Only when women were indisputably on top did it become possible to seriously reverse the way the sexes clothed themselves. Now that they were financially dependent upon women, men found that the decisions about how they dressed were rapidly being taken away from them and made by their wives.
Before the genderquake, any male who wished to wear a dress would immediately have his sexuality questioned. He must be either a homosexual or uncomfortable with his identity as a man. After the genderquake, there was a wave of opinion in the media suggesting that men ought for a variety of reasons to wear dresses as a matter of course. Let us summarise the key pressures:
1. It was seen as more natural for women to wear trousers and men dresses, for reasons of anatomy.
2. Aggressive female supremacist campaigns were appearing, demanding that men be denied the right to wear trousers at all.
3. Women’s refusal to engage any more with the fripperies of traditional femininity meant that the dress-making and cosmetics industries needed a new market — and targeted males instead. There followed a flood of adverts, magazines, celebrity endorsements etc that normalised the wearing of makeup and dresses by men with surprising speed.
4. The professions were completely dominated by women. Males needed to try and entice the breadwinning sex by adopting more decorative, charming clothes. It was in their own interest to ‘get pretty’ if they were to entice the alpha female of their dreams.
5. As society continued to shift in favour of women, a wife who let her husband wear trousers was increasingly seen as weak, her authority being challenged by her man. A trophy husband in a pretty dress became a status symbol, evidence of a woman’s machisma (the female version of machismo). Women became more and more stern about putting their man in his place.
6. Powerful women generally employed males in inferior supporting roles such as receptionists and secretaries. This gratified their female ego and in addition they liked a bit of eye candy; men discovered that if they turned up to an interview in a silky blouse and short skirt they were more likely to be given the job, at a time when their job opportunities were becoming fewer and fewer.
7. In a world where all the females insisted on wearing trousers, wearing a skirt or dress was actually a way to assert an alternative masculine identity.
In this context the ancient taboo on men wearing ‘women’s’ clothes was finally lifted.
Needless to say, there was a lot of resistance from men, many of whom hugely resented this humiliation. But as the woman controlled the purse-strings and paid for what her man wore, the final decision rested with her. The more enthusiastic women became about seeing their men in pretty dresses, the more men were forced to wear them.
The shift happened en masse, exposing millions of men to the uncomfortable fate of having to wear dresses, heels, blouses, lipstick, stockings, skirts, tights etc as everyday wear. A barrage of TV shows, magazine articles etc taught men how to adopt these new and strange clothes, about the importance of removing body hair, about basques and suspender belts, and the other hugely time-consuming rituals of making oneself beautiful. A good example of how the process translated into popular culture was the internationally successful TV show Boyflowers, which gave a makeover to ‘trad’ boys to reinvent them as pretty, submissive modern boys. Such offensives against old-style masculinity had a massive impact on social expectations.
At the same time, a shift in men’s own sense of identity meant that many men were more than happy to adopt ‘feminine’ dress because it seemed to be both inevitable and appropriate. If your wife, and society in general, insists that you should be the decorative partner, it is easier to give in than to try and stand up against 90% of the messages promoted around you; in addition, most men were shy of asserting themselves against their wives. As a home-maker who earned little or no money, a man stamping his foot about being told to wear a frock looked merely ridiculous.
From roughly the 2020s to the 2050s there was a kind of transitional period in which men and boys began to wear makeup, dresses, longer hair and other ‘feminine’ styles, while women hadn’t entirely given them up. But by the 2050s the social mood had moved on again. Women and girls not only demanded that their males conform to the new stereotype — they were to do so all the time. Males weren’t wearing dresses as just another option in their wardrobe. They had become the standard male fashion which females now disdained.
Concluded in the next post.