Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What Will Men Wear When Women Wear Trousers? - Part 2

When the other shoe drops, it will be a high heel pump.

The predictions of the anti-suffrage propagandists described in Part 1 did not come to pass.

Or did they?

In the U.S., females got the vote in 1919, but they did not immediately drop their skirts and pull up trousers. A female in trousers was a rarity until World War II. During the war, switching from skirts to trousers was a practical choice for females who worked in factories in place of males who were fighting the war.

When females entered the workforce, they not only discovered fashion freedom, but they also discovered financial freedom, which decreased or eliminated their dependency on males for financial support.

After the war, females continued to work and wear trousers as a fashion choice. During the second half of the 20th Century, the popularity of bifurcated female clothing grew steadily.

Today, females wear pants more often than not. I know young females who do not own a skirt or a dress. My female boss has worn a skirted garment to work only once and that was on a "casual dress" day of all days! At all other times, she wears something bifurcated.

Meanwhile, on the male fashion front, most males continued wearing bifurcated garments.

Beginning in the 1960s (at about the time that the woman's liberation movement was put into motion), fashion designers began testing the waters of skirted male garments.

Every few years, a fashion designer or two would introduce skirts for boys. Each time, there would be some (or sometimes a lot of) press coverage about the new male fashion, but that was the extent of it because few males bought into wearing skirts.

Since the turn of the century, there has been a change because females are on the ascent, while males are on the descent.

In the last 30 years, females have replaced males in the workforce at an accelerating rate. This rate will continue to accelerate because more females graduate from college than boys do, so more qualified females will continue to replace the less qualified boys.

Females have the momentum, while the old boys are fighting to protect the status quo, i.e., the old status quo.

We are now experiencing the first generation of working in home fathers (WIHFs). The wihf movement started slowly, but gained momentum as the ascent of females gained momentum.

During the recent recession, more males lost jobs than females and during the recovery, fewer males were able to return to work than females. So even more boys resigned themselves to being a wihf, while more females became the sole financial support of their families.

As a result, there is a growing number of youths, who lived in families where the female was the breadwinner and the male was the homemaker. That is all they know and as a result, those young females believe that it is their duty to be the breadwinner, while those young males believe that being a wihf is in their future.

So, why should a young male bother going to college? All a boy has to do is bide his time and work at some job until a female takes him for her wihf. This is not a fantasy - witness the recent "fad" that finds females asking boys to marry them while presenting their future wihf with an engagement ring. And many a wihf has acknowledged his status in his relationship to his spouse by taking her surname when he marries.

To further affirm the ascent of females, our "father figures" are now female. A few generations ago, Walter Cronkite was America' s father figure. Today, Katie Couric sits in Walter's seat and her sisters proliferate the anchor seats in the majority of America's newsrooms.

And you betcha that it won't be long before a female is president.

Getting back to the fashion designers... they are a persistent bunch. They kept on testing the waters of "skirts for males" and finally, some boys took the bait.

This success spurred designers to offer even more feminized fashions for boys and the past few seasons have been full of runways with male models wearing skirts, dresses, and other items borrowed from milady's wardrobe.

Males also began wearing makeup, perfume, pantyhose, panties, girdles, bras, purses, etc. They might call these items by different names in order to give them a more masculine identity, but a "murse" by any other name is still a purse.

Admittedly, the number of males adopting these styles is in the minority, but the minority is growing, especially among the male youth. Boys now want to look attractive (in order to attract a mate). As more boys realize that their station in life is to attract a female in order to become her wihf, they will buy into the new feminized definition of masculinity.

Who would have thought that males would remove all their body hair because it fits the new definition? But there are products like Nair for males that are intended to remove body hair, not just leg hair.

Personally, what really surprises me are male high heels. If I had to choose the last feminine item that males would adopt as their own, I would have picked high heels just ahead of male tampons. But fashionable boys are wearing high heel pumps right off the shelves of the ladies' side of the shoe stores. If you don't believe me, visit the High Heels for Men blog to be convinced.

On my recent visits to New York City, I witnessed feminized male fashions everywhere, which is no surprise in the Big Apple. But, I have also noticed a growing number of boys in the suburbs of Connecticut dressing in a more feminine style.

Things are changing slowly, but steadily.

Meanwhile, the designers are in a frenzy fielding feminized male fashions like never before. The recent seasons have seen the runways full of boys modeling skirts, dresses and other feminine apparel.

