Wednesday, August 22, 2012


This is in response to a comment  on my post “Ideas for Matriarchal Weddings,”  in which I mentioned both the wearing and making of aprons by a bridegroom in a matriarchal wedding. Anonymous wondered if I was feminized by Nancy in any way, or if I had a desire to be feminized or to wear feminine things.

This question provides me a convenient entree into a topic I wanted to introduce—men getting actively involved in feminist activities.

Yes, I wear an apron while doing household chores; it's the first thing I put on when I arrive home. Nancy is from a female-led family and men wearing aprons was— is!—a family tradition. I'm now following that tradition. Even if Nancy decided against it, I'm sure that my mother-in-law would insist as she now lives with us and represents an authority figure within our home. As for my style of aprons, I have many, some plain and masculine, and others quite fancy and decidedly feminine. 

As for being feminized, neither Nancy onr her Mother feminize me, at least in the popular connotation of the term. Being feminized seems to have a forbidden connotation to it— and it shouldn't. Women have crossed the gender divide in their dress and interests for years and have not been criticized for doing so. Men going the other way have not fared as well.

Feminist writers have made the critical observation that, in emulating men in dress and interests, women are paying tribute, of sorts, to the so-called “superior” sex. On the other hand, men who have taken women's clothes and interests are ostracized because they are emulating the “weaker” gender.  Both these behaviors are not only sexists but patently patriarchal.

Now consider that women are getting the majority of college degrees, have a lower unemployment rate, are increasingly represented in the professions and are gaining at the executive level. What now on feminization?  If we migrate toward a matriarchy—and we are!—with women gaining recognition as the superior sex, are more and more men going to emulate women in their dress, interests and manner? It's an intriguing question.

Now let’s look at feminization in another context—being a man in a female-led relationship and secure enough in himself to cross the gender line to enjoy activities, hobbies, mannerisms, etc., traditionally associated with women.

 In my case, following the example of women in our family, I, too, send out cards and handwritten notes on fancy stationery to mark special occasions, birthdays, etc.  I enjoy accompanying my wife, her mother and friends to the ballet and enjoy being attentive to them when we are out. I enjoy various crafts as well as a good romance novel.

I don't consider myself feminized but rather as objectively reaching across gender lines to embrace things that I see as having value. I think I've done the same with my embracing a female-led relationship, hardly something a patriarchate would call “masculine.” One feminist philosopher wrote that woman do not  need to give up their options for dress, makeup, etc., as a precondition to achieving equality (feminists talk about “equality” but increasingly mean “superiority”!). Rather, these feminists say, Women should retain the options they have and offer them to men. Maybe as matriarchy dawns, men will be wise enough to embrace the options women are offering and be able to do so without criticism or ostracism.


Anonymous said...

An excellent post. I agree 100%. In a matriarchal relationship (which I believe is superior in every way), only when men accept and embrace feminine activities, mannerisms, dress, etc. will they be able to truly understand and empathize with women and begin to follow their lead and embrace their authority.

I'm-Hers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I'm-Hers said...

I am not following your logic. You indicate that women are superior yet they now dress in (inferior) dress - eg. they dress like men. Are you also saying they will become avid football fans, tell crude jokes, fart in public and do other male kinds of things that are more typical of boys/men?

The answer of course is no. Women will continue to be themselves, enjoy those interests that they enjoy and avoid those that they don't. I think that is exactly what has happened to you as well. You enjoy fine culture (ballet), you are considerate and so you write thank you notes promptly, etc. I do that too but do it via email. Does that make me any different than you? I think not.

In my opinion you are trying to describe yourself as feminine by describing certain activities in ways that would lend the reader to believe you are. But if you are moving in that way, why do you base the very premise of your post on women moving in the 'other' direction (dressing more masculine, increasingly more involved in higher positions in business, etc).

As an aside, my Domme does not work. Does that make her less of a domme? I don't think so. Dominance is not about what you are 'doing'. That is the classic first question that everyone focuses on when seeing an old friend after a long absense during reunions (college, HS) or at events. It's as if we value 'who' you are, based upon 'what', you do (with respect to prestige, status and money), rather than taking the time to delve inside the person to see those deeper traits that really define who they are as a person irrespective of societal pressures. Dominance has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence, financial or athletic success, one's figure, age, or any other outward trait. Dominance is about attitude. It's about assuming power. Your mother in law is dominant over you, not because of how much money she makes but because she has assumed, and you have yielded power to her. As she ages, her intellect will decrease, she'll become more forgetful, become more fragile, and not be the woman you describe in your post, yet if you continue to show respect and obedience to her, then she will continue to be dominant over you.

I respect what you are trying to say, but I disagee with how you are going about presenting it.
However, I enjoy reading your posts.
Thanks for taking the time to write.

Nancy and Dennis said...


Thank you for your comments to our post but we think you misread what we've said. May we make a few points:

We did not say that women have to behave or dress like men. In fact, we stated that “One feminist philosopher wrote that woman do not need to give up their options for dress, makeup, etc., as a precondition to achieving equality. Rather, these feminists say, Women should retain the options they have and offer them to men.” We want to see women's values, approaches, and refinements become our societal norm.

You make a good point that a woman who does not work is not any less of a domme; we agree. Our point is that from a societal perspective, women are earning degrees at a faster rate than men and thus getting better jobs than they traditionally have. With higher levels of education, women will take an increasingly larger number of better-paying managerial and professional jobs and start running things according to their desires and values.

Anonymous said...

Very good point about taking on traditional Feminine perspectives and concerns.

One neeed not have to dress as a Womyn in order to behave like one and take inspiration from one.

I as a boy was fascinated and wanted to emulate heroines including Barbarella.I did not want to dress as her but to be her or like her.


Nancy and Dennis said...

Femsup - The whole idea of dress is a very broad topic, but generally a woman does not have to give up any of the traditional options for dress that they have enjoyed in the past. Women do not have to look and dress like men to be considered their equal or superior; just the opposite, we maintain that female attire is in itself a symbol of power to be used as the wearer desires. We feel that men should cross the gender line to experience traditional female interests and activities - crafts, homemaking skills, magazines - but that female dress is unique to women and only used by men as offered and allowed by women.

We do feel that as women become more prevalent as authority figures, there will be a natural inclination to emulate them.

Anonymous said...

I agree.I really dislike the ideas of many males who think that it is a humiliation to dress as the superior gender.Where are their minds I wonder when they use this muddle headed thinking.They are certainly not real appreciators of Womyn.