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Men wearing dresses

southernhybrid

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Now, I honestly don't care what anyone wears. In fact, it adds to my amusement to see people wearing all kinds of weird outfits, but this article that I'm going to link did make me wonder if identifying with a specific gender will eventually become a thing of the past. But, first, amuse yourself by looking at my link. As a NYTimes subscriber, I am permitted to share 10 articles each month. I think I still have a few left for this month.


https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/09/style/gender-the-boys-in-their-summer-dresses.html

“We’re rethinking all of that,” said Will Welch, the editor of GQ. “A guy in Allbirds and a hoodie might be a billionaire. So you can’t make assumptions anymore,” not least about the gender orientation of “those kids in Washington Square Park in dresses.”

For the 30-ish fashion stylist Mickey Freeman, who has eschewed trousers for some six years, a kilt is a tool for flouting societal constrictions on what constitutes Black male identity. “Most people have an internal directive of how clothes play into a man’s masculinity,” Mr. Freeman wrote in an email. Guys looking to loosen “the internal shackles” of gender presentation may benefit from giving a test run to wearing a garment created without two legs and a zipper.

The above is just one of many quotes explaining why men want to wear dresses or skirts. As for me, a person who identifies as a very feminine women, I despise dresses, and skirts and haven't worn either in over 20 years. I think they are ugly on adults. But, of course, we all have different tastes when it comes to how we dress. I love jewelry and will wear diamond bracelets with blue jeans. Some people might find that wrong, but as I said before, I don't give a fuck how anyone else dresses and I don't give a fuck what anyone else thinks about how I dress, wear my hair or how much my jewelry sparkles. But, I digress.

Are men just trying to be different? Is gender identity really becoming more fluid? Why is that? I was once accused of being too assertive to be happy as a nurse when I asked for advice from a career counselor. Seriously? She told me that was a male quality? Really? One can't be feminine and also be assertive? One can't be masculine and also be gentle and caring? That's nuts!

I'm really trying to understand this non binary thing, but I'm having trouble. Apparently some transgender folks despise it too, according to several articles I read earlier today. And, please, if you must be non binary, pick a pronoun other than they. They implies two people, not one person who identifies as two genders depending on the day. I've heard a neurologist say that there is evidence for transgender, but not for non binary.

Oh wait, I was talking about men wearing dresses, but it did make me think of how we define gender these days and if the two are related, or if some men just want to have fun wearing women's clothing or getting attention. Some of these men are very masculine in appearance. I know there have always been cross dressers. Okay. No problem, but this is a bit different than that.

Oh well. There are far more important things to discuss than how men are dressing these days, but I needed a break from that stuff.

So, if you are a man, would you feel comfortable wearing a dress in public? If you are a woman, do you like wearing dresses, or would you find them attractive on your male friend, or husband? Why do you think that gender identity is becoming more fluid, at least in some areas? Is it a fad, a trend or will it lead to permanent changes in society? Share you opinion. ( I'm not talking about trans women. I'm talking about people who identify as men who enjoy wearing dresses ) We can discuss gender fluidity or we can make that a different discussion. I see gender fluidity as a cultural thing, at least until I am convinced otherwise.
 

Angry Floof

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FYI, "they" is a perfectly acceptable (in the U.S., for decades at least) form of pronoun to use for whenever he/she becomes problematic due to a) not knowing the sex/gender, b) speaking in hypotheticals, or c) the individual in question does not fall into the narrow and inaccurate though socially acceptable, traditional binary of male/female, and a lot more people fall outside of that narrow binary than you might think, and that's just speaking biologically. We are highly complex, self aware beings who are not just the sum of our biological parts, so there's tons to learn there, too. Just sayin'.

But I digress. Contemporary acceptance of "they" as a pronoun began with writing even before current events begain raising awareness regarding inclusiveness, in the world as well as in writing. In casual and business writing, "they" is perfectly acceptable and not a grammatical error, and serves to alleviate awkward language of "he/she" and "himself/herself" or when the person is hypothetical or their sex/gender is unknown. I don't know how or if academic or legal standards have adopted this usage of "they," but I'm guessing probably not because those areas of writing standards change at a slower pace than the more dynamic business or casual writing.

In business, a company or client might have their own style guide that includes a writing preference for dealing with cumbersome "he or she" "himself or herself" language when talking about hypotheticals or when the sex/gender is not known, but the option to choose "they" is, again, perfectly acceptable and not a grammatical error should they choose it.

Also, seeing that usage drives grammar and not the other way around (although grammar as we learned it does influence how we use language, but that's a whole nother topic, which I can talk all day about if anyone is interested lol), when more and more people, particularly in writing that is accessible to anyone who might be doing research or is curious about how often "they" is used in reference to an individual, the more "they" becomes part of our official and unofficial lexicons.

Whatever your opinion about any issues related to other people's sex or gender or identity or transitioning or how they look or act or what they say about themselves (and I am not offering any opinion here on any of those issues except the use of "they"), you can breathe a sigh of relief that there is at least this one issue that you can set aside and have no rational need to fight about (unless you're elucidating the neutral facts of language usage). :)

From one of the most used and respected style guides: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/grammar/singular-they

That said, I admit that I often use the default "she" when I don't know the correct pronouns, but this is simply because I like when people say, "Oh, it's he," such as with a cat pic on the internet, and then I say, "Oh, sorry. Okay. I just use the default female when I don't know." :D

It's not done to exclude, but just because it's fucking refreshing in a world dominated by some stupid idea that "he" is a default anything, especially given that we all start out proto-female and only switch to what we call male reproductive parts some time after conception. And sometimes doing this actually makes someone think differently about it or maybe just lures out of the woodwork all the reflexively defensive of stupid things they've never actually thought about much less rationally deliberated with their frontal lobes in charge. :)

Edit: I just learned that the singular "they" is actually centuries older than the plural. Somewhere in the middle somebody decided "We're gonna do it this way," and for a couple hundred more years, everyone said, "Yes, yes, good. We will smack down anyone who tries something different." :rofl:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they
 
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Angry Floof

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As for men wearing dresses, if a lot of men start wearing dresses, then dresses become "men's fashion." Acceptance of new fashion trends depends a lot on the status of the wearers of the new look.

But just in case anyone didn't get the memo, all clothes are men's fashion and all clothes are also women's fashion, regardless of how deeply ingrained the traditional binary ideas about clothes are in our minds.

Men's fashions, as all fashion, has changed and morphed and men of high social status especially have worn stuff we today would consider ridiculous for a man to be seen in, like those long pointy shoes that they are all trying to out-long and out-pointy each other to the point where they had to tie the ends of their shoes on a string tied to their waists just to be able to walk. :rofl:

Our mailman wears shorts and a ponytail. I'm sure there are quite a few users here old enough to remember when such a sight would be unheard of, and just the long hair alone would have had the conservatives of our youth raging in animal brain fear aggression.

Anyway, yeah, change is pretty much the answer to everything everywhere, with fashion trends as well as social norms and attitudes. Hopefully also in how we regard our fellow human beings in this highly connected, noisy, clashing world. :)

Edit:

198078832_10165525076755107_5038642156665052588_n.jpg
 

southernhybrid

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Sorry to disagree with the they thing. I think that those who are non binary should come up with a new pronoun, not she or he. They just doesn't work and I think it might cause more problems for these folks. I have no dislike of anyone, even if I question their claims but I think it's a bit nuts to use a pronoun that is plural to describe someone who is a single individual. I have read that in some countries, new words have been used for non binary folks. When you tell me that you are a they, it's like saying you have multiple personalities. It's not helpful for promoting one's position.

