Change Your World-NOT your Body

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Gender Straight Jacket

What are some of the ways you buy into the gender straight jacket on a daily or regular basis?

Example: If you have ever purchased something because it was labeled for men or women, you have bought into the gender straight jacket.

dirt

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17 comments:

  1. I was at a toy store and asked if they were any girl toys which are NOT in the color pink because I wanted to buy a present for a girl who loves blue but there wasn't any. All of the blue toys were labeled for the boys. It was insane. So the only thing I could do was telling her that the boy on the front of the toy packaging was a girl with short hair (I think it's not even a bad idea). She accepted it.

    Personally I'm scared to buy mens clothes. I really love some clothes which are labeled for men but I fear that the people will staring at me if I'm in the mens department. Perhaps it woulnd't be so emberassing if another girl is there but I don't dare to tell my friends that I like this kind of clothes. It's a shame isn't it? It's just fabric. But I can't help it.

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  2. Hi Bee,

    I've been buying all my clothes in the men's dept for the last 40 years. I never get the slightest glance.

    See, people figure: either A.) you're a het woman shopping for your husband or boyfiend or B.) you're too big for the ridiculously small women's sizes or C.) (if you're already wearing men's clothes) you're a guy.

    There are lots and lots of females in caregories A and B in the men's dept. Really, how many het guys buy their own clothes?

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  3. "There are lots and lots of females in caregories A and B in the men's dept"

    You might be right. I guess I have to look more precisely.

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  4. I guess when I used to have to buy tampons. Oh also when I would have to buy Maxipads when I first started my period.

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  5. I think we begin with buying into the gender straight jacket much earlier than we can purchase on ourselves.

    As babies and toddlers, we are already taught that dolls wear pink and cars are blue - and that there have to be dolls for girls and cars for boys in the first place. And as we grow, we crave material possessions because we are taught that we should crave them, and we ask our parents for things that are either the "right ones" for our gender (mostly in a confident, matter of fact way) or the opposite (either shyly or rebelliously), well aware of these facts.

    Also, the act of purchasing is not gendered itself, but it is perceived as gendered. Like Mary Sunshine said: "how many het men buy their own clothes?" - the buying of clothing itself is already seen as gendered!

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  6. Its gotten so bad that even shamppoos, hair gel/wax, body soap can all be found with a "for men" or "for women" label, and people ignorant to tailor their purchases to these gender straight jacket indicators. I could never imagine buying soap because it says "for men" or "for women", its fucking soap!

    dirt

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  7. "Personally I'm scared to buy mens clothes. I really love some clothes which are labeled for men but I fear that the people will staring at me if I'm in the mens department. "

    I know what you mean! Sometimes it still gets to me.

    But when I go shopping with my wife now, some people get the message pretty quick. We were shopping for spectacles the other week, and the assistant did finally say -- I suppose there's no point me suggesting you look at the womens section? Okay, the frames for women tend to be a bit smaller, but if the frames fit, why should anyone have a problem with trying on the mens frames rather than the womens? If you want no-nonsense black frames, why bother looking at all the womens frames in daft colours with spangly bits on?

    When we were hiring suits for our wedding, the female assistant was great -- you know, the sort with a mouthful of pins and a tape measure? She just looked at me, said -- I CAN fit you with a waistcoat, and a dress shirt, and she got tacking! Whereas the male assitant got all flustered mentioning chest sizes, then ran away! We both looked great for the ceremony!

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  8. BadDyke, isn't calling her your "wife" buying into the gender straight jacket?

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  9. Anon, thats practicing the hereto-patriarchal act of marriage customs.

    dirt

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  10. Did you ever notice that those with a problem with the Gender Straight jacket are those who have a gender issue. Most (not all) women and men do not think in terms of male and female clothing. We just call them clothes.

    Putting fashion aside there are real reasons for clothes that are cut and fitted for specifically for women. There are real differences in the types of bodies and how they fit. If you bois (what is the plural of boi?) decided to buy your clothes in the men's department then you are making a gender statement. There are plenty of "relaxed" fit clothes that are cut to fit women's bodies that are comfortable.

    Over 6 billion humans are wrong and a few thousand radical feminist are right. Yeah, keep tilting at those windmills, bois, there the starving people in the world.

