But maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe fashion, lace and ruffles are thought trivial because they are associated with women.
In fact, men were once fashionistas, too.
Many of our serious and revered Founding Fathers wore color, lace, ruffles, embroidered vests, and silk stockings with decorative garters. They also donned wigs, curled their hair and hired tutors to instruct them in the elegance of sitting, standing and gesturing.
Thomas Jefferson was particularly fastidious, his fashion sense costing him a pretty penny. Or, as historians Barbara Clark Smith and Kathy Peiss explain,
Virginia gentleman George Washington instructed a buying agent in London that “Whatever goods you may send me, let them be fashionable, neat and good of their several kinds.” Making a fine figure on important social occasions was part of Washington’s gentlemanly role.
Fashion mattered because it set the socially prominent apart from the rest of society.
But by the mid-1800s all had changed. Or at least half-changed: Women retained a fashion sense, along with color, lace and ruffles. But men now donned basic black.
What happened was business and politics. And since women were excluded from those affairs, they weren’t affected much.
Capitalism was also coming on and men looking for jobs sought to communicate how serious, hard-working and thrifty they were. Ruffles and lace did not convey that message. Severe clothing did.
But women were expected to maintain their beauty and create a “haven from the harsh world” for their men through both their home-decoration and their personal style.
It was part of women’s role to be fashionable. Yet they were punished for such trivial occupation, at the same time.
Just as they are today.
So next time you go to prom or watch the Oscars you’ll “get” why men look alike in matching penguin suits, while women are decked out in colors and frills–and horrified if anyone else arrives in the same outfit.
Sex often improves with age, say a number of recent studies. But why?
Maturing sex-lovers were typically raised in a pretty sex-negative world — especially if they’re female. But most spent years doing the marital sex thing. And since everyone thinks that’s okay, negative messages fade.
But an increasingly sex-positive society must help. Many chalked up their newfound pleasure to sexual liberation and The Pill.
Truth is, I don’t really like abortion, and I wish that no woman ever felt a need to get one. At the same time I know that accidents happen, mistakes happen, that women become desperate, and that one third of American women have an abortion at some point in their lives.
I also know that criminalizing abortion doesn’t stop it.
A global study by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Guttmacher Institute found that abortion rates are about the same in countries where it is legal and where it is not.
Phil is a strip club patron who says that f-ing is all men really want from women, and whose philosophy of life includes “The Four Fs”: Find ‘em. Feel ‘em. F-k ‘em. Forget ‘em.
And then there are men who hate pretty women. These guys constantly lust after the ladies – or at least their body parts. But they hate women, too. As one guy described it: Read the rest of this entry
Novelty is the strongest aphrodisiac for both men and women, but much more for women. If a woman has the desire and knows how to use her femininity and sexuality, she can keep her man sexually engaged indefinitely. Men have a much bigger hurdle to jump because there is really nothing we can do to keep a women in that super horny “porn star” state that they are in at the beginning of a relationship.
That’s from a male commenter who told me that all his friends say the same thing: Women lose interest in sex over time. I don’t doubt that he and his fiends have experienced this. Other men have also asked me why women lose interest in sex after marriage. Sex researchers have also addressed the phenomenon.
Yet a slew of studies also say that sex gets better over time. Read the rest of this entry
A few weekends ago, I was out with a group of friends. We were chatting in a circle, in a busy public place, when one of them got a funny look. Creasing his brow, he announced, "I think that man tried to touch my asshole." We all stared after the couple that had just walked by, a middle-aged man and woman holding hands.
Thigh gap: When a woman’s legs are so thin that her thighs don’t touch. Right now it’s all the rage on social media with Twitterers and Tumblers sharing photos anxiously captioned, “Three inches to go.”
It’s all fueling a mass obsession and deemed a universal “ideal” instead of a crazy trend.
Not so long ago the “perfect woman,” embodied in Miss Universe, was one whose thighs touched. Read the rest of this entry
Oddly, that’s a recent GOP argument against the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, which says insurance companies can’t charge women more than men.
It’s left extremist men complaining, “No babies will ever pop out between my legs, so why should I have to pay for someone else’s pregnancy?”
After all, men have nothing to do with getting women pregnant. Right?
Next, they’ll be whining that babies should have to pay for their own care!
Yet babies don’t ask to be born. Read the rest of this entry
Hana Pesut photographed couples in their regular clothing, and again after switching outfits.
In the switch, women’s outfits become drab. Yet their posture straightens and strengthens. Some seem more in charge as they place their arms around their partner’s bodies. Read the rest of this entry