Yeah. I get it. Men have always worn skirts or kilts to some degree. I'm talking about clothing that looks very feminine and I admit I'm biased because I hate dresses and skirts. Still, wear whatever makes you happy. That doesn't bother me. I'm just trying to understand the attraction to such clothing like the ones in the linked article. As I said, people in my town wear all kinds of clothing that adds to my amusement. I never criticize what anyone wears, but sometimes it does make me wonder what the appeal was when someone is wearing bedroom slippers, leopard print yoga pants and a striped shirt, for example. I'm also wondering what the appeal is of wearing a dress on a very masculine figure. Not knocking it. Just wondering why one finds it so appealing.

I hope if anyone else joins this discussion that it can be done without getting hateful. It's okay to disagree with each other, but for some reason, people seem to attack each other a lot these days just for having different views and opinions. I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

I will probably add some more later when I have time. But here's a question. Do you personally know anyone who describes themselves as non binary? If so, have you ever asked what made the person come to the conclusion that they were a mix of genders. Don't we all have traits that traditionally have been associated with either male or female? Does that mean that we are all non binary to a certain extent? Will gender fluidity be the thing in the future?

I read a non binary article that claimed that Joan of Arc was non binary. No. We can't go back in time and put labels on people without substantial evidence.
 

Toni

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In some cultures, men wear dresses, although they are not called that. In western culture, it's really not been a thing for centuries. I have no personal objection but I admit that it does take some getting used to simply because it's unfamiliar.

I really should make an effort to watch some of RuPaul's Drag Race. Drag has always made me somewhat uncomfortable because in my mind (which may be completely off target), those who dress in the exaggerated drag are purportedly expressing femininity in ways that I do not associate with anything feminine. I simply don't. I may very well be misunderstanding the point of drag.

I've never been attracted to or aspired to lots of make up or elaborate hairstyle or constricting dresses, high heels, etc. I've always been a jeans and t-shirt kind of person but one who, in my old age, does understand the purpose and utility of dressing for the occasion, even if it involves skirts or dresses. Part of my shift in POV is that changing mores and fashion no longer make things like panty hose or heaven forbid, girdles and restrictive foundation garments de rigor. It' much easier now to dress simply, appropriately and even elegantly in a simply dress or skirt with jacket, and a pair of....low heels for us short people. It's also much, much, much more comfortable and less complicated and so, to me, more acceptable. It's not my every day dress but I can do it without objection or complaint where the occasion calls for it.

Until recently, I vastly did NOT prefer to EVER wear a dress. In fact, I refused to go to first grade upon learning I was expected to wear a dress. My refusal did not stand and indeed, I wore dresses and skirts to school until TPTB decreed that girls could wear slacks but not jeans to school, which was universally ignored in favor of jeans, which were ubiquitous in the day amongst younger people. Nowadays, I honestly don't mind dressing up a bit for the occasional wedding or other event and often wear a dress on those fairly rare occasions. Otherwise, frankly, a casual t-shirt dress is less hot than pants and a top and sometimes, on very hot days, I prefer those t-shirt dresses simply because they are cooler than pants and a top.

One advantage that women have had over men is that it has become acceptable over the past 100 years or so for women to wear traditionally male clothing while the reverse has not been true. And why not? Why has it been more acceptable for women to embrace 'male' characteristics/behaviors than for men to embrace the feminine? And why are certain things considered 'masculine' but do not require male genitalia or male hormones and why are certain things considered 'feminine' but do not require female reproductive organs/genitalia/hormones? I don't get it. Boys may (or may not) like climbing trees and looking at insects and rocks more commonly than do girls but such activities are not inherently masculine. Nor is enjoying art or cuddling animals or dolls inherently female. Given the opportunity, many boy children will happily play with dolls and stuffed animals, care for them, create imaginative play where the toy plays the part of a character in the child's fantasy. We're comfortable enough with boys doing that with GI Joes and Star Wars figures so why not with teddy bears and baby dolls?

I've never been in favor of rigid gender roles. Many of my natural interests have long been considered to be masculine and frankly, confused and upset my mother. I'm pretty sure my father would have been upset to see my sons play with stuffed animals and to occasionally wear my shoes (much smaller and easier for little children to wear than their father's larger shoes) or jewelry. As it happened, we always lived far enough away that visits involved people and not toys and the boys were always delighted with any typical masculine toy Grandpa offered, generally along the lines of trucks and building sets. (Also encouraged by myself and my husband just as my daughter was likewise encouraged to play with building sets and trucks and sports things). I chose to marry someone who naturally is more interested in spending time with babies and young children and in cooking than the average man of previous generations and even our generation. Today's young fathers more closely resemble how my husband behaved/behaves, taking on meal planning, cooking, grocery shopping, child care, laundry etc. along with the mothers.
 

southernhybrid

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I agree with most of what you posted, Toni. When you mentioned children playing with different gender related toys, it reminded me of something I did while raising my son. I didn't want him to feel restricted to toys related to boys, so I bought him a doll when he was about two. He took off the doll's clothing and tossed it around the house as if it was a ball. The reason I did that was partly due to the culture of the 70s and partly because my father never wanted me to play with cars, trains etc. so I wanted to give my son the chance to explore things that weren't usually associated with little boys.

As a child, I did also enjoy playing with all of the typical things that are associated with little girls, dolls, cookware, toy tables, chairs, etc. Were we being programmed to become stereotypical adult females? I don't know, but since my husband took up cooking as a hobby, I've been relieved of the cooking task for years.

I chose a female dominated career, but as I said earlier, I was told that being assertive was something associated with men. I thought that was bullshit. I was never afraid to question male doctors, to advocate for my patients and even sometimes fight to get them what I thought they needed. Sometimes that made doctors angry at me. I once hung up on a doctor who was being a real asshole on the phone, right in front of one of my patients. Later that week, I got a standing ovation from some nurses at the local hospital when I went to drop off some charts. That's how rare it was back then for female nurses to be assertive, I guess. I think that's changed by now.

I guess men wearing fancy dresses has made me think of all kinds of gender stereotypes, while still exploring what it means to by non binary. I've tried to find evidence that it's something other than a cultural thing without any success. Gender is certainly changing. Maybe the day will come when nobody is associated with either gender. I doubt I'll be alive by then.

One thing I found humorous in the linked article is that some of the men said they wanted to be free of having to wear a zipper and having their legs covered. OMG! I was forced to wear dresses or skirts all through high school. It wasn't until around 1969 that the girls were permitted to wear slacks to school. To me, it was freedom no longer having to wear a dress, so I thought it was funny that some men associated dresses with freedom.

I understand drag queens. That's more of an entertainment thing. The men in the article aren't drag queens. They are just men who like to wear dresses, even if they have beards and very masculine shapes. As AF mentioned, things do change. And, sometimes it's hard to understand why things are changing. Most powerful women wear pants suits, while some men feel free when they wear dresses.

