Although Europeans were first attracted to heels because the Persian connection gave them a macho air, a craze in women’s fashion for adopting elements of men’s dress meant their use soon spread to women and children.
“In the 1630s you had women cutting their hair, adding epaulettes to their outfits,” says Semmelhack.
“They would smoke pipes, they would wear hats that were very masculine. And this is why women adopted the heel - it was in an effort to masculinise their outfits.”
- Between infancy and first grade, boys express their emotions more readily than girls. [here]
- Worldwide, boys aren’t any better at math than girls. [here]
- Young men are more emotionally vulnerable to troubles in their relationships than young women are. [here]
- Men are less rational investors than women. [here]
- Men aren’t worse than women at reading emotional cues. [here]
- Men monitor their partners more than women. [here]
- Men are twice as likely as women to commit suicide after divorce. [here]
- In anonymous settings, women are more aggressive than men. [no shit]
It always struck me that men actually might benefit from the “bumbling idiot” stereotype. In very many of the dysfunctional heterosexual relationships I’ve observed, men basically only work then come home and do nothing, and women do a majority of the actual work and men use this learned or feigned helplessness to get women to do everything for them. They’re socialized this way, I think. I married this very equality talking, sensitive, feminist-ally, politically correct kind of man and yet the day we got back from our honeymoon, my ex husband suddenly became an infant who no longer knew how to operate an iron, pack a grocery bag, balance the budget, take a pee without splattering the entire bathroom, flush the toilet, cook his own meals, return phone calls, put his own dishes in the sink before they turned moldy, or even drop letters off at the post office.
The bumbling idiot stereotype doesn’t hurt men. Men are not being denied jobs or health care or legal rights because of being seen as bumbling idiots. They benefit from the stereotype because it means that women do everything."
mousesinger (via swordssoarewords)
Gwen Sharp in Policing Mascuility in Slim Jim’s “Spice Loss” Ads (via albinwonderland)
I think I need to read the whole thing. This line is too perfect.
Took my little sister toy shopping today. After much browsing, she chose a pack of Hot Wheels cars. She wanted to pay so I gave her the money. As we were waiting in line, some dude waiting behind us asks:
“Buying those for your brother?”
My sister gives him a weird look, “No. They’re mine.”
“You sure you want those, sweetheart? Those are for boys.” He says.
Before I can say anything, my sister yells, like truly yells at the top of her lungs, “MY MOMMY IS A GIRL AND DRIVES A CAR EVERY DAY! GIRLS CAN HAVE CARS TOO!”
The people in front of us in line turn around. The cashier actually stops what she’s doing. Everyone stares at this guy and he just sort of turns red, grabs his kid, and disappears into the Lego aisle.
When I do book signings, most of my line is made up of young girls with their mothers, teen girls alone, and mother friend groups. But there’s usually at least one boy with a stack of my books. This boy is anywhere from 8-19, he’s carrying a worn stack of the Books of Bayern, and he’s excited and unashamed to be a fan of those books. As I talk to him, 95% of the time I learn this fact: he is home schooled.
There’s something that happens to our boys in school. Maybe it’s because they’re around so many other boys, and the pressure to be a boy is high. They’re looking around at each other, trying to figure out what it means to be a boy—and often their conclusion is to be “not a girl.” Whatever a girl is, they must be the opposite. So a book written by a girl? With a girl on the cover? Not something a boy should be caught reading.
But something else happens in school too. Without even meaning to perhaps, the adults in the boy’s life are nudging the boy away from “girl” books to “boy” books. When I go on tour and do school visits, sometimes the school will take the girls out of class for my assembly and not invite the boys. I talk about reading and how to fall in love with reading. I talk about storytelling and how to start your own story. I talk about things that aren’t gender-exclusive. But because I’m a girl and there are girls on my covers, often I’m deemed a girl-only author. I wonder, when a boy author goes to those schools with their books with boys on the covers, are the girls left behind? I want to question this practice. Even if no boy ever really would like one of my books, by not inviting them, we’re reinforcing the wrong and often-damaging notion that there’s girls-only stuff and you aren’t allowed to like it.
