As feminism advocates equality between the genders, that no barrier should be put on someone just because of their gender. That as a woman, no one can tell you what it is to dress, act and feel a woman; you have to find your own identity on your OWN terms.
Well, I feel that the same courtesy should be extended to traditional roles of men. If a man feels comfortable wearing make up, dresses (not a transvestite necessarily) then they should not be penalised for not being a ‘manly’. Because what is ‘manly’? Shallow macho posturing? Chest beating tarzans? Loving football, cat calling women? If you as a fella feel restricted by what you are supposed to be, there is no reason why you must give in. When the Beatles first became popular, controversy arose from the fact these young men did not have traditional hair cuts. They actually had, at least for the time, quite long hair. Seems strange now when you consider that men now can pretty much have long, short hair, shaved heads. But 50 years ago, such deviancy was shocking. Patriarchy tells society that men must be the provider, head of the house hold and stay stoic. That women must be submissive, silent and self sacrificing. If you do not fit this narrow interpretation then you risk being ostracised and ridiculed. To be called ‘girly’ as an insult to your male ego. This is a valid reason why I believe men need feminism. Patriarchy suppresses men too.
Though I love the more classic interpretation of feminity. I do acknowledge that not all women are comfortable wearing dresses, high heels etc. Who says that she has to wear ‘girly’ clothes? If she wants to wear men’s shoes, go for it. Tilda Swindon exemplifies a woman who shies away from traditional women’s wear but is still feminine. Like many before her, Swindon has drawn criticism for her own take of feminine fashion. You do not have to be voluptuous with flowing hair to be a woman. We are not block colours, rigid and inflexible. We are a spectrum of shades that go on without clear definition or boundaries. It is difficult to believe that once women wearing trousers would be seen as unconventional, but it is true. In facts, even now in parts of the world. Women are barred from wearing trousers (one noted case was a Sudanese lady who was beaten for wearing trousers, she had the backbone to turn up to court wearing said offensive article). Gender roles are constantly changing and should keep changing. Jeans are now resolutely unisex but who has the right to that only one gender can wear them? Who can dictate what makes someone comfortable? If you know that you do not fit the typical mould, you entitled and you absolutely should disobey conventions, stand up and refuse to limited by someone else’s expectations.