If I must dress up, it's black slacks, a slightly dressy top and some beautiful jewelry. Jewelry is my weakness, partly for sentimental reasons and partly because I love bright sparkly things. :D
 

Shadowy Man

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One advantage that women have had over men is that it has become acceptable over the past 100 years or so for women to wear traditionally male clothing while the reverse has not been true. And why not? Why has it been more acceptable for women to embrace 'male' characteristics/behaviors than for men to embrace the feminine? And why are certain things considered 'masculine' but do not require male genitalia or male hormones and why are certain things considered 'feminine' but do not require female reproductive organs/genitalia/hormones? I don't get it. Boys may (or may not) like climbing trees and looking at insects and rocks more commonly than do girls but such activities are not inherently masculine. Nor is enjoying art or cuddling animals or dolls inherently female. Given the opportunity, many boy children will happily play with dolls and stuffed animals, care for them, create imaginative play where the toy plays the part of a character in the child's fantasy. We're comfortable enough with boys doing that with GI Joes and Star Wars figures so why not with teddy bears and baby dolls?

Because in our patriarchal societies masculine qualities are considered good and feminine ones bad. Why would a man want to adopt bad qualities? It is more respected that a woman might want to become better or stronger, but why would a man want to become worse or weaker? Women do still get criticized for adopting masculine characteristics, but certainly not as much as men get vilified for adopting feminine characteristics.

You see this in entertainment media, right? Women superheroes or adventurers are basically women doing what men do. Strength is kicking butt and being strong. How many female superheroes do you see using feminine qualities to save the day? It's very rare. The closest I've seen lately is in the movie Wonder Woman, where it was her compassion that led her to saving that village when all the men wanted to pass by without helping. But she still saved the village by being strong and defeated the villain in the end with punching and power.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Otherwise, frankly, a casual t-shirt dress is less hot than pants and a top and sometimes, on very hot days, I prefer those t-shirt dresses simply because they are cooler than pants and a top.

There have been times I've wished a dress was socially acceptable for men for this reason. While I haven't actually tried it I would think a short dress would be the ideal hot-weather garment. Clothes are a substantial impediment to the body's cooling system.
 

Angry Floof

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Sorry to disagree with the they thing.
Why be sorry? Your opinions don't affect my feelings. If you disagree, you disagree.

I think that those who are non binary should come up with a new pronoun, not she or he.
I'm not being hateful when I say this, but why are you telling non-binary people what they should do on this issue?

They just doesn't work
For whom? :rofl: (You mean you, I get it.)

and I think it might cause more problems for these folks.
Again not being hateful but truly astounded at this. What in the world makes you think you know more about their problems than they do?

I have no dislike of anyone, even if I question their claims but I think it's a bit nuts
Yes, yes, always a respectful line of reasoning to use on people you swear you don't disrespect.

And that is not hateful, but it is sarcastic, which is not at all the same thing.

to use a pronoun that is plural to describe someone who is a single individual.
And you would be wrong about the usage of "they," both contemporary and in history.

I have read that in some countries, new words have been used for non binary folks. When you tell me that you are a they, it's like saying you have multiple personalities.
No, it isn't. What a ghastly thing to say. How often do you "think" people have multiple personalities when they're referred to as "they" when gender/sex is not known or in a hypothetical? Do you also suspect multiple personalities are involved then? But you'll pull that horrible accusation out with a straight face when you do know you're talking about an actual person??

It's not helpful for promoting one's position.
Not helpful to whom? (And you can say "their" position here. Don't worry, it's just a hypothetical person, not an objectionably real person whose personal information is not actually your business if they don't tell you. And you're not entitled to pull insulting and sophomoric "arguments" out at them even if they do!)

Yeah. I get it. Men have always worn skirts or kilts to some degree. I'm talking about clothing that looks very feminine and I admit I'm biased because I hate dresses and skirts. Still, wear whatever makes you happy. That doesn't bother me. I'm just trying to understand the attraction to such clothing like the ones in the linked article. As I said, people in my town wear all kinds of clothing that adds to my amusement.
I also am curious about such things.

I never criticize what anyone wears,
Just what they think they know about themselves, what they call themselves, what their potential problems are...

but sometimes it does make me wonder what the appeal was when someone is wearing bedroom slippers, leopard print yoga pants and a striped shirt, for example.
What would be the significance of those particular items? Are they unusual and/or indicative of some certain thing? I mean, I wear mis-matched loungewear and slippers all the time. What does that make you wonder about me? (I'm guessing it's probably something you already know. ;) )

I'm also wondering what the appeal is of wearing a dress on a very masculine figure. Not knocking it. Just wondering why one finds it so appealing.
What an amazing coincidence that your curiosities match up so closely to your prejudices. :joy:

*snip the part that obviously doesn't apply to me or else it would have been addressed to Angry Floof and not anyone else.*

I will probably add some more later when I have time. But here's a question. Do you personally know anyone who describes themselves as non binary?
Yes! :)

If so, have you ever asked what made the person come to the conclusion that they were a mix of genders.
No! :) That's not my business and they haven't offered the information.

Don't we all have traits that traditionally have been associated with either male or female?
Depends on what you mean by "traditionally." I take it you probably mean Western society for the last maybe century. If not, then the answer is no. :)

Does that mean that we are all non binary to a certain extent?
No, but I'm just here to expound on the wonders of language usage and stuff, and not to the degree of non-binariness that "we all" might be. AND it's also not my business.

But I do know that there is a shit ton of information and theory and opinion and perspective on this topic available at your fingertips if you're really curious.

And I also have questions. 1) Are you really curious? 2) If not, is that last question an attempt at muddying rhetoric?

"And Ah ask you, laidehs and gennlemun of the jureh, if we ah awl non-bahnerreh, then hooWAH should we let anyone cawl themsailves non-bahnereh?" *gallery erupts* *because they think it's brilliant rhetoric* *it's not*

No need to answer those two questions. They actually are rhetorical.

Will gender fluidity be the thing in the future?
Not sure I fully understand the question, but I know that what we might use the term "gender fluid" for today has also been a thing in the past (human reproductive development didn't just start defying the status quo this decade, but as to the future, I don't know any more than you do, and I've never heard of any non-binary people having a particular gift for divination.

I read a non binary article
Nitpick here. People can be non-binary, not articles. ;) But I knew what you meant. It just sounded funny, "a non binary article." hehe

claimed that Joan of Arc was non binary. No. We can't go back in time and put labels on people without substantial evidence.
We can and we do, obviously, though YMMV depending on the historian. If you mean you think we shouldn't, well that's fine. Make your case. Or not. It's all good. It's not a debate I'm interested in myself.

I hope it's ok that I addressed your actual comments and questions and didn't try to read into them any kind of subtext about anyone not wanting to be challenged through thoughtful commentary, because I'm sure that's not how it was intended. And I agree about thoughtful commentary, and in which sarcasm is not thoughtless nor is it hateful. I'm sorry if you disagree with that because given the sheer disrespect, and hatefulness, and not at all thoughtful commentary and questions about people you've never met that you have put forth, not to mention baldly dubious claims about your own intentions, I can honestly say I'm being very, very careful with your feelings! Those "arguments" and "questions" are only "arguments" and "questions" to people who never expect to ever care about a human being who might fall under the descriptions discussed here.

But there is no way in hell you will ever be so thoughtful or honest or not-hateful in your claims to want to know more or learn or understand others. If you can't be bothered to care about your fellow human beings' feelings (at the very least!), then why should anyone care about yours?