I hear from teachers that when they read Princess Academy in class (by far the most girlie-sounding of all my books) that the boys initially protest but in the end like it as much as the girls, or as one teacher told me recently, “the boys were even bigger fans than the girls.”
Another staple in my signing line is the family. The mom and daughters get their books signed, and the mom confides in me, “My son reads your books on the sly” or “My son loves your books too but he’s embarrassed to admit it.” Why are they embarrassed? Because we’ve made them that way. We’ve told them in subtle ways that, in order to be a real boy, to be manly, they can’t like anything girls like.
Though sometimes those instructions aren’t subtle at all. Recently at a signing, a family had all my books. The mom had me sign one of them for each of her children. A 10-year-old boy lurked in the back. I’d signed some for all the daughters and there were more books, so I asked the boy, “Would you like me to sign one to you?” The mom said, “Yeah, Isaac, do you want her to put your name in a girl book?” and the sisters all giggled.
As you can imagine, Isaac said no.
This is where I feel called to fight sexism. in these moments where girl things are “stupid” for boys.
I can read comics and like superheroes, but he can’t enjoy books with a lead female or like dolls because THAT’S FOR GIRLS AND IT’S LAME.
No. Girl stuff is not lame. It’s just as cool as boy stuff, but sexism has put girl things in a category one step below boy things and that is unacceptable.
No no I have seen SWATH! So elaborate plz, that is fascinating, and YES oh god I am so in love with Elinor and the way they did not make her evil in any way at all! Aging queen who repeatedly takes over ruling for her husband but she’s portrayed as admirable and smart and complex and sympathetic and in the end she’s a hero too and aglaksjdfkjsd
Male rites of passage are common in cultures all over the world. Although different in shape and form, a common denominator is often that these rites comprise either pain, danger or the threat of isolation. Among the Shan people of Burma and northern Thailand, this could, however, not be further from the truth.
When boys of the Shan tribe undergo the ritual “Poi Sang Long”, the focus lies on what in the Western world would be described as “feminine values”. They are dressed up in bright colours and adorned with make-up. The aim is to mimic the young Prince Siddhartha before he became Lord Buddha. Even though the purpose of the ritual is to show that the boys are ready to become mature and responsible men, it is loaded with aesthetic values and free from any physical trials. This is what sets it apart from other typical male rituals – and Bamberg’s portraits question the cultural and societal constructs of gendered norms.
The entire series, Flowers, is absolutely stunning. Check out the rest of the series here.
There are female athletes who will be competing at the Olympic Games this summer after undergoing treatment to make them less masculine.
Still others are being secretly investigated for displaying overly manly characteristics, as sport’s highest medical officials attempt to quantify — and regulate — the hormonal difference between male and female athletes.
Caster Semenya, the South African runner who was so fast and muscular that many suspected she was a man, exploded onto the front pages three years ago. She was considered an outlier, a one-time anomaly.
But similar cases are emerging all over the world, and Semenya, who was banned from competition for 11 months while authorities investigated her sex, is back, vying for gold.
Semenya and other women like her face a complex question: Does a female athlete whose body naturally produces unusually high levels of male hormones, allowing them to put on more muscle mass and recover faster, have an “unfair” advantage?
In a move critics call “policing femininity,” recent rule changes by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the governing body of track and field, state that for a woman to compete, her testosterone must not exceed the male threshold.
If it does, she must have surgery or receive hormone therapy prescribed by an expert IAAF medical panel and submit to regular monitoring. So far, at least a handful of athletes — the figure is confidential — have been prescribed treatment, but their numbers could increase. Last month, the International Olympic Committee began the approval process to adopt similar rules for the Games.
There’s a lot going on here, but here’s what jumped out at us immediately: Women, particularly women athletes, are constantly told they’re not as strong or fast as men—and now that they’re proving otherwise, they’re being forced to undergo hormone treatments. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that women of color are coming under fire for this more than white women. From the article: “Lindsay Perry, another scientist, says sometimes whole teams of African women are dead ringers for men.” This is a clear example of how we’ve constructed a very particular, very narrow ideal of femininity and womanhood that devalues and casts aside black women in particular.
So these women are doing incredibly well…and we’re punishing them for doing well
this creeps me the fuck out
That’s just what we need more of: policing and regulating women’s bodies. Now in sports.