for the working woman.

“Will tomboy always be a compliment and sissy a slur? Isn’t this just playing into male superiority?

This is exactly right, there is still an attitude that it is “better” (I put it in commas because what does it even mean?) or more acceptable to have masculine like traits or qualities, than to have the opposite. A lot of these discussions come down to one generalisation; men are strong, women are weak. A self-fulfilling prophecy our society has been feeding for far too long.

rooeytoo's avatar

Maybe this just proves that men really are smarter than women though. We just returned from a basketball game and drove through the night club district. Everywhere you looked there were females tottering on ridiculously high (and unattractive) shoes, in skin tight dresses which were shorter than tennis dresses, I don’t know how they could sit in them. And most had their breasts hanging out. Guys dressed in jeans or shorts and t shirts with sneakers. Now why would any male in his right mind want to be as uncomfortable as the women? And why would any woman in her right mind want to be that uncomfortable?? Why do they do it, are they that desperate to catch a man? Are they so brainwashed by the fashion gurus they follow blindly regardless of comfort or propriety? Sometimes it is good to be too old to care!

fundevogel's avatar

and suddenly men aren’t the only ones being judged for wearing feminine clothing…

rooeytoo's avatar

@fundevogel – haven’t we had this conversation before! Yep, send me to the slaughter, hang me up by my thumbs, drive bamboo under my toenails because I look, I see and I judge, comment upon, make assumptions about comfort and wonder wtf! Climbing up and down the stands in a skin tight skirt on 6” heels is madness, why would anyone do it????? You have to be nuts or conned by the fashionistas or looking for something. Course with a mustache like yours, you obviously understand the idea of wanting to attract attention! ;-)

fundevogel's avatar

@rooeytoo I think we already know where eachother stand on this. My mustache is my pride and joy.

rooeytoo's avatar

@fundevogel – I know we know that is why I wondered why you found it necessary to throw in your snide remark. But I am curious about this, why do you feel it is unfair of me to judge others but you feel perfectly justified judging me? And yes your mustache is definitely a statement of something. I do hope you check it regularly for fleas, they can give you a nasty rash.

fundevogel's avatar

@rooeytoo Tolerance only goes so far. I’m not so mush-headed an individual that I think being tolerant requires me to tolerate intolerance. You are judging women based on aesthetic choices they make that you don’t like. I’m judging you for passing judgment on someone based on something as superficial as their clothing. You’re judging people based on presumptions you make about them based on how they look. I’m judging you based on positions you have made public that we have already discussed at length.

Here’s the thing. Everyone has their own taste and style. Invariably we won’t like them all. That doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with them for holding aesthetics that you don’t like. There are people out there that will make assumptions about you based on how you dress and pass judgment as well. It isn’t right no matter who does it or what the fashion involved is.

As for why I felt like making that remark in particular : It’s because this whole thread is about accepting people regardless of how they dress and your comment did the exact opposite.

rooeytoo's avatar

@fundevogel – I accept them, I don’t go out and rip their clothes off of them or tell them to go home and change. You are like the thought police, you want freedom for everyone who thinks and I assume dresses as you do but you want to tell me my thoughts are wrong for thinking as I do.

This question was about gender identity and clothing choice. I don’t give a damn what anyone wears. I will look twice at those who appear strange or comical or improper or whatever, but I do not deny them the right to wear it. And if they want to feel the same towards me and the way I dress, so be it, it is their right. But you for some reason want to force me to conform to your way of thinking and if I don’t, I am being intolerant. Here’s what I have to say to you, you should go out and campaign against someone who is really the enemy, someone who is trying to force their cultural, genderal (?), whatever feelings on the world. And stop telling me what a bad person I am because I think some women dress like prostitutes and comical, stereotypical prostitutes at that! And if males want to cross dress in such a fashion to make themselves look silly or cause themselves discomfort, I will think the same of them as I do of the women who dress like that. Now, why don’t you go comb your mustache and stop being intolerant of my position.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Good to see I can still come to this site, say something, and have people wildly misinterpret it. Wonder why I ever leave for long periods.~

fundevogel's avatar

@rooeytoo We have already had this conversation and I don’t want to hijack this thread anymore than we already have.

ETpro's avatar

@Keep_on_running Excellent observation. We see it in entertainment all the time with films such as G.I. Jane.

@rooeytoo I think that just proves that neiother guys nor gals are all that good at acting logically. We all often let peer pressure make up our minds.

@fundevogel Ha. Touche,

FUKADUKA's avatar

I like yarnladys answer.
Transgender is absolutely true. Scientific or not, the body and mind differ and align. Using the entire brain generates alot of things…..sometimes one wakes up feeling ‘somone else’. I believe what you feel is what you should act on, it gives more variety in life. Society matters to an extent, but who one is-you might be a chamelion, or you might be a rock. I trailed off.

ETpro's avatar

@FUKADUKA Thanks, and welcome to Fluther and to this discussion.

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