I think I understand now why you started your post with "Sorry."
 

southernhybrid

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One advantage that women have had over men is that it has become acceptable over the past 100 years or so for women to wear traditionally male clothing while the reverse has not been true. And why not? Why has it been more acceptable for women to embrace 'male' characteristics/behaviors than for men to embrace the feminine? And why are certain things considered 'masculine' but do not require male genitalia or male hormones and why are certain things considered 'feminine' but do not require female reproductive organs/genitalia/hormones? I don't get it. Boys may (or may not) like climbing trees and looking at insects and rocks more commonly than do girls but such activities are not inherently masculine. Nor is enjoying art or cuddling animals or dolls inherently female. Given the opportunity, many boy children will happily play with dolls and stuffed animals, care for them, create imaginative play where the toy plays the part of a character in the child's fantasy. We're comfortable enough with boys doing that with GI Joes and Star Wars figures so why not with teddy bears and baby dolls?

Because in our patriarchal societies masculine qualities are considered good and feminine ones bad. Why would a man want to adopt bad qualities? It is more respected that a woman might want to become better or stronger, but why would a man want to become worse or weaker? Women do still get criticized for adopting masculine characteristics, but certainly not as much as men get vilified for adopting feminine characteristics.

You see this in entertainment media, right? Women superheroes or adventurers are basically women doing what men do. Strength is kicking butt and being strong. How many female superheroes do you see using feminine qualities to save the day? It's very rare. The closest I've seen lately is in the movie Wonder Woman, where it was her compassion that led her to saving that village when all the men wanted to pass by without helping. But she still saved the village by being strong and defeated the villain in the end with punching and power.

Did you see the rappers in my link? They looked pretty tough and I doubt they've been criticized for that, at least not by those who love pop culture.

I've been reading about gender fluidity all afternoon. Apparently, the cool younger generations get it, but most of us who are over 45 aren't used to seeing men in frilly dresses or people who identify as both genders or no gender. I read their stories. I'm just having a hard time with it. They call gender a social construct because some people have a different combination of sex chromosomes. Still, does every person who identifies as gender fluid/non binary have rare chromosome combinations? If not, is gender fluidity a social construct? Does it matter if we are all able to be tolerant toward's each other, regardless of our differences?

It's a positive if people stop stereotyping based on sex/gender characteristics.
 

Shadowy Man

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One advantage that women have had over men is that it has become acceptable over the past 100 years or so for women to wear traditionally male clothing while the reverse has not been true. And why not? Why has it been more acceptable for women to embrace 'male' characteristics/behaviors than for men to embrace the feminine? And why are certain things considered 'masculine' but do not require male genitalia or male hormones and why are certain things considered 'feminine' but do not require female reproductive organs/genitalia/hormones? I don't get it. Boys may (or may not) like climbing trees and looking at insects and rocks more commonly than do girls but such activities are not inherently masculine. Nor is enjoying art or cuddling animals or dolls inherently female. Given the opportunity, many boy children will happily play with dolls and stuffed animals, care for them, create imaginative play where the toy plays the part of a character in the child's fantasy. We're comfortable enough with boys doing that with GI Joes and Star Wars figures so why not with teddy bears and baby dolls?

Because in our patriarchal societies masculine qualities are considered good and feminine ones bad. Why would a man want to adopt bad qualities? It is more respected that a woman might want to become better or stronger, but why would a man want to become worse or weaker? Women do still get criticized for adopting masculine characteristics, but certainly not as much as men get vilified for adopting feminine characteristics.

You see this in entertainment media, right? Women superheroes or adventurers are basically women doing what men do. Strength is kicking butt and being strong. How many female superheroes do you see using feminine qualities to save the day? It's very rare. The closest I've seen lately is in the movie Wonder Woman, where it was her compassion that led her to saving that village when all the men wanted to pass by without helping. But she still saved the village by being strong and defeated the villain in the end with punching and power.

Did you see the rappers in my link? They looked pretty tough and I doubt they've been criticized for that, at least not by those who love pop culture.

I've been reading about gender fluidity all afternoon. Apparently, the cool younger generations get it, but most of us who are over 45 aren't used to seeing men in frilly dresses or people who identify as both genders or no gender. I read their stories. I'm just having a hard time with it. They call gender a social construct because some people have a different combination of sex chromosomes. Still, does every person who identifies as gender fluid/non binary have rare chromosome combinations? If not, is gender fluidity a social construct? Does it matter if we are all able to be tolerant toward's each other, regardless of our differences?

It's a positive if people stop stereotyping based on sex/gender characteristics.

I do think that gender is mostly a social construct. It may be rooted in actual sex differences, but the way we create and perpetuate gender differences is through social and cultural actions. It likely changes over time and will continue to change.
 

Treedbear

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Sorry to disagree with the they thing.

Why be sorry? Your opinions don't affect my feelings. If you disagree, you disagree.

I'm not being hateful when I say this, but why are you telling non-binary people what they should do on this issue?

They just doesn't work
For whom? :rofl: (You mean you, I get it.)

and I think it might cause more problems for these folks.
Again not being hateful but truly astounded at this. What in the world makes you think you know more about their problems than they do?

I have no dislike of anyone, even if I question their claims but I think it's a bit nuts
Yes, yes, always a respectful line of reasoning to use on people you swear you don't disrespect.

And that is not hateful, but it is sarcastic, which is not at all the same thing.

to use a pronoun that is plural to describe someone who is a single individual.
And you would be wrong about the usage of "they," both contemporary and in history.

I have read that in some countries, new words have been used for non binary folks. When you tell me that you are a they, it's like saying you have multiple personalities.

No, it isn't. What a ghastly thing to say. How often do you "think" people have multiple personalities when they're referred to as "they" when gender/sex is not known or in a hypothetical? Do you also suspect multiple personalities are involved then? But you'll pull that horrible accusation out with a straight face when you do know you're talking about an actual person??

It's not helpful for promoting one's position.

Not helpful to whom? (And you can say "their" position here. Don't worry, it's just a hypothetical person, not an objectionably real person whose personal information is not actually your business if they don't tell you. And you're not entitled to pull insulting and sophomoric "arguments" out at them even if they do!)
...

I have no problem with the singular use of "they" when the context describes a situation when the gender is unknown. By default there is an uncertainty about the particulars of the person in question. Typically that means it might be a man or a women. So that means the context is some group that cannot be defined as him or her but includes both. The plural form is therefore appropriate and carries some meaning. But in the case where the context concerns one individual there is no rational basis to use the plural "they", or "their". So who it concerns is everyone who uses the English language and follows rules of proper diction. Using "they" to refer to an individual who neither identifies as male or female is dehumanizing simply because it doesn't acknowledge that person's individuality. I think you fail to recognize southernhybrid's genuine respect for non-binary individuals and the discomfort that results from addressing them in this way. I would think that it's a problem within the non-binary community as well. One I'd think they'd want to resolve. And then everyone could breath easier.
 

Don2 (Don1 Revised)

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Yes, it's cultural. Boys used to wear dresses up to a certain age. It's like men used to wear nightgowns, too. You must have seen this kind of thing in old movies and cartoons. Men having nightgowns might even still be a thing sort of on an individual basis or in certain cultures. It's like also pink and blue: pink for girls and blue for boys. This distinction was decided by a corporation one day, like Macy's or one of its competitors. All the other stores followed suit because it became a selling point.

