Men’s or Women’s?

In a perfect world of gender equality men’s clothing and women’s clothing would be a laughable idea. We’re all people after all. Yes, we have different body types but gendered clothing’s only real purpose is to “other” women into a separate category. Women can dress in men’s clothing (to a certain extent) without being harassed, but the instant a man dresses in anything even remotely feminine, he is infected with the female gender all its stigmas.

Again, in a perfect world there would be no men’s section or women’s section in the clothing store and people could be free to wear whatever they want, no gender labels attached.

I went out to buy jeans today. I’m in Turkey, still struggling with speaking Turkish, but the man in the clothing store spoke some English so we were able to get by. When I told him I was looking at jeans, he asked me who I was buying them for.

I said: for myself.

Then he asked me: men’s or women’s?

 

I was grateful for this question because it showed a gender consciousness that even though I present as female, I might not want to buy women’s jeans. He treated this possibility as perfectly normal. It was so refreshing to meet someone who did not prescribe to the strict gender binary.

I do buy my jeans in the women’s section, and I buy my shirts in the men’s section and it’s all perfectly normal. Even though this sales representative asked to put me into a category, at least he had the decency to let me decide which category I chose.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Men’s or Women’s?

  1. That does actually sound pretty refreshing. I’m trying to un-teach my daughter things about gender and clothing that she’s begun to pick up from other kids and random sources. We decided to ask her stuffed cat if it was a girl or boy and “the cat” answered that it was a boy, despite having a hair ribbon on it sear. She insisted that it must be a girl because of the bow. That led into an experiment of putting a bow in her dad’s hair and asking if that made him turn into a girl.

    Those messages are everywhere. I’ve never once talked to her about “girl” or “boy” clothing, and yet at four she’s already started trying to tell me how you can tell a person’s gender by their clothing or what clothing a gender would wear. It’s no wonder so many adults don’t know how to respond to breaches of the standard if they grow up with it unchallenged. Wouldn’t it be nice if more people would at least give you a choice in the binary?

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