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  11. And what does it say when in 1st world countries where food is plentiful that millions of females of all ages are starving (some to death) to fit into the gender straight jacket outlined for them per patriarchy? Or the ever tightening gender straight jacket that is sexualizing female children as young as a few years old?

    Try actually taking a step back to actually see how harmful the gender straight jacket has and remains for females, rather than trying to ignorantly leave a snide comment.

    dirt

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  12. Buying pads or tampons. For the first few years I had my period, I refused to use them. Many a pair of underwear had to be thrown away because of being stained with blood. I didn't care. I had so much dysphoria around my period that I couldn't use anything to protect my underwear from them. Using them was acknowledging that I needed them.

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  13. "Did you ever notice that those with a problem with the Gender Straight jacket are those who have a gender issue."
    All female people have an issue with the Gender (sex-role stereotypes) forced upon us. As someone who grew up in the male sex class, and who embraces sex-role stereotypes (Gender) as an act of your choosy choicefullness, the experience of having a subordinate social role forced upon you is something you have never, and will never experience. It is a female experience.

    "Most (not all) women and men do not think in terms of male and female clothing. We just call them clothes."
    I've never seen a department store where dresses are sold in the men's department. Never.

    "Putting fashion aside there are real reasons for clothes that are cut and fitted for specifically for women. "
    Discuss clothing without discussing fashion? That would be a discussion of unisex burlap sacks. It is impossible to discuss body coverings without taking into account the cultural that produces such coverings. Actually, even unisex burlap sacks would reflect the culture in which they were worn.

    "There are real differences in the types of bodies and how they fit. If you bois (what is the plural of boi?) decided to buy your clothes in the men's department then you are making a gender statement. There are plenty of "relaxed" fit clothes that are cut to fit women's bodies that are comfortable."
    As a man you feel authorized to come to a female-only blog and 'splain female experience -and feminism- to actual females, and to "inform us" that our experiences as the female sex class are not valid? The male entitlement, it burns. Such arrogance and male-supremacy doesn't deserve the time I've taken to type this response, but since I've already wasted moments of my life I'll take a few more seconds to inform you, Sir, that female clothing is less well-made, less utilitarian, less comfortable, and almost always designed (yeah that fashion thing) to sexualize females for the male gaze.

    "Over 6 billion humans are wrong and a few thousand radical feminist are right. Yeah, keep tilting at those windmills, bois, there the starving people in the world."
    Females are over half the population of the planet. Yes, even the ones forced to wear face coverings and burkas in deference to the male gaze- YOUR gaze. Not only do you come here spewing your ignorance so offensively but you wrap up your comment by dismissing women's liberation as unimportant compared to other humanitarian issues? Nice. Keep it classy tranny.
    If our words weren't having an effect men like you wouldn't feel obliged to force your male-supremacist views onto our blogs.
    Men like you are truly the enemies of women.

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  14. "BadDyke, isn't calling her your "wife" buying into the gender straight jacket?"

    Nope, because I assign the label 'wife' based on SEX, not gender. Why I'm a homosexual, not a homogender..................

    May be heteropatriarchal marriage customs, but it does help with some legal aspects.

    " Most (not all) women and men do not think in terms of male and female clothing. We just call them clothes."

    A flat lie. As GM said, I've never seen a shop where dresses are sold in the mens dept. In the muslim world, the difference between male and female clothing is immense (grab your burkas lads! I think not!).

    MOST not think in terms of male or female clothing? Just a great big LIE, that's as polite as I can get...............

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  15. One thing that has confused me about this topic is how buying tampons/pads etc. relates to the gender straight jacket?

    If your talking about the pressure on females to hide the fact that they bleed, I see where you're coming from, but I'm not sure I'd like to walk round with wet pants even if it was acceptable to.

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  16. "One thing that has confused me about this topic is how buying tampons/pads etc. relates to the gender straight jacket?"

    Tampons etc is just basic biology, which is different from gender.

    Vaginal deodorants and HIDING menstruation, now that is getting more towards gender.........

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  17. I think dirt is confusing sex and gender when she talks about soaps designed "for men" or "for women". The bodywashes for men are generally geared for more oily skin or skin more prone to acne, etc, bases on generalizations of course, but the majority is this way... There are non gendered soaps, and by all means if you feel like buying the "inappropriate" one, go right ahead. I've used gf's shampoos before cuz they had nice fruity smells :p

    About clothing: I can't really argue...

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