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19 comments

Such a great point. I love Radblr - it's serious underrated. I know nobody takes tumblr seriously, but radfem side is full of amazingly intelligent women writing amazing posts.

I really disagree with this. Even putting aside the issue of aesthetic presentation (which as a dress historian I take issue with, though I won't get into that just now), you can also be gnc through your hobbies or even mannerisms. A soft-spoken effeminate boy who loves knitting and interior design will be considered gnc even if he never puts on a skirt. This boy has done nothing wrong just by being himself; he is not mocking anyone.

you can also be gnc through your hobbies or even mannerisms

That's the point. The second poster even provides a myriad of ways men can be gnc "by not being violent" "by being more involved in raising children" "by not holding biases that gatekeep women out of industry" "by not relying on women's emotional free labour" "by not dehumanising women" "by doing the dishes" "by doing laundry" "by letting women exist without telling us to smile" "by seeing rape as an actual crime"

OP is obviously not referring to the "soft-spoken effeminate boy who loves knitting and interior design", she is referring to the costume of female oppression that men don, this shit, that gets lauded as gEnDeR fLuId and awarded women's awards, whereas women refusing to perform this humiliation get fired.

OP says that men don't have to make any effort to be gender conforming. I'm saying that is incorrect, that some men's natural temperament and interests will not align with standards of masculinity and that they will indeed have to alter themselves to conform. The shackles of gender are about more than clothing and aesthetics. The second poster's views are closer to my own, but I'm responding specifically to the first poster's views as she stated them.

GNC men also only ever tend to be superficially non conforming it seems to me. Scratch the surface and they’re full of traditional masculinity. Take Marilyn Manson - looks ‘different’ but turns out to be just another violent misogynist. David Bowie - oh, look, he liked to take advantage of underage girls. So men who dabble in makeup, long hair and skirts but just see the world through a male lens and take a path trodden by many men before them.

[–] VesperHolic 3 points Edited

I have no issues with GNC men, actually. I have issues with GNC men who claim that they are, in fact, women. On the contrary, GNC men and boys who openly assert that yes, they are men and boys, help dismantle the idea that being a woman or a girl is nothing more than performing femininity. GNC men who claim womanhood (either in their daily life or as a performance) reinforce that notion and help ensuring that women stay in the cages of femininity.

A man with a presentation like John Maclean's, who asserts he's a man (and essentially doesn't believe in gender), is entirely fine by me. If he started saying that the way he looks and acts actually makes him a woman, then I'd be taking issue. But he's open about his dislike of the word 'queer', oppression Olympics and the obsession with shallow 'representation', so hopefully he stays away from queer and gender theories.

I think that's how most people here feel. The thing is, GNC men are often rewarded for it. Not always, necessarily. But GNC women are rarely, if ever, rewarded for it. Like how male musicians are generally applauded for "feminine aesthetics" but women are nearly never rewarded for not performing feminity.

I think that's why so many women, including me, were sad about the Billie Eilish situation. She was fairly GNC for such a famous girl/woman, which is a rarity. But then she flipped the other way and was WAY more rewarded for performing feminity and sexualiIng herself than she ever was for being GNC. I'm positive it's one of the reasons she took that route, though there were many factors at play, im sure.

That, at least to me, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with GNC men or that I have anything against them. It's just social analysis.

[–] VesperHolic 0 points Edited

I agree, but I was mostly reacting to the first post which conflates the two. Saying that GNC men, rather than TIMs, are those demanding access to women's spaces is untrue. And it is important that we be accurate about our choice of words, even if we're in agreement on the general sentiment. Reading this it's otherwise easy to believe the author is against the idea of men performing femininity because that'd be infringing upon womanhood, when our goal is the opposite: we want to dissociate 'femininity' from womanhood entirely, and GNC men confident in their being male help in doing so on the contrary -- they can be free to have femininity (at which point it will frankly need another name to distance it from femaleness, thankfully). Just not TIMs, who operate in the opposite direction.

In regards to GNC men being celebrated, I think your point is really interesting. They're encensed if they're entertainers living in the public eye, because femininity sells, and what's more it can be packaged as 'progressive', transgressive even. But for the average man it's a no-go: it's 'humiliating' and he's threatening the male class' power by lowering himself so. GNC women are accepted insofar as they still present reasonably feminine: at that point they're just 'one of the boys' and it's all fun. Past that point however she becomes a threat and must be stopped immediately. Nowadays a young girl will not be shunned immediately for being into STEM (an 'acceptable', primarily male field). If she becomes too serious about it however... She needs to know her place and not overstep. A young boy being into makeup is shameful and unacceptable, unless he's famous and helping sell products. It's what I'm noticing at least.

Regarding Billie Eilish, she's actually gone back to baggy clothes quite a bit (and still performs in them). Interestingly, she said she'd always wanted to feel comfortable wearing dresses (like she says she used to as a kid), but her post-puberty body made her hyper-aware of how she'd be perceived and she didn't have the confidence to wear the more feminine piece of clothing she also liked anymore. The headlines were positive but people were doing exactly what she'd said they'd do (especially given her body type): they called her a slut. It seems she's fine wearing both baggy clothes and dresses nowadays, which I think is actually good. I don't think it'd be fair to ask she never wear dresses again because she'll be objectified, for example. Now, the Vogue corset situation was probably a 'fuck it I can do whatever I want now', which worried me for what would come next, but between her comments on clothing and on the impacts of porn, I think she actually has a good head on her shoulders.

All that stuff in the first para second post (in the image) needs to be taken out of what defines masculinity. What's unmanly about not being violent, about looking after your kids, about not being a manipulative abuser, about pulling your weight around the house?

When did being a wanker become an integral part of manliness?

Toxic masculinity teaches men that their anger isn’t an emotion and is actually a rational response , they are told child rearing is a woman’s job and that men who are hands on with their children are emasculated. They normalise behaviours like weaponsized incompetence so that they don’t have to pull their weight around the house and some view cleaning as another woman’s role that will emasculate a man if he hoovers. MRA, incels and PUAs all teach men how to manipulate and lie to women to “ get pussy” although incels are less successful it seems lol.

All these are wrongly seen as part of masculinity and need to be challenged .

Masculinity shouldn’t exist at all. No matter what you do to try to make it more palatable, it can only ever be a step on the hierarchy meant to oppress women.

This has never made sense to me.

A woman on her own is gender conforming. You have to get a haircut to have short hair. You have to wear clothes either way; whether you’re shopping in the men’s or women’s sections, it’s an equal amount of time and effort to shop for clothes.

I see plenty of women with long hair, plain modest clothing, unshaven, no makeup. No one would call them GNC. The GNC look takes a concerted effort.

A lot of people would call those women GNC.

Women and men on average do not spend an equal amount on shopping for clothes. This is magnified by the accessories and services women also buy more than men: jewelry, make-up, and haircuts. It's disengious to pretend women don't put in unnecessary time "maintaining" their long hair.

Tjis makes me think of that tumblr post that compares drag to marie antoinette. I gotta find it so i can put it here

here 😂

i get that drag is important to many gay men but whenever I see drag queens talking about makeup and shapewear and heels I feel like a farm girl watching marie antoinette pretend to milk cows while wearing silk in the hameau de la reine. like oh is this fun for you? are you having a good time? in your little fake farm? are you enjoying yourself? doing this thing that i get shit for not doing?