Regarding the "they" issue...they has been used for a singular person where gender is unknown or simply for convenience in speaking and writing for some time. The usage is human whereas calling someone an "it" would be dehumanizing. The usage of "they" predates all the putting it out there of pronoun labels for persons in Internet profiles etc. One ought not make the mistake of thinking the usage came from this trend as it didn't. The trend is merely using a feature of English that was already evolving.

My two cents...
 

DrZoidberg

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Now, I honestly don't care what anyone wears. In fact, it adds to my amusement to see people wearing all kinds of weird outfits, but this article that I'm going to link did make me wonder if identifying with a specific gender will eventually become a thing of the past. But, first, amuse yourself by looking at my link. As a NYTimes subscriber, I am permitted to share 10 articles each month. I think I still have a few left for this month.


https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/09/style/gender-the-boys-in-their-summer-dresses.html

“We’re rethinking all of that,” said Will Welch, the editor of GQ. “A guy in Allbirds and a hoodie might be a billionaire. So you can’t make assumptions anymore,” not least about the gender orientation of “those kids in Washington Square Park in dresses.”

For the 30-ish fashion stylist Mickey Freeman, who has eschewed trousers for some six years, a kilt is a tool for flouting societal constrictions on what constitutes Black male identity. “Most people have an internal directive of how clothes play into a man’s masculinity,” Mr. Freeman wrote in an email. Guys looking to loosen “the internal shackles” of gender presentation may benefit from giving a test run to wearing a garment created without two legs and a zipper.

The above is just one of many quotes explaining why men want to wear dresses or skirts. As for me, a person who identifies as a very feminine women, I despise dresses, and skirts and haven't worn either in over 20 years. I think they are ugly on adults. But, of course, we all have different tastes when it comes to how we dress. I love jewelry and will wear diamond bracelets with blue jeans. Some people might find that wrong, but as I said before, I don't give a fuck how anyone else dresses and I don't give a fuck what anyone else thinks about how I dress, wear my hair or how much my jewelry sparkles. But, I digress.

Are men just trying to be different? Is gender identity really becoming more fluid? Why is that? I was once accused of being too assertive to be happy as a nurse when I asked for advice from a career counselor. Seriously? She told me that was a male quality? Really? One can't be feminine and also be assertive? One can't be masculine and also be gentle and caring? That's nuts!

I'm really trying to understand this non binary thing, but I'm having trouble. Apparently some transgender folks despise it too, according to several articles I read earlier today. And, please, if you must be non binary, pick a pronoun other than they. They implies two people, not one person who identifies as two genders depending on the day. I've heard a neurologist say that there is evidence for transgender, but not for non binary.

Oh wait, I was talking about men wearing dresses, but it did make me think of how we define gender these days and if the two are related, or if some men just want to have fun wearing women's clothing or getting attention. Some of these men are very masculine in appearance. I know there have always been cross dressers. Okay. No problem, but this is a bit different than that.

Oh well. There are far more important things to discuss than how men are dressing these days, but I needed a break from that stuff.

So, if you are a man, would you feel comfortable wearing a dress in public? If you are a woman, do you like wearing dresses, or would you find them attractive on your male friend, or husband? Why do you think that gender identity is becoming more fluid, at least in some areas? Is it a fad, a trend or will it lead to permanent changes in society? Share you opinion. ( I'm not talking about trans women. I'm talking about people who identify as men who enjoy wearing dresses ) We can discuss gender fluidity or we can make that a different discussion. I see gender fluidity as a cultural thing, at least until I am convinced otherwise.

Based on sociological and anthropological research how we code clothes seem pretty arbitrary. What's natural is to be naked. The moment we put on any clothes we're being, from an evolutionary perspective, weird.

Personally, I like strict norms. It makes it fun to break them.

Fun anecdote from the 90'ies of my youth. I was told by a gay friend that I wouldn't dare go out in drag. We went to a gay club. The only place with good music in the 90'ies. Yes, I hate rock music. Anyhoo... I took him up on his challenge. On the way home from the club a group of three gangster thugs came up to us and asked if we were "faggots". This was back in the day when gay bashing was a popular past time by normal people. Before I had a chance to answer my gay friend, (also in drag) told them "yes, we are, what are you going to do about it, losers". So they jumped us. But we whipped their asses good. It's a fond memory from my youth.
 

southernhybrid

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Yes, it's cultural. Boys used to wear dresses up to a certain age. It's like men used to wear nightgowns, too. You must have seen this kind of thing in old movies and cartoons. Men having nightgowns might even still be a thing sort of on an individual basis or in certain cultures. It's like also pink and blue: pink for girls and blue for boys. This distinction was decided by a corporation one day, like Macy's or one of its competitors. All the other stores followed suit because it became a selling point.

Regarding the "they" issue...they has been used for a singular person where gender is unknown or simply for convenience in speaking and writing for some time. The usage is human whereas calling someone an "it" would be dehumanizing. The usage of "they" predates all the putting it out there of pronoun labels for persons in Internet profiles etc. One ought not make the mistake of thinking the usage came from this trend as it didn't. The trend is merely using a feature of English that was already evolving.

My two cents...

Oh please. I am certainly not suggesting that non binary folks use the word "it" to describe themselves. I just have a problem using a plural pronoun being used to describe a single person. I think I get what you're saying about the term they being used as a singular in some cases, although even that has always seemed a bit awkward to me, but I don't see how it applies in the case of non binary folks. For example, the other day, the NYTimes had a piece written by a non binary. The Times had to explain that the person preferred to be addressed as they. If the term made sense, the paper wouldn't have to explain that. If there was a new pronoun used for non binary folks, that would make more sense. But, seriously, I've already stated my opinion, I have no desire to argue about it endlessly. It's okay for people to disagree.

I did find it interesting that some in the trans community object to people who identify as non binary while others consider them a part of the trans community. If it's hard for a trans person to understand a non, I think it's understandable that a straight old woman might also have questions. It's a bit confusing. That's all I'm saying. Btw, the trans folks who were objecting to the nonbinary folks were claiming that they were infringing on the trans community and/or they were just trying to be cool or part of the newest in-group etc.

But, although it's my own fault for going off topic, I originally was just wondering why so many straight men were suddenly wanting to wear fancy, frilly dresses, not kilts or robes, but things that traditionally were associated with femininity. Obviously, how we dress is cultural and it's changed over time. So, maybe that's all there is to it.

That got me wondering if gender fluidity is a cultural thing that will become a lot more common in the future. There is a big difference between what is cultural and what is natural. I'm not against cultural identities. I'm just trying to figure things out. I'm not going to treat anyone with prejudice who has an identity that hasn't been common in Western culture. I'm just naturally curious and I'm not one to accept something just because someone tells me it's true.

So, does anyone have an opinion as to why so many men who identify as male are now interested in wearing very feminine dresses? Is this really about gender or is it an attempt to break down traditional gender rolls and assumptions? Then again, maybe it's just a passing fad. I just thought it was interesting and wanted other opinions.
 

DrZoidberg

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So, does anyone have an opinion as to why so many men who identify as male are now interested in wearing very feminine dresses? Is this really about gender or is it an attempt to break down traditional gender rolls and assumptions? Then again, maybe it's just a passing fad. I just thought it was interesting and wanted other opinions.

As somebody who has an interest in fashion, here goes my interpretation.

It's because this was a thing in the 90'ies and now we have a 90'ies fashion retro movement. The 90'ies fashion was all about playing around with stereotypes, male, female, age, materials, and so on. 90'ies fashion was very playful and experimental. For example in the 90'ies Hugo Boss, the manliest brand in the world, made a pinstripe suit (for men) with a skirt instead of trousers.

