Friday, March 5, 2010

What Will Men Wear When Women Wear Trousers? - Part 4 of 4

Embracing my own role reversal

I truly believe what I have written in this four-part series.

Part 1 is historic fact - you can look it up.

Part 2 is also factual -- current events that I have witnessed and continue to witness -- but factual nonetheless.

Part 3 is conjecture on my part based on the trends I described in Parts 1 and 2. Some readers may feel that Part 3 sounds like something out of Fictionmania. Maybe so.

manofthehouse I can clearly remember when the thoughts of role reversal first entered my mind back in the early 1960s. Back then, the state of gender roles today was unimaginable.

Do you remember Cracked magazine? It was a Mad magazine imitation and when I could afford it, I would purchase a copy if there was no new issue of Mad to buy.

An article in Cracked issue #26, dated November 1962, titled "The Gradual Change in Men’s Fashions" had a profound effect on me.

The introduction to the article read, "Through the ages, female fashions have changed with incredible speed. A woman would buy a dress one day and the following morning, it would be out of style. It seems men’s apparel has gone through change also, but at a slower rate. Only recently, has the male really asserted himself in fashion.

"Cracked magazine would like to show what might happen if this trend in men’s apparel continues to gain momentum. Advertising, style, and products would all show the effects of competition with the women’s industry."

The article went on to predict what would happen in the future as the change in men's fashions accelerated. As a budding femulator in 1962, the article fascinated me and I wondered if any of its predictions would ever occur in my lifetime. I hoped that they would occur, but I doubted that they would.

It turned out that almost every prediction made in that article came true! Here are the predictions:

--- Men's slip-on shoes would morph into high-heeled and platformed styles that resemble women's high heel pumps with thicker heels.

--- Men's aftershave products would morph into men's perfumes or "colognes" as the manly men prefer to call it.

murse0--- New products would be available for the male consumer: hand creams ("to keep your hands silky smooth" and "prevent dishpan hands"), hair color ("does he or doesn't he?"), a variety of hair shampoos and conditioners, underpants in a variety of colors, styles, and fabrics.

--- "Hair styles will alter greatly!" according to Cracked and they certainly did. In 1962, most males wore short hair. Need I describe the evolution of men's hair styles since then?

The article also predicted that "Men’s Fashion Ad Illustrations Will Shift." To demonstrate this, the article presented three images.

--- The first had a man, circa 1962 in a manly pose smoking a cigarette while wearing a suit and felt hat .

--- The second image labeled "Tomorrow" showed a thin man with a longer hair style wearing a short-sleeved shirt while smoking a pipe. His pose would be considered masculine, but he stood next to a flowery wall panel that feminized the image.

--- The third image labeled "Day after Tomorrow" showed another thin model in a unmanly pose wearing a striped T-shirt, a style that was not considered masculine in 1962.

--- The article concluded that "Social Customs Will Be Remodeled." It predicted that men will gossip (true), women will give up seats to men (untrue), men will go to bargain sales (true), women will dress alike (untrue), women will act like men (true to some extent), and women will make passes at men (true). (I used some of the images that accompanied this part of the article in Part 3 yesterday.)

And consider the things that the article missed that were totally out of the picture in 1962, but are male consumer items today: jewelry, purses, makeup, girdles, pantyhose, leggings, etc.

wedding-couple-100305 Some of my predictions may seem off-the-wall today, but who would have predicted ten years ago that a 21st Century female would ask a male for his hand in marriage, present him with an engagement ring, and after the wedding, the male would drop his surname for hers?

You never know!

Anyway, I recently read another fictional story about a guy, who loses a bet and has to live as a female.

Turns out that the guy enjoys living as a gal. One thing leads to another and he attends a meeting of the local crossdresser's support group.

During the meeting, one of the leaders of the group addresses the attendees.

"As more and more women become the leaders of our society and the breadwinners of our families, we have to fill the vacancies left by the women. Living in the 21th Century, it is our duty to serve. We must become the caregivers, the nurturers, and the housewives in the new women's world.

