Do Men Have the Right to Wear Panties?
This is a question I ponder when I hear from men who are trapped in relationships with women. ( No, I'm not singling out women as the bad gals here, it's just that most men who wear panties tend to be straight, and a great proportion of them tend to be married as well.)
Oftentimes it seems that some women have a particularly snarky reaction to men wearing panties. They think it means that the man in question is less of a man, they think it looks strange, they think men shouldn't do that sort of thing. Ironically, these are often same women who will put on their boyfriend's shirt and walk around the house expecting him to think they look adorable. Imagine their horror and dismay if their boyfriend responded to the traditional donning of their shirt with "That's disgusting, take that off, you look like a man!"
Imagine if these women were told not that they only couldn't wear their boyfriend's or husband's shirt, but they also would no longer be allowed to wear trousers in public. Imagine the furore that would cause. Feminists would be up in arms, there would be marches on local and national governing bodies. Women would never accept a social dictum that said they had to swap their jeans, pantsuits, shorts and all other manner of manly dress, and instead don skirts and dresses for the rest of their days. Yet men are supposed to simply accept the fact that they are not allowed even to wear the underclothes that are typically associated with women.
Have we gone mad? Seriously. Are we, as a society, utterly insane?
It's one thing not to like the aesthetics of a man in lingerie. That is a personal preference and nobody can argue that. We're all entitled to our likes and dislikes. But the feeling that pervades our society tends to go far beyond simple likes and dislikes. It goes so far as to oftentimes place value judgments on men who wear women's panties. They're effeminate. They're probably gay. They're not real men.
For all our social advancement, for all our equality, for all our encouraging women to be all that they can be, for some reason we seem to have left men out of the picture entirely. Not only out of the picture, but back in the dark ages.
There is this concept that women can do anything, be anything, wear anything. But a man, a man has to be some blend between a Neanderthal and Keats. He must be soulful, yet rugged. He must dress well, in one of the four main modes of dress we allow him (Business, Business Casual, Casual, and Sports.) He must be a strong provider, (though we are thankfully moving towards a more reasonable equality where some men stay at home and look after children whilst their female partners work.), and he must know how to mount shelves. (I think that's actually in the wedding vows for men.)
Not only must he live up to all these expectations, but prejudices still exist against males when it comes to child custody. Just look at what Britney Spears had to do in order for Kevin Federline to gain custody of the children. Simply flashing her genitals all over the world and shaving off all her hair wasn't enough. It wasn't until she skipped several drug tests, refused to show up to court several times, and finally barricaded herself in the bathroom with her children and a firearm that full custody went to Kevin Federline. (Who, incidentally, had kept his winky out of public view the entire time.)
I know I've strayed from the point, but in a sense, this is the point. The fact is, a proportion of men enjoy wearing lingerie. There's certainly no harm in it, yet there is a huge stigma associated with it, a stigma that I propose comes from the fact that men are being forcibly kept in roles that are outmoded, outdated, and make them frustrated with their partners and with themselves.
Enough. Surely we have advanced to the point where what a man wears under his jeans doesn't matter any more than what a woman wears over her panties? Sadly, we haven't. And I think that's something worth thinking about the next time we start congratulating ourselves for being so advanced and egalitarian.