Is Masculinity So Fragile that it is Determined by Clothing?

If clothing determines gender, the concept itself is as flawed as some argue it is

By  | Jun 22, 2020, 01:45 PM  | Drama


A few weeks ago, some on social media were up in arms about men wearing rompers, arguing that they are too feminine. Soon, homophobic rants coursed through the debate. Now, following an American street-style brand's introduction of men's lace shorts, social media is once again demonstrating just how backwards - perhaps even silly - we are as humans.

The argument goes that men should not be wearing clothing traditionally associated with women. In the case of lace shorts, specifically, the argument is that the fabric should not be worn by men. It's too feminine, they say.

Granted, we've always known some of these items and styles to be associated with femininity, but let's just step back and examine what this is all about...

If we are to take such arguments seriously, then must we accept that manhood is determined by otherwise superficial things like pieces of fabric one chooses to adorn? Is manhood, or masculinity, so fragile that it can be broken by a piece of clothing?

Many will know that experts argue that gender is a social concept, not linked to one's birth sex, meaning manhood or womanhood as we currently define it, is not determined by the genitals one is born with, but rather by what they identify with, hence the existence of trans, and non-binary people.Β 

Of course we know that the conservative among us find this concept hard to grapple with, because it's easier to think of men as people with penises, and women as people with vaginas, because we are so simple as creatures that we can't grasp our own complexities.

This conservatism is what gives rise to these arguments about men who wear rompers, or lace for that matter, being gay and not "man enough" by default. It's such a flawed argument that it begs the question: is manhood so flimsy that it is easily wiped out by a piece of fabric like a splash of water on a surface?Β 

Images: Instagram