I suspect that the 90'ies retro fits well into the woke gender queer movement of the 10's and act as a catalyst.

We're going to get a lot of guys in long beards in long dresses this summer.

Brace yourself!

Me personally... I love it.
 

southernhybrid

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Now, I honestly don't care what anyone wears. In fact, it adds to my amusement to see people wearing all kinds of weird outfits, but this article that I'm going to link did make me wonder if identifying with a specific gender will eventually become a thing of the past. But, first, amuse yourself by looking at my link. As a NYTimes subscriber, I am permitted to share 10 articles each month. I think I still have a few left for this month.


https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/09/style/gender-the-boys-in-their-summer-dresses.html

“We’re rethinking all of that,” said Will Welch, the editor of GQ. “A guy in Allbirds and a hoodie might be a billionaire. So you can’t make assumptions anymore,” not least about the gender orientation of “those kids in Washington Square Park in dresses.”

For the 30-ish fashion stylist Mickey Freeman, who has eschewed trousers for some six years, a kilt is a tool for flouting societal constrictions on what constitutes Black male identity. “Most people have an internal directive of how clothes play into a man’s masculinity,” Mr. Freeman wrote in an email. Guys looking to loosen “the internal shackles” of gender presentation may benefit from giving a test run to wearing a garment created without two legs and a zipper.

The above is just one of many quotes explaining why men want to wear dresses or skirts. As for me, a person who identifies as a very feminine women, I despise dresses, and skirts and haven't worn either in over 20 years. I think they are ugly on adults. But, of course, we all have different tastes when it comes to how we dress. I love jewelry and will wear diamond bracelets with blue jeans. Some people might find that wrong, but as I said before, I don't give a fuck how anyone else dresses and I don't give a fuck what anyone else thinks about how I dress, wear my hair or how much my jewelry sparkles. But, I digress.

Are men just trying to be different? Is gender identity really becoming more fluid? Why is that? I was once accused of being too assertive to be happy as a nurse when I asked for advice from a career counselor. Seriously? She told me that was a male quality? Really? One can't be feminine and also be assertive? One can't be masculine and also be gentle and caring? That's nuts!

I'm really trying to understand this non binary thing, but I'm having trouble. Apparently some transgender folks despise it too, according to several articles I read earlier today. And, please, if you must be non binary, pick a pronoun other than they. They implies two people, not one person who identifies as two genders depending on the day. I've heard a neurologist say that there is evidence for transgender, but not for non binary.

Oh wait, I was talking about men wearing dresses, but it did make me think of how we define gender these days and if the two are related, or if some men just want to have fun wearing women's clothing or getting attention. Some of these men are very masculine in appearance. I know there have always been cross dressers. Okay. No problem, but this is a bit different than that.

Oh well. There are far more important things to discuss than how men are dressing these days, but I needed a break from that stuff.

So, if you are a man, would you feel comfortable wearing a dress in public? If you are a woman, do you like wearing dresses, or would you find them attractive on your male friend, or husband? Why do you think that gender identity is becoming more fluid, at least in some areas? Is it a fad, a trend or will it lead to permanent changes in society? Share you opinion. ( I'm not talking about trans women. I'm talking about people who identify as men who enjoy wearing dresses ) We can discuss gender fluidity or we can make that a different discussion. I see gender fluidity as a cultural thing, at least until I am convinced otherwise.

Based on sociological and anthropological research how we code clothes seem pretty arbitrary. What's natural is to be naked. The moment we put on any clothes we're being, from an evolutionary perspective, weird.

Personally, I like strict norms. It makes it fun to break them.

Fun anecdote from the 90'ies of my youth. I was told by a gay friend that I wouldn't dare go out in drag. We went to a gay club. The only place with good music in the 90'ies. Yes, I hate rock music. Anyhoo... I took him up on his challenge. On the way home from the club a group of three gangster thugs came up to us and asked if we were "faggots". This was back in the day when gay bashing was a popular past time by normal people. Before I had a chance to answer my gay friend, (also in drag) told them "yes, we are, what are you going to do about it, losers". So they jumped us. But we whipped their asses good. It's a fond memory from my youth.


I don't think wearing clothing is weird. We don't have protective fur, feathers etc. to protect our
very frail skin from the elements. So, to me, wearing clothing is perfectly normal. Plus, I am so cold natured that going without clothing would be torture. Fashion is weird and it does change over time. I just think that clothing and shoes are practical, plus I doubt that most women really want heterosexual men gawking at their genitals. I know I sure don't.

Plus, as an aside....When working as a home health nurse, I saw far too many naked, boobs, penises, vaginas, etc. I would prefer not to look at naked bodies. It's not a moral thing. I just don't think most naked bodies are pleasing to the eye, especially these days. Please cover up that stuff. :D.

It's also not healthy letting our skin be exposed to the sun. It puts one at risk for serious sunburn, and skin cancer, especially if one has fair skin, but even people with darker shades of skin are at a risk of these things, so there are plenty of reasons to wear clothing.

And in response to your other post.....

There may be lots of bearded men with dresses in your neck of the woods, but I promise you that won't happen in my very conservative American city. Not that I care. As I said in my initial post, what people wear often amuses me. A few weeks ago, I saw a very cute, young mixed race couple in the grocery store dressed exactly as if they had just stepped out of the 60s. Retro always makes me smile. I don't think we had the same fads in the 90s as you did. But then again, I think most of us tend to remember what was in style during our youthful years. I was a teenager in the mid to late 60s, when things were very different compared to the 90s.

Whatever floats your boat. I've never been a slave to fashion. I only wear skinny jeans and casual tops, a style I never tire of wearing because they are comfortable and I like the way they look. I wore jeans to work at my last nursing job for years. If a nurse wearing jeans to work is breaking social norms, then I'm guilty.
 

Swammerdami

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I've had a silly-looking but semi-serious question for some time. This thread gives me an opportunity to ask it.

Why do men wear trousers, while women wear skirts? Wouldn't the reverse of this be more practical?

I'm thinking of the differing packaging needs. Trousers, especially if they're tight, flaunt a man's junk. And just as parting one's hair on the left or the right is a cosmetic decision, so men may need to decide which pant-leg to park their convex appendage in. (I've not had these problems since middle age.) Women, being more concave, do not have such issues.
 

DrZoidberg

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I don't think wearing clothing is weird. We don't have protective fur, feathers etc. to protect our
very frail skin from the elements. So, to me, wearing clothing is perfectly normal. Plus, I am so cold natured that going without clothing would be torture. Fashion is weird and it does change over time.

Evolution is a slow process. Apart from white people losing some of our skin pigment, not much have happened to our bodies since we left the Rift valley in modern Kenya. Hunter/gatherers from that area don't need clothes for protection. And that's what we've evolved for. Black people actually still excellently adapted for just that climate even if naked. And that's the climate our instincts have evolved for.

Also, it's a question of what you're used to. Humans are highly adaptable. Swedes spend a lot of time in the cold. We go skinny dipping in the winter and so on. WE get used to it. Once I went diving in Egypt in the winter (10 degrees Celsius). After hours of diving our bodies were severely chilled. When we got out of our wetsuits and were going to dry off, the Egyptians, Americans, French, Vietnamese and Korean in our group looked like they were dying from the cold. The Norwegians, Russians and me were all fine.