"As crossdressers, we already are well on our way to becoming the wives in the woman's world. So why not drop the other shoe and start living openly and full-time as a feminine male. By doing so, we will serve as role models of the new male and lead the way for other males to accept their place in the new world."

Wow! That's inspiring. I couldn't have said that better myself.

I believe that every time I go out en femme, I am making it easier for my sister femulators to go out en femme. The more of us that go out en femme makes it possible for more of us to go out en femme as the public becomes acclimated to seeing us.

Our public femulation may also persuade our sisters who are on the brink to come out en femme, too. How many of us were guys for the longest time before we finally sucked it up and acted on our pent up desire to be gals? How many potential gals will never be able to suck it up until they are encouraged to do so by seeing their sisters out there?

And if the world becomes a woman's domain, even better because we will fit right in.


  1. I already live openly as a "feminine" male. All I can tell anyone is that if they are attracted to women, and would like to be involved with a woman romantically, you'd better try something else.

    Aside from all the "male" things that women are adopting socially, when it comes down to it, they still are sexually attracted to MASCULINE, aggressive, dominant men, and not feminine one's.

    That is unlikely to change, ever.

  2. Staci,

    You are not only a world class femulator you must be a world class pack rat at heart, as well, to have saved an old edition of "Cracked". I remember the magazine but not that piece.

    What I do have indelibly etched in my mind is a foldable back cover of "Mad" magazine from that same era. The photographed panels showed a well dressed (suit & tie) man following a beautiful, shapely woman. I remember her flipped out light blond hair, her pointy-toed, high heel black pumps, her plaid but shapely fit, pencil skirt and her silky, almost see-through purple blouse. The three panels showed the man following the woman through the halls and onto an elevator. You can feel the anticipation rise as he got on the elevator with her. When the photo panels were folded it showed the opposite view with a clearly male face, complete with 5:00 shadow, large features, bushy eyebrows, but fairly well applied makeup sporting blue eye-shadow and bright red lips. I suppose that the adolescent me envied the guy in the skirt.

    Your four recent posts cover a lot of material and you cover it well. As Dylan sang, "The Times...They are a changing". Of course, it is hard to predict the future (if I could I would have bought Microsoft in the 80s and Amazon in the 90s) but I do believe that the more of us that get out femulating the easier it will be for others to do so. The more that the public sees us, interacts with us, gets to know us, learn that there is nothing to fear from a 'man in a dress', the better it will be for all of us.

    I admire you for being the pioneer that you are and offer my encouragement to keep up the good work.


  3. Espen "Esther Pirelli" Benestad, is not a Norwegian film actor. He participated in his sons documentary about his fathers trans issue. Esben Esther is a sexologist, an a general medical practitioner.

  4. The entire premise of gender studies is teasing the structure of sex roles from gender roles. Gender roles are conventional and malleable, only existing in humans, and sex roles are biological, existing in all mammals.

    For example, silk stockings and wigs are part of gender roles, for men in the 1700s, for women in the 1900s. Those conventions may change.

    But desire for fertile and robust breeding partners is part of sex roles, wired deep into our biology. That's not going to change, at least in any foreseeable future.

    In "Third Sex, Third Gender, Gilbert Herdt has looked at gender roles over time and come to the conclusion that pressure for gender conformity lessens as the pressure for reproduction lessens.

    That's why both Gay Liberation and Zero Population Growth came up in the 1960s; they both mark the beginning end of a period of rigid gender roles, the diminishing of heterosexist pressure for gender normativity.

    We do now have less pressure on gender roles, which allows females to do more than be breeders and allows males to be more feminine.

    But none of that gender relaxation changes the underlying sex roles.

    Transpeople, even if they want to see their behavior as just "dressing up," have a fundamental crossing of sex roles, not just gender roles. Otherwise, they would be more comfortable with androgyny and not feel the deep need to resex themselves, as you do (at least on the surface) when you "femulate."

