A rebuttal to Jess Cartner-Morley’s “The Male Cleavage: put it away, boys!”
Let’s face it.
We all know that Western Society frowns upon men displaying their bodies openly in public more so than it does on women’s bodies. Now before you label me a privilege-denying male bigot, first hear me out. A female professional who wears a knee-length skirt at the office, for instance, wouldn’t be construed as “unproffessional”, but a man who wears anything other than long trousers would be criticized as being “too casual” (Funnily though, prior to the 1920s, a knee-length skirts, just like knee-length shorts were considered “immodest”, and “too casual” and not suitable for any respectable woman to wear. But thanks to the Flappers, women can now choose between knee-length or long skirts, or even (feminine) trousers for formal events, while men are stuck with the long trousers, even on a blazing hot day). While there’s no denying that Western society criticizes women who dress TOO modestly and baggishly e.g. Ellen Degeneres as being “butch”, or “masculine”, did you know that the inverse was also true for men? Men who do not dress MODESTLY enough stand a good risk of being labelled all sorts of nasty things, e.g. “Slob”, “Homosexual”, “Douchebag”, “Cheesy”, and so on and so fourth. A man who breaks past the purittanically rigid and conservative dress code that society sets for men (e.g. T-Shirt and Jeans for casualwear, Suit, tie and long pants for formalwear) will be criticized by the guardians of Victorian conformity, who want to keep the status quo of Western society intact. (e.g. “Sexy” dressing for women and women only) An obvious example of such hypocrisy is demonstrated in the men’s magazine GQ, in which Ceri David, the deputy editor of GQ Australia quotes:
Pornographic, ey? Rather ironic don’t you think, considering that GQ is a magazine that’s filled with pictures of half-naked bikini-clad women posing in provocative poses? And they actually have the cheek to call a man who shows a little bit of skin “pornographic”. HAHA. HONESTLY: What’s more pornographic? A man who shows a little bit of skin, or a magazine that fills its pages up with half-naked women posing in submissive and provocative poses? A 12 year-old could answer that.
I wrote a little rebuttal on Jess Cartner-Morley’s article “The Male Cleavage: Put it away, boys!”.
Basically, Cartner-Morley wrote about how uncomfortable she was with men showing TOO much skin, and how they need to start learning how to dress better. Now here’s the kicker: I wouldn’t have been half-offended if she was an ultra-conservative purittanical lady, who covered up her entire body from head to toe day in, day out. But you see, Ms Cartner-Morley is clearly NOT an ultra-conservative puritanical lady, as is obvious by her profile pic, in which she sports a low-cut top with a black suit, and (GASP), a pair of jeans! Oh, my; my conservative 1940s sensibilities are SHOCKED, Jess. Other times, you will see her in dresses that show SOME degree of skin, e.g. sleeveless dresses, knee-length dresses, etc. So really; her asking men to cover up is pretty much the epitome of hypocrisy: The “I have the right to show skin because I am a woman, but you don’t because you are a man and men aren’t supposed to show skin” kind of attitude, so to speak. The only way I can possibly bring myself to take Ms Cartner-Morley seriously would be if she were willing to abandon all of her cocktail dresses, her sleeveless dresses, her low-cut tops, and ANYTHING that she would deem “indecent” on a man. (if a man had shown an equal amount of skin) If she condemns men for showing “too much skin”, yet reserves the right to wear these fashions for herself, then it’s hypocrisy. Plain and simple. Let’s look at the definition of hypocrisy, shall we? According to the Google Online Dictionary, hypocrisy can be defined as “The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.” So as I said; unless she is prepared to give up her cocktail dresses, her sleeveless dresses and her low-cut tops, then she really has no business telling metrosexual men that they are exposing TOO MUCH skin, because to do so would be just plain hypocritical. It’s perfectly understandable why an attractive woman might feel threatened by men like those described in the article. You see, in patriarchal society, women have been conditioned to believe that beauty and sex appeal should only be a “female” quality, and that men who possesses there traits are a threat to the patriarchal structure from which they sponge off (I wouldn’t be surprised if Ms Cartner-Morley stood to benefit from the patriarchal social structure, as most trophy wives do, hence the hostility towards these “beautiful men”). As a fellow who is very fond of the plunging neckline look, I personally took a great deal of offence at her article. I mean how would SHE like it it a MAN had told HER to cover up? Oh that’s right; if that were to happen, that would make him a “misogynist pig who hates women”. So what do we call a woman who treats men that way?