Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Emasculation of Dudes

Look, I'm a feminist. I love a sensitive guy. But something is happening to men that concerns me. They are going soft and getting all into home decorating and fashion. I was at the mall today and I was shocked at the number of young men (17-35) who were out enthusiastically shopping with their wives or girlfriends for women's clothes. They were like, going through racks and pulling stuff off and telling their wives to try it on. It was whack, man! When did this happen?

I thought Fight Club was an awesome movie that made a statement about dudes and their loss of dudeness, what with the computers and the sedentary lifestyles and all. But do you EVER see Brad Pitt doing anything but shopping with his wife? I'm all about breaking down stereotypes but I find this unsettling. I feel a little suspect of any man that has really strong opinions about how his home is decorated. An opinion is great, but a strong one is weird. I know this makes me sound old-fashioned. I guess I am. I just don't know what to make of a man in a store that is not huffing on a bench waiting impatiently outside of a dressing room.

Maybe because I'm not super feminine (I have short hair; I've never made lasagna) I am holding onto this last vestige--this last realm where women (and gay guys) hold the upper hand. I just don't know what will happen if girls (who go pretty crazy dressing for other girls already) start not only dressing for but shopping with and being dressed by boys. It kinda worries me.

Which is not to say that Christian taking his 7 year old daughter on a trip to San Francisco and buying her anything and everything she wanted was anything but manly. There's a difference. I hope you see my point. I'm not down with the metro-sexual, but I haven't had cable for about 6 months so I've missed a lot of Bravo.


  1. A-diddly-men, sister. I couldn't agree more. Sometimes I wish Mike were a better shopping partner, but then I remember the last two potential shopping partners I dated before I met Mike, and I'll take a man in overalls huffing on a bench outside a dressing room over them any day of the week (I think you know what I'm talking about).

  2. Ya--you feel me, Carly.

  3. There is just something about shopping that is not in the manly man gene. Maybe its the "here hold this why I try this on" chromosome. No woman can imagine the anguish this causes as we try to become invisible. Or maybe its the "wadda you think about this?" zome, or "I am a pig, this make me look so fat (sigh, pause for rebuttal)" zome. I’ll admit the supportive, caring, perfect husband will occasionally accompany the Mrs. no matter how many looks of indignation he gets from the manshoppers, who are just running in to get an item or two of their own accord and popping back to the car.
    Even though I endure the endless hours of Christmas shopping with my wife, I’d much rather be at home, on the computer purchasing specific items from lists made in advance by gift recipients, instead of meandering from one store to another to see if we can save a dollar or two on an item that is fast flying off the shelves.

  4. Growing up, our family used to "walk the mall" for fun and my dad loves nothing more than shopping and picking out things for my mom which is funny. What's funnier is that it kinda drives my mom crazy, because he has such strong opinions. Imagine my surprise when Topher and I married and I suggest going shopping, and he suggests poking his eyes out with a dull spoon.

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  6. I've never been one to defend Christian, however, he did do a lot of sitting outside of dressing rooms and huffing and puffing while Maggie and I did the shopping ... he simply did the purchasing (and a lot of it).

  7. I'm not sure Dave has seen the inside of a clothing store since we got married.

  8. That picture burned my eyes. OUCH. My dude is definitely not emasculated. In fact, he's seriously fashion and shopping challenged. He has the same exact pair of cargo shorts that he wears all the time. 3 PAIRS in army green and 1 PAIR in khaki.
    However, at work I meet a lot of these men you're talking about. They come in looking for the perfect paint color with their paint chips and magazine clippings looking for that perfect "smoky" blue from the Pottery Barn catalog.

  9. You have not had television to gently manipulate your opinions, I can see that.

    Just last week I watched the pilot to yet another STUPID show that is supposed to be edgy and fun and it was trashy and idiotic, BUT there was a great quote in there:

    "Men are the new women."

    If this is what TV wants us to believe then I want nothin' doin'.

  10. Brad Pitt is such a woman and always has been. I have never been able to find him the least bit attractive (not even on Thelma & Louise) because he is just so dang...girly (and no, muscles and facial hair don't make you more masculine or hetero-looking; quite the contrary, actually, in my book).

    Most of my girlfriends got married pretty late (most of us were 26-28) and after discussing things later, it was because we were all (without consciously realizing it) waiting for REAL MEN. Each of has said at some point, in some convo, that we married our husbands because "He's such a MAN." And I think real men are/were few and far between after the 80's. Robert Bly can explain teh whole thing better than I can, but I kinda feel sorry for guys now.

  11. Dang it! I wanted to see Otto's comment!

    Honestly, this sort of thing happens because of pressure (from others, spouses, religion, society) and probably a rather frightening devolution of DNA.

    Has it gotten better or worse in the last 5 years?


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