Dude Looks Like a Lady!

February 15th, 2015

No no no, this isn’t a a tribute blog to Aerosmith’s 1987 classic release (maybe next time). This effort is more of being conscious enough to take a step back and examine gender cultural norms and simply ask “why?” In each culture there is a set of “guidelines” set for each individual to help determine and practice their gender roles. If you find yourself stepping out of these gender norms you may find yourself at the tail end of strange looks or a dirty verbal lashing. But why?

In this video you can see that gender roles are learned at a young age! Now how can we develop open minded youth when we embed them with what is “normal” before they can even tie their shoes?! Take in account this guy. His tactics may be “out there” but his heart is in the right place. You go Russian dress wearing man! ты удивительный. Now I know that guy is a bit extreme but I am sure most of have gone through some kind of scrutiny because of imposing gender norms. Whether it be being picked on because you like a “girl color” or you get dirty looks at recess from the boys because “girls don’t play football!” Growing up I had a really long hair “for a boy”, this caused a bit of a ruckus among my conservative family members. “That’s not what a boy is suppose to look like!”  But what exactly am I getting at?

Cultural Theory, my friends; “Gendered identities and differences between genders are consequences of cultural structures and practices that individuals internalize.” As author Julia Wood says. In other words, not all expectations of male/female is the same when you examine different cultures from around the world! Let’s look at the Japanese culture for example. The males are fortunate (SO LUCKY) enough to “be able” to wear these awesome, dress like, things called Yukatas.   I mean come on, imagine the comfort? But boys don’t wear dresses, or do they?

Yukata, traditional Japanese clothingNow I am not telling you to go buy yourself a floral mini skirt or a tuxedo, but by all means, I am just simply giving you a bit of insight so maybe you’ll be more aware of these social stigmas. Why can’t men wear dresses in our western culture? In this day and age there has definitely been a positive shift in acceptance of counter culture but we still have a long way to go!

One Response to “Dude Looks Like a Lady!”

  1. Blake Cole Says:

    I can sympathize as someone who in retrospect should have cut my hair a little bit more than I did, but I completely agree that a guy wearing something a little too “out there” or too feminine for a guy to be considered stylish. On the note of cultural theory making good sense of why this happens, I’d also say social learning theory explains why this happens as well. The theory claims that we learn our accepted norms for our gender as to what is masculine or feminine. In other words, the fact that we lived in conservative families outside of a society like that of Japan reveals to us that even if we are a little more against the grain, that we cannot be accepted if we showed up wearing a dress to class. We’d be cast as weird or strange because of the stigma associated with the gender we are considered. Although long hair was the coolest.