Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The new masculinity

Millions of males now entered upon a strange new world of cosmetics, lingerie and the soft, enticing folds of skirts and petticoats. Instead of getting muddy on the football pitch or playing war games, boys were growing their hair longer and wearing accessories such as ribbons and alice bands. They went shopping together to enthuse over lipsticks and dresses. They pierced their ears to wear ear-rings and spent huge amounts of time filing and painting their nails.

They didn’t have to worry about money, careers, exams and the other burdens carried by the females, only about looking pretty. It was a very new way of behaving but also, provided one could accept one’s inferior status, a rather pleasurable one. And it was heightened by the satisfaction of knowing that one was free of responsibilities, that one would be protected by a strong woman.

By the second half of the 21st century a new generation of young people had polarised decisively. Girls all believed that dresses were strictly for boys and only ever wore bifurcated clothing. They were the dominant sex and they knew it, and they behaved accordingly, being firm, assertive, courageous and ambitious. Boys took it for granted that they belonged in skirts and gradually became shrinking violets quick to submit to a girl’s will. An entire generation of boys was growing up who had never worn a pair of trousers.

The most remarkable trend was probably the ‘pansy’ style for boys. This was a style of extreme ‘boyishness’, exemplified by ringlets, hairbows, full petticoats, handbags in the shapes of hearts, and the deliberate adoption of a coy facial expression and very cutesy, mincing behaviours. The lineage of this trend, which put prettiness on a pedestal, ran all the way back to chocolate-box Victorian girlhood, and was popular with boys who enjoyed the new male stereotype the most intensely.

Of course, the process was not simple. It did not take place at the same speed everywhere in the world. Only a minority of boys chose to become ‘pansies’. Plenty of senior female commentators disapproved of what had been done to boys, as in the famous 2037 article by Times editor Patricia Finch, written even before the phenomenon was fully developed, in which she bemoaned “the shallow, frilly-skirted and air-headed burdens on society that now pass for boys in this country.”

Men and women alike knew that men had once been considered uniquely able to rule, and this knowledge affected the male response to what was happening, adding an ingredient of resentment and humiliation to the mix that caused definite social problems. Precisely to what extent females would dominate males was a question that only history would answer.

But the basic order was very clear. Boys were the new girls. Femininity was the new masculinity. Trouser-wearing females went out to study and work while their dress-wearing males were kept at home. The sexes had swapped places.

8 comments:

  1. I love your blog with it's writing and artwork which is great, creative, and innovative. Please keep it up. I enjoy your blog but have honest and different ideas and perspectives.

    Role reversal in the future will be an evolution of new role definitions. In four future generations little boys will have no clue what we are talking about when describing role reversal.

    Women will dominate society and their mothers will nurture and define their roles to assimilate into a matriarchal society. There will be no “new masculinity” but various expressions of femininity. Femininity will be elevated not substituted with masculinity. Most women don’t want to be men, look like men or act like men but they want to possess the power and authority once held by men to create a matriarchal society and relationships. Any masculinity will be defined as butch femininity. Symbolism from past patriarchal societies will change or disappear altogether.

    From another perspective, an image of a women dressed as a woman with a man dressed as a woman indicates the ultimate triumph of womanhood. She has not given up her femininity but he has surrendered his masculinity and accepted a place in her world. Women will not give up the beauty of fashion but will use fashion to guide males into various roles.

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  2. Another great blog! Man, who has for so long believed himself to be superior to woman, has been stripped of the masculinity that marked him out as the natural leader and provider, and forced by superior woman to adopt not only feminine clothes but femininity itself to reflect his status in a woman's world as a pretty, helpless kept man.

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  3. Ann,

    I'm glad you enjoy my blog - we all have our own viewpoints of course!

    If the world was run by women we would still have wars and suffering and exploitation and all the rest. For example, I don't believe that women are any more nurturing than men. Women were, and still are, expected to take on all the burden of childraising, so the "nurturing woman" is a stereotype designed to make that seem natural and inevitable, and help keep women "in their place".

    How the sexes behave is not innate but is conditioned by society. If women were economically dominant over men then their behaviour would change accordingly, e.g. exploiting men in various ways.

    But it's worth repeating that this blog is in general a fantasy rather than a genuine attempt to predict the future!

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  4. You’re right, the blog’s a mix of actual trends and social observations with an added fantasy world extrapolated from them.

    I suspect that in the real world women probably wouldn’t be quite as oppressive of men as men were of women, but this would be because of women’s own historical experience of oppression.

    In my view boys do less well in education more because they are held back by traditional masculinity (not cool to swot, etc) rather than some issue with their brains or chemistry. Contemporary thinking very often ascribes too much to genes and too little to social factors. It's comforting for some to think that traditional "manliness" is innate to males rather than something "merely" historical that can be changed or even scrapped altogether.

    Matriarchy means "rule by the mother" and so sometimes gets misused. In this blog females dominate whether or not they're mothers, so "gynocracy" might be more correct. But not everyone uses such terms the same way.

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  5. It’s your blog so gynarchy is the best definition.

    Matriarchy and gynarchy are synonymous to me but matriarchy is the polar opposite of patriarchy. Every child has a mother and it will be families with matriarchal structure which will lead to women to control society. More and more families are single parent homes with only a mother and/or the woman is becoming the top breadwinner in traditional families. Mothers will feminize the world one boy at a time assisted and supported by changes in society.

    I believe boys physically think differently than girls because of the affect of hormones. Their traditional masculinity is being suppressed and more and more often being diagnosed as abnormal and inappropriate behavior in the educational systems.

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  6. Well this entire series has been an absolute tour de force! An amalgam of fantasy, projection, and actual trends. Extremely impressive work and an absolute delight to read. Thank you for it.

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  7. Like it or not, it is a reality.

    Girls are taking over. We men just have to wear skirts and make up or else no girls would marry us.
    and once, married , we also have to be a house husband and have to live in fear that our wife will take another husband or have an afair.

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