The designers are trying to give boys more choices, but a lot of the choices are skirted. When a boy goes shopping in the near future, he may find nothing but skirted clothing for sale.

Visit The New Male Fashion blog to see what I mean.

(Part 3 of "What Will Men Wear When Women Wear Trousers?" will appear here tomorrow.)


  1. Staci -

    This Series is FANTASTIC! As an Advocate for Gender Role Reversal, it is as if you are IN my head. I have been stating these same Occurrances for years, and it is so nice to Fiannlly see hwere skirts and dresses are catching on for men and boys. Empowered Women can make this happen on a larger scale. As the 'Head of Households", women can make the Decision to NOT allow their sons to participate in Competative Sports, while encouraging their daughters to do so. This will really Put the Shoe on the Other Foot!

    I can't wait until your post for tomorrow!


  2. And soon you'll meet a young lady and she'll be introduced as Mary Smith Jr. I bet it's coming, if it's not here yet!

    Back when my brother was a teenager (late '60s) I remember him coming home with boots with heels. Not high, but definitely heels. I suspect he has the same hobby as I do, but he'd never admit it.

  3. Loving this series Staci Lana, so good to see your thinking stretched over a good long historical framework.

    I believe that the periodic flare ups of "feminine" fashion trends on the guy side of the racks is emblematic of the much bigger societal changes you note here today. These changes WIHF and all, will have an impact on all of our closets.

    I do hope it doesn't take away from some of the special and exclusive feelings I get from maintaining 2 wardrobes, and the distinct outward appearances that I can assume.

    Baited breath for part 3.

    Very glad you are on the job this week :)


  4. I like this post. But, I disagree that many males will ever adopt make-up or things like that. It's ALWAYS going to be considered "faggy."

    Also, MOST women are not attracted to men who pay TOO much attention to their appearance. Every woman I have asked about it finds it unmasculine, and equates it more with vanity than anything else.

    The real result of this, I believe, will simply be more disfunctional males, with no clear idea of what their gender role is supposed to be. An example of this can be seen in the black community, where women have been the breadwinners and heads of families for a long time now: the males devolve into alcohol and drug abuse, join gangs, which give them a feeling of masculinity they don't get at home, and wind up going to prison.

  5. Hi Staci. Love your blog, and am posting a link to your blog to the group i help moderate. (

    FYI... your URL for part 2 has a "03" in it, which makes me wonder what you're going to do with part 3. LOL

    Hope you're well,
    brianna :)

  6. I'm sorry but I think there is a lot of wishful thinking going on in this latest post. It's great as a fantasy, but that's it. Men are wired differently from women. Those of us who are transgendered may have shipped with both operating systems or maybe the opposite operating system from the hardware we were born with, but regular non-transgendered males don't feel like us. They don't buy those clothes because they don't like them and it's not just a cultural thing. They WANT to be men and the WANT all of the trappings of the male role. The society may feminize but the men will chafe against constraints just as women did before.

  7. Staci

    I remain a fan of your writing. You truly are an outstanding essayist. You find a theme, you develop your thought processes, you raise the issues and you make the reader think.

    I go to your site first because you take such care to write in an interesting fashion.

    I look forward to part 3 of this series.

    Keep up the good work.


  8. Great. So men are ok with the gender role reversal. I'm happy to see that since I'm for it too.

    Now all we need is some women (and I mean biological women) to start accepting it too.
    Oh well. Guess not then.

  9. I agree that men are wired differently, I can't picture a role reversal anytime soon especially with the stereotype imagines that are constantly bombarding males in our society. The strong silent type still attract women and dating. Its the women in our society that will except a male adorned in womens clothing, and the role that will lead to. Do the majority of women really want their husbands or boy friends dressed as women? Ronni

  10. I believe some boys and early 20s males ARE ready for role reversal. Assume for a moment that a relatively large number of women began to prefer males that are feminized and prefer feminine roles. If this happened, and became more acceptable, many males would be eager to reverse roles and a fairly large number would choose to be feminized.

  11. I believe some boys and early 20s males ARE more than ready for gender role reversal. Assume for a moment that a relatively large number of women began to prefer males that are feminine, feminized or males who desire to live feminine roles. If this happened, and became more acceptable, many males would be eager to reverse roles and a fairly large number would choose to be feminized.