Ok ladies grab your glasses because it’s about to GO DOWN.
The infamous black twitter has sounded off once again. There is a new male romper and everyone is losing their mind. Now, before we get started, I want to start off by saying that I do have great pleasure in imaging men getting completed naked in a bathroom stall while squatting, but I digress. Cam Newton recently gave us a chic navy floral romper and the criticism didn’t take long to follow. As I scrolled through my timeline I kept seeing comments that he was not being “masculine enough” and even being called gay.
Pause. So gayness is now transmitted through floral prints? There were terms used such as “he is on the borderline of being a cross-dresser.” Here is why if you believe this, your rhetoric is trash. Let’s first start with a little fashion history. There is nothing in current fashion that has not been inspired by the past.
Let’s start with the 1970’s. Men in this era wore what was called a jump suit. This was a one piece that men and women both wore. They also wore platform shoes and ruffled shirts. Let’s move to the 80’s where our favorite hip hop and TV actors such as Will Smith, wore crop tops and fitted jeans. I never heard someone mention that they were “gay” or less of a man then. I dare you to say Prince didn’t slay in every outfit he wore. There is also a Dandy movement in Chicago. This is movement is well dressed men breaking status quo in their fashion. You may know the artists Jidenna and Andre 3000 as a point of reference. As you can see, they have never received such backlash as Cam Newton and this romper movement.
However it’s a deeper question I want us all to explore. Why are we defining masculinity with clothing?
According to my comment section when I posed this question, many women felt that your clothes transpire into actions. In other words, if you dress more “feminine” you are “feminine.” So we have now used social constructs of gender to define sexuality. Even more, we have now as women used this concept to now oppress men’s expression while still yelling for equal rights.
Here are 3 reasons why your statement is problematic:
You are Perpetuating Hyper-masculinity which are Ideologies found in Rape Culture
Women are told daily that based upon what we wear we can be considered promiscuous or providing a “distraction” to a work environment. When we go into a profession we are constantly policed by company policy as to what is appropriate. Now, we have used that same conditioning to now attack male’s preference of dress. Stay with me were connecting the dots, one of the examples of rape culture is “defining masculinity as dominant”. When statements are made that rompers are “feminine” you are saying that a romper is too passive. You are giving a green light to the social construct that men are supposed to be the dominant and women are supposed to be submissive these are the constructs that lead into rape culture.
Stating something is “gay” is a direct insult to the LBGTQ community.
I get extremely agitated when people associate ethnic names to being ghetto. I never here a German name with sixteen letters and syllabus be referred to as “ghetto”. However, the word is used as a negative connation that black is ghetto and ghetto is inferior. Now, this same construct is being used on LBGTQ. Gay is not a negative so why are people using it to dehumanize and emasculate men.
Gender Roles are social constructs.
There is nothing exclusive to one gender. This includes fashion. There has been a conditioning in society where what you wear are in correlation of your role in society. There is this conformity that pushes people to believe material objects and abstract concepts are because of gender. We believe that pink is for girls and blue is for boys. That skirts are for women and pants are for men. Why? Who said that? Why are you allowing people that you are not an individual but a limiting construction of ideas that divide people?
Ladies, we have to do better.