A few days ago I brought up the idea that men are just as much victims of the patriarchy as women are, which made me think of a conversation I had with a male friend a couple of years ago. He mentioned that his favourite time of year was the first few weeks of cold weather, because all the women hit the streets in their nicest winter clothes – sparkly jeans and tailored pants, long fitted jackets and coats, colourful scarves and gloves, shiny boots and heavy, dramatic jewellery that doesn’t work in summer. (After a few weeks it gets downgraded to tracksuits and ugh boots.) His opinion was one of a minority, but I saw his logic. He liked his women to be more glamorous, more Euro-chic, then your typical Australian beach goddess.
But every guy I’ve mention this to thought my friend had to be gay if he thought covered-up girls beat the summer girls, many of whom here have a summer wardrobe which consists of a bikini and denim cutoffs. (Yes, this is a stereotype, but there’s some truth to it.) Whereas I saw it as a personal taste thing. And quite frankly, I’ve seen plenty of women – celebrities and mere mortals – who looked much more stylish covered up then they did in bikinis.
To be fair, it could be an Australian thing. We really don’t have the climate that calls for much rugging-up. But I got to wondering how many guys feels they have to appreciate women wearing as little as possible, regardless of how their personal tastes ran, that a man’s masculinity was tied up in his ability to appreciate a blond, bronzed DD. For a guy to be interested in a woman’s appearance other then the overtly sexual; oh, he must be gay.
In this regard I think women have actually got one over men. Women are allowed to like the not-so-flawless guys and no-one questions their sexuality. And women are certainly allowed to prefer a fully-dressed (even rugged-up) guys over guys dressed into nothing but a teeny-tiny pair of shorts.
I wonder how many guys there are out there who’ve pretended to like bronzed skin and big boobs because that’s what they’re supposed to like. I wonder how many guys there are out there who are bored shitless by the patriarchy’s presentation of “˜the perfect woman’ – only if they say so, they must be a faggot.
Thanks a lot, Pamela Anderson. We’d just reclaimed the ground Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield lost for us.