Genetically we're all the same. So it's not genetics. It's just a question of what you're used to.

I just think that clothing and shoes are practical

What's possibly more practical than being naked? It requires zero effort to get ready in the morning. After we've been swimming naked there's zero wet swimming clothes to bother with.

, plus I doubt that most women really want heterosexual men gawking at their genitals. I know I sure don't.
Plus, as an aside....When working as a home health nurse, I saw far too many naked, boobs, penises, vaginas, etc. I would prefer not to look at naked bodies. It's not a moral thing. I just don't think most naked bodies are pleasing to the eye, especially these days. Please cover up that stuff. :D.

I can assure you that this is a cultural artifact. It's a weird hang-up. I'm from Scandinavia. Northern Europeans (Germanic tribes and Viking regions) have cultures very relaxed about nudity. I regularly go skinny dipping in the Copenhagen harbour during the middle of the day. It's smack in the center of Copenhagen. Nobody cares. Nobody has a problem with it. Nobody is offended. Nobody stops to stare. And more importantly. I'm not alone. Lots of people do it.

You don't need to spend a lot of time naked together with your family and grand parents in a sauna to get relaxed about it. I'd argue that it's the healthy thing to do. Young people would have a hell of a lot less hang ups about their bodies if they were surrounded by normal people, letting it all hang out.

South Europeans and Americans are noticeably more neurotic about sex and intimacy than Northern Europeans.

I don't think this cultural obsession about covering up and hiding your eyes from public sexuality is healthy. It seems to make people really twisted and weird in the head. With all kinds of weird hang ups about sex and sexuality. It seems to make people fearful of both other people as well as their own bodies. From a Scandinavian perspective their behaviour around sex is very odd.

Me personally, I've stopped having sex with Americans and Italians. Too much weird hang ups and fucked up ideas about what sex is and should be. It too often feels like having sex with a child in an adults body. Even Arab women are more relaxed about their sexuality than Americans. Just my impression from decades of being a slut.

It's also not healthy letting our skin be exposed to the sun. It puts one at risk for serious sunburn, and skin cancer, especially if one has fair skin, but even people with darker shades of skin are at a risk of these things, so there are plenty of reasons to wear clothing.

Sure. But the face is no less at risk than the rest of the body, and no culture has issues about letting our faces be exposed to the sun. So it's clearly not that.

There may be lots of bearded men with dresses in your neck of the woods, but I promise you that won't happen in my very conservative American city.

Copenhagen is extremely liberal. Berlin, Amsterdam and Copenhagen is the three most liberal cities I've ever been to in the world. That's why I chose to move to Copenhagen.

Yeah, we have a lot of bearded men in dresses. It wouldn't get any reaction in these parts. I have a Danish friend here. And ex soldier. An absolutely massive guy. Well over two meters tall and a mountain of muscles. And a big beard. Always wears West African colourful kaftans. So a dress basically. Nobody has ever looked twice. Nobody cares over here.
 

DrZoidberg

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I've had a silly-looking but semi-serious question for some time. This thread gives me an opportunity to ask it.

Why do men wear trousers, while women wear skirts? Wouldn't the reverse of this be more practical?

I'm thinking of the differing packaging needs. Trousers, especially if they're tight, flaunt a man's junk. And just as parting one's hair on the left or the right is a cosmetic decision, so men may need to decide which pant-leg to park their convex appendage in. (I've not had these problems since middle age.) Women, being more concave, do not have such issues.

I know the answer to this. Traditionally having anything against a woman's vagina has been seen as horrendously shameful. An honorable woman would wear nothing on her lower body but long skirts open below. Wearing trousers or panties is something that has been associated with prostitutes since antiquity. Yes, we've had trousers since antiquity.

Historically having practical clothing has been associated with the lower classes. Having impractical and unnecessarily expensive clothing has always signaled being fancy. Which is why expensive branded clothing today has higher status than qualitatively identical clothing from cheaper brands. It's the same idea.

Up until the 14'th century men never wore pants. Men were, what's essentially a short dress (called a "blouse"). Women wore long dresses. If it was cold men would wear long socks. After the 14'th century men started wearing breeches. Which is shorts. So not much more cover. And stockings. Yes, stockings started out as male coded wear. As was high heeled shoes.

Trousers existed all along (since antiquity) but was simply practical work wear for the lower classes to protect their lower legs while working in the fields, or to protect them from splashing effluence while working in slaughterhouses, tanneries etc. Or for lower ranking soldiers.

After the French Revolution nobility became associated with backwardness. The French army switched to trousers for all ranks. 19'th century men's fashion was heavily influenced by Napoleonic era soldiers clothing. So in all of Europe modern minded men ditched breeches for trousers. Suit jackets were adapted to look like army jackets. Modern business suits are still modelled on the Napoleonic era army jacket. The tie, cravat and bowtie, all come from the colorful necktie musketeers used to minimize chaffing from all the leather straps hung around their necks and shoulders.

To sum up. Historically men always begun all new clothing fashions. They start out as male coded. Over time women will adapt them and over time might end up female coded. Practicality has never been a driving force behind fashion. Rather the opposite. The more impractical the fancier and higher status.
 

southernhybrid

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Evolution is a slow process. Apart from white people losing some of our skin pigment, not much have happened to our bodies since we left the Rift valley in modern Kenya. Hunter/gatherers from that area don't need clothes for protection. And that's what we've evolved for. Black people actually still excellently adapted for just that climate even if naked. And that's the climate our instincts have evolved for.

Also, it's a question of what you're used to. Humans are highly adaptable. Swedes spend a lot of time in the cold. We go skinny dipping in the winter and so on. WE get used to it. Once I went diving in Egypt in the winter (10 degrees Celsius). After hours of diving our bodies were severely chilled. When we got out of our wetsuits and were going to dry off, the Egyptians, Americans, French, Vietnamese and Korean in our group looked like they were dying from the cold. The Norwegians, Russians and me were all fine.

Genetically we're all the same. So it's not genetics. It's just a question of what you're used to.



What's possibly more practical than being naked? It requires zero effort to get ready in the morning. After we've been swimming naked there's zero wet swimming clothes to bother with.

, plus I doubt that most women really want heterosexual men gawking at their genitals. I know I sure don't.
Plus, as an aside....When working as a home health nurse, I saw far too many naked, boobs, penises, vaginas, etc. I would prefer not to look at naked bodies. It's not a moral thing. I just don't think most naked bodies are pleasing to the eye, especially these days. Please cover up that stuff. :D.

I can assure you that this is a cultural artifact. It's a weird hang-up. I'm from Scandinavia. Northern Europeans (Germanic tribes and Viking regions) have cultures very relaxed about nudity. I regularly go skinny dipping in the Copenhagen harbour during the middle of the day. It's smack in the center of Copenhagen. Nobody cares. Nobody has a problem with it. Nobody is offended. Nobody stops to stare. And more importantly. I'm not alone. Lots of people do it.

You don't need to spend a lot of time naked together with your family and grand parents in a sauna to get relaxed about it. I'd argue that it's the healthy thing to do. Young people would have a hell of a lot less hang ups about their bodies if they were surrounded by normal people, letting it all hang out.

South Europeans and Americans are noticeably more neurotic about sex and intimacy than Northern Europeans.

