WWhen I saw Harry Styles in a dress on the cover of fashionI thought, “Sweet, if a little Bowie-lite.” I was inclined to leave it that way until the right-wing commentators broke out.
In the US, support for Trump Candace Owens opined (I’ll edit by extension): “There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows it. In the West, the constant feminization of our men [blah, blah, yak, yak] … is a direct attack. Bring back manly men. ”Others were outraged by the“ feminization of masculinity. ”Why so nervous about a guy chilling in skirts? And what is this nonsense about wanting men to become“ manly ”again? ?
First of all, “strong men” / “the east”? Is this a reference to Putin topless and pouting like a little cheeky? Certainly, if the fashion the cover looks like a direct response to Chechnya (where citizens are told to “deal with” members of the LGBTQ family), then Styles may spin around in gender-neutral adornments for all eternity. Otherwise, anyone hyperventilating in shock from men in robes needs to educate themselves on popular culture.
Men who wear dresses are nothing new. David Bowie, the New Romantics, Jean Paul Gaultier, Kevin Rowland, David Beckham in her sarong… To name a few. In this way, Styles sashaying at Gucci is revealed for what he is: Generation Z’s timely twist on men rebelling against wardrobe gender limits, playfully but with intent.
As for pining for “manly men,” this bathtub has been hit since the emergence of the New Man, the metrosexual, and others, usually culminating in the cry that masculinity is “threatened.” According to some, the men are so intimidated by the intimidation of liberals that they have given up and put on skirts. Old-fashioned masculinity may be threatened, but not by a sinister, ultra-awake consensus, but by a mixture of natural social progress, high female demand, and young men with a healthy interest in sex.
This is what the “bring back the manly men” lobby fails to understand. If women wanted “manly men” to return to wholesale, we would have them. The sex market is all-powerful and, heterosexual, it is often women who dictate the terms. Clearly, modern women have decided that they do not want the tired “manly man” model of rude, aggressive, chauvinistic, and dresses aside, they prefer men to be more empathetic and open-minded. The question is, why is this (mockingly) called “feminized”, when, for both sexes, it is just about being humanized? Unconsciously or not, heterosexual men want to be what women want. They may also be growing weary of the super masculinist expectations (success, aggression, repression) that result in so much male suffering.
Of course, panicky commentators on the right are going to whistle like a dog at angry old men: keeping them terrified of change, flattering them (and the women who elect them), who remain the masculine ideal. Meanwhile, the world moves on and the smartest men move with it. “Manly” is still here. It’s just that “manly” is always changing.
Rashford is too fast to be shot down by enemies
Who wants to help me generate hatred against Marcus Rashford? Rashford is the 23-year-old Manchester United player who campaigned for free school meals to underprivileged children during the holidays and shamed the government into making a U-turn. Now Rashford is starting a book club with Macmillan Children’s Books to encourage children to read. Who will join me in teasing?
Backlash from Rashford has been attempted with a smear campaign in the media (usual suspects) about him owning five properties in Cheshire. Back on planet Earth, who cares if an athlete invests in property? Rashford and his siblings were raised in poverty by a single mother. That could leave someone with a craving for security. Also, don’t you have the right to spend your money however you want? Likewise, with the book club, why are those companies framed as celebrity virtue signs? Is it impossible to believe that someone can be rich, be successful Y a decent human being?
Similar attitudes were circulating on social media during Rashford’s school meal drives. The criticisms were of the type: “That Marcus Rashford is richer than me, so why doesn’t he pay out of pocket for all the poor children in the UK to eat?” Erm, because there is this thing called a government and when children go hungry during a pandemic, it is this government that should step in, not some twenty-something in shorts.
The only person to benefit from this attack on Rashford is one Boris Johnson. But it must hurt to finally become prime minister and then be repeatedly outmatched by a young man who likely never won a Latino award in his life. Well, those are the breaks. Isn’t it sad when you don’t get a backlash?
Who couldn’t get carried away with the Wagatha Christie case?
OMG how did the Wagatha Christie line come to this? In 2019, there was general amusement to hear that Coleen Rooney, wife of former England football captain Wayne, had become a complete Miss Marple on her Instagram account, limiting who could view the posts to discern who might be selling stories to the public. Sun. When a fake flood in a basement appeared as a story, Rooney revealed his research and concluded: “It’s … Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
How we all laughed, but now Vardy (Jamie’s wife from Leicester City), who was pregnant at the time, won the first leg of her libel action against Rooney, in which she claims to have suffered “extreme distress, pain, anxiety and shame. ”And he felt suicidal.
So, that quickly darkened. At least Judge Mark Warby managed to remain legally correct as he dealt with what must have been the most prestigious Wag-cum-Instagram-based case of his career: “The purpose of the post … is to publicly identify someone, the person whom Ms. Rooney has ‘clearly’ identified as guilty … The common reader would not consider the post simply telling them who Ms. Rooney suspects. “
Well, “common reader”, that’s just the first round. Hopefully another Wag fight doesn’t start. When those Shellac nails come out, these women are killers.
• Barbara Ellen is a columnist for Observer
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.