Femininity, it's not just for the wimmins

Katie has an interesting proposition over at her blog:

What if every Friday, one among all the “But I LIKE lipstick!” feminists in the blogosphere rounded up all the arguments she’s had to come up with to defend WHY she likes lipstick? What if she channeled it into a dead-serious ad for why men would like it too, if they’d give it a try.

Other feminists would then cross-post and quote her post.

Seriously, what do you think about making this a shared blogosphere project?

Lipstick one week, humanities majors the next, shopping the next (tell Walmart-mom-raised men the really awesome learning experiences they missed out on while they were at the lake!), etc.

We probably won’t sell any male readers, but if we collaboratively work at this every week for a year or two, we’ll get good at it.

Then we’ll have 52-104 well-developed and sensible arguments that male and female readers can take to real-life discussions in their locker rooms and homes.

She later clarifies the goal of this project:

The aim is genuinely encouraging men to embrace traditionally feminine qualities and so challenge the accepted ideas of gender, the ultimate aim being to get rid of gender steretypes altogether. (i.e. anyone can wear skirts, anyone can be super strong, anyone can wear lipstick no matter what their sex.)

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6 thoughts on “Femininity, it's not just for the wimmins

  1. Coincidentally, I found a link to a video called Real Men Knit. The video still does some gender typing in the “you can knit and still watch football, drink beer, etc.”, and repackages it as a “traditional masculinity” outside of contemporary culture (beards, Celtic music in the background, etc.), but it’s another way of selling the widening of gender roles.

  2. The trouble is, when it becomes the norm for men to do something traditionally feminine, it doesn’t necessarily translate into people reconsidering attitudes toward femininity and masculinity. If it became the norm for men to wear makeup, it would just lead to the attitude that men’s makeup is better than women’s makeup.

  3. If it became the norm for men to wear makeup, it would just lead to the attitude that men’s makeup is better than women’s makeup.

    I kind of addressed that, but here’s the thing…I get the impression that often, when something is a mixed bag of disadvantages and advantages and has previously been assigned to a less privileged group, when the privileged group takes it on, they get rid of many of the disadvantages–and make it “cool” to have a version that truly is better!

    For example, purses…the better version is a messenger bag / laptop bag. Had women been doing ugly, practical one-shoulder bags long before they caught on with European men? Yes. But could a professional woman look promotable sporting one? Not until men decided they were a great idea to carry.

    Unfair that it took men to popularize an improvement upon the pretty purse? Yes. But still an improvement for all? Yes.
    I don’t think your scenario–where men invent a brand new “purse” out of nowhere–is nearly as likely for things that have already existed assigned to women for a long time. That is, “feminine” things.

    Makeup has been around as a mixed bag of blessing & burden for a long time…and I can’t imagine you can come up w/ much more to improve it. Someone probably already tried it and sold it to a few hippie women who were willing to buck judgment. I can’t imagine men inventing a new makeup that’s solely for them as much as popularizing a better makeup (perhaps a lighter one) that women will finally be allowed to wear without harsh judgment, too.
    What do you think?

  4. Please do, Ragnell! I have to say…even though I wrote up the idea, I haven’t really spent time defending my feminine practices, so I haven’t consciously thought about various “pros” when other people are telling me about all the “cons.”

    So yeah, I’d love to see this happen, but I can’t imagine having anything to author for at least a few months.

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