    To conflate changes in gender presentation with changes in sex behavior is to miss the point. We have to separate gender roles and sex roles to create understanding, including understanding of why sex roles are and will continue to be so powerful

  5. Staci,

    Thank you for your efforts in your recent series on What Will Men Wear When Women Wear Trousers. I found the series very enjoyable and fun to read. Please keep up the good work. You are a beautiful person.

  6. Hi Staci,

    Just an excellent series of blog posts on this subject.

    Reminds me of a Parade Magazine (newspaper Sunday supplement), back in the 70's, which featured one or two men on the cover wearing A-Line plaid skirts. I was in my 20's at the time and picturing myself in one of those. I had saved that article but it had since somehow disappeared, probably thrown out by my wife in the process of one of the many moves we have made over the years.

    Alas, although men in skirts made the cover of Parade in the 70's, it really never happened, did it?

    And, if skirts, heels, etc., for men, were the norm, what would happen to crossdressers?

    Calie xx

  7. I think you have to be careful not to allow wishful thinking or a desire to see certain changes, color your view of what is actually taking place. I think your desire to see the things you want to occur causes you to overreact to some very limited changes, and to ignore the ways in which men have not only not changed but have in fact become more masculine.

    For example the popularity the rap music which is criticized as misogynist is proof of traditional attititudes among young men. The trend of shaving all your hair off, the steroid induced muscle bound look, the popularity of the viciously violent UFC/mixed martial arts, the immense popularity of the violent sport of football, the violent video games that are so popular, the rise of "gansta" culture, etc, etc.

    For the most part, the fashion trends you refer to are limited to gay men, because the typical young straight male wears mainly jeans and t-shirts, and sneakers.

    As far as men taking on the traditional female role in the home: would not men be as miserable, frustrated, and unfulfilled as we're told women have been in that role, and similarly revolt against it?

    Your whole premise of changes in gender roles, is contradicted by the current recession. Men are losing more jobs because they continue to work in the traditional male sectors of heavy industry, construction, etc. If gender roles have changed as much as you claim, we wouldn't have the same gender division in employment today that has always existed, but we do because there's been little change in which gender works which jobs.

  8. Very interesting line of thought, and one that mirrors what I have been thinking for quite a while now.
    As societies moves farther away from the value of physical strength, women should assume more and more power of actual command; the pants wearing role in society as it were, while men function more and more in the decorative mode. I would not be surprised to see, if present trends continue, women outfitted in basic black while men don elaborate outfits. With women strength of character or personality will dominate while men will go to extreme lengths (symbolized by clothing) to attract women.

    Truly the world could very well turn upside down.

  9. Who knows what might happen in the future.

    I am typing this comment at home dressed in female undergaments, skirt, pantyhouse, slip on shoes, false breasts, but presenting as a male ie no makeup/wig. I have been dressedlike this all day by choice btw.

    I am out of work having been signed off work due to stress related ilness and have spent the day doing house work. My wife has just sent a text to say she is on the way home from her job so I am off to cook tea.

    The world is changing and I like being the house husband/wife.

    If only for a short while until I am able to return to work *sigh*

  10. As far as males in so called women's clothing, the way I look at it that is just a label by society that this article of clothing is exclusively for females, and this article of clothing is just for male. I believe that clothing is clothing and you are a woman and you like to wear pants well wear pants, if you are a male and you like wearing say panty hose and a pencil skirt will go for it. It really shouldn't make any difference, it should be what you like personally.

  11. Just happened unto this four years from when it was written... how much further the reversal of roles, power and now even fashion has accelerated from then. Especially with the younger generations of assertive and confident Females out achieving their increasingly docile male counterparts on EVERY level of accomplishment.

    It may be by 2050, but one century from the 1950's virtually ALL aspects of what Females and males were shall be made opposite and institutionalized that way for all posterity.

    Perhaps Nostradamus as a chauvinist male was too embarrassed or intent on keeping th Female down to mention this, but at least you were.