I don't think this cultural obsession about covering up and hiding your eyes from public sexuality is healthy. It seems to make people really twisted and weird in the head. With all kinds of weird hang ups about sex and sexuality. It seems to make people fearful of both other people as well as their own bodies. From a Scandinavian perspective their behaviour around sex is very odd.

Me personally, I've stopped having sex with Americans and Italians. Too much weird hang ups and fucked up ideas about what sex is and should be. It too often feels like having sex with a child in an adults body. Even Arab women are more relaxed about their sexuality than Americans. Just my impression from decades of being a slut.

It's also not healthy letting our skin be exposed to the sun. It puts one at risk for serious sunburn, and skin cancer, especially if one has fair skin, but even people with darker shades of skin are at a risk of these things, so there are plenty of reasons to wear clothing.

Sure. But the face is no less at risk than the rest of the body, and no culture has issues about letting our faces be exposed to the sun. So it's clearly not that.

There may be lots of bearded men with dresses in your neck of the woods, but I promise you that won't happen in my very conservative American city.

Copenhagen is extremely liberal. Berlin, Amsterdam and Copenhagen is the three most liberal cities I've ever been to in the world. That's why I chose to move to Copenhagen.

Yeah, we have a lot of bearded men in dresses. It wouldn't get any reaction in these parts. I have a Danish friend here. And ex soldier. An absolutely massive guy. Well over two meters tall and a mountain of muscles. And a big beard. Always wears West African colourful kaftans. So a dress basically. Nobody has ever looked twice. Nobody cares over here.

I am not offended by nudity. I just think that most people look better wearing clothing. It's about aesthetics, comfort and protection.I grew up in a climate that had cold winters. By the time I was about 12, I hated the cold and was always cold. We are all a little bit different when it comes to how we are able to tolerate extremes in temperature. Enough. We have different opinions. No problem.
 

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I've had a silly-looking but semi-serious question for some time. This thread gives me an opportunity to ask it.

Why do men wear trousers, while women wear skirts? Wouldn't the reverse of this be more practical?

I'm thinking of the differing packaging needs. Trousers, especially if they're tight, flaunt a man's junk. And just as parting one's hair on the left or the right is a cosmetic decision, so men may need to decide which pant-leg to park their convex appendage in. (I've not had these problems since middle age.) Women, being more concave, do not have such issues.

Okay. I'm being humorous, but I do think that generally speaking men's legs aren't something that look good in dresses. Perhaps all you men could wear maxi dresses, as they were called in the 60s. They went down to the ankles. Anyone else old enough to remember that style? :D
 

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I've had a silly-looking but semi-serious question for some time. This thread gives me an opportunity to ask it.

Why do men wear trousers, while women wear skirts? Wouldn't the reverse of this be more practical?

I'm thinking of the differing packaging needs. Trousers, especially if they're tight, flaunt a man's junk. And just as parting one's hair on the left or the right is a cosmetic decision, so men may need to decide which pant-leg to park their convex appendage in. (I've not had these problems since middle age.) Women, being more concave, do not have such issues.

Okay. I'm being humorous, but I do think that generally speaking men's legs aren't something that look good in dresses. Perhaps all you men could wear maxi dresses, as they were called in the 60s. They went down to the ankles. Anyone else old enough to remember that style? :D
My oldest stepson went through a period where he wore skirts just because it was fun. He was strictly straight in orientation but had a lot of gay friends. My ex-husband was appalled; I rather enjoyed it myself as I do have a rather warped sense of humor.

And I have to tell you - his legs were better than many women I know. Very nicely shaped and muscled. He did keep them shaved. :D

Ruth
 

southernhybrid

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I've had a silly-looking but semi-serious question for some time. This thread gives me an opportunity to ask it.

Why do men wear trousers, while women wear skirts? Wouldn't the reverse of this be more practical?

I'm thinking of the differing packaging needs. Trousers, especially if they're tight, flaunt a man's junk. And just as parting one's hair on the left or the right is a cosmetic decision, so men may need to decide which pant-leg to park their convex appendage in. (I've not had these problems since middle age.) Women, being more concave, do not have such issues.

Okay. I'm being humorous, but I do think that generally speaking men's legs aren't something that look good in dresses. Perhaps all you men could wear maxi dresses, as they were called in the 60s. They went down to the ankles. Anyone else old enough to remember that style? :D
My oldest stepson went through a period where he wore skirts just because it was fun. He was strictly straight in orientation but had a lot of gay friends. My ex-husband was appalled; I rather enjoyed it myself as I do have a rather warped sense of humor.

And I have to tell you - his legs were better than many women I know. Very nicely shaped and muscled. He did keep them shaved. :D

Ruth

Well, since he kept them shaved, that probably made a big difference. I was thinking of men with very hairy legs or men like my tall husband who has very long, skinny legs.

It's certainly good to have a sense of humor about things like this.
 

Loren Pechtel

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I've had a silly-looking but semi-serious question for some time. This thread gives me an opportunity to ask it.

Why do men wear trousers, while women wear skirts? Wouldn't the reverse of this be more practical?

I'm thinking of the differing packaging needs. Trousers, especially if they're tight, flaunt a man's junk. And just as parting one's hair on the left or the right is a cosmetic decision, so men may need to decide which pant-leg to park their convex appendage in. (I've not had these problems since middle age.) Women, being more concave, do not have such issues.

I'm thinking you're doing it backwards.

Parking it in either pants leg strikes me as uncomfortable. And it could be really uncomfortable if it should get not so floppy. However, that's a matter of underwear, not one's outer garment. I can see no anatomical benefit either way, although I do think skirts would be slightly cooler than equal-length legged garments.
 

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Since the OP brought up the specific issue of “they/them/their" and made several comments about the topic of gender fluidity and non-binary people (although tucked into a seemingly benign, lighthearted topic, and everyone better be nice and not challenge those comments), they're getting a response.

So just to be clear, this is not a derail by any means, as the OP well knows.

southernhybrid said:
I'm really trying to understand this non binary thing, but I'm having trouble. Apparently some transgender folks despise it too, according to several articles I read earlier today.
Oh, thank goodness. What a relief to find confirmation.

And, please, if you must be non binary, pick a pronoun other than they.
Please, you are no one’s authority but your own. No one's telling you what pronouns you should prefer.

And “If you must be non-binary”? You really do need to continue trying, as in put in honest effort, to "understand this non-binary thing."

They implies two people,
”They” means singular or plural, and has for a long time in writing and in casual language. Please stop asserting this falsehood.

not one person who identifies as two genders depending on the day.
Wow, so respectful. And yes, “they” does apply to that person if that’s what they want.

I've heard a neurologist say that there is evidence for transgender, but not for non binary.
Ooh, you’ve “heard.” Thank goodness for that nibble of confirmation.

Your comments about gender fluidity, non-binary, and pronouns have been ignorant, disrespectful, entitled, and dictatorial.

My first reply to this was not “hateful” as you insinuated as a way of deflecting criticism. This is Social Science. You put this in the right place for discussion. And calling out your despicable views is not hateful. You claim to be respectful and yet you are anything but, and then trying to pretend that not coddling you is some kind of wrongdoing. You don’t actually get to tell other people how to respond to your statements.

I have no problem with the singular use of "they" when the context describes a situation when the gender is unknown. By default there is an uncertainty about the particulars of the person in question.
We've heard and used "they" as the singular throughout our lives. No one is confused by it, not even people who think they are entitled to know another person’s gender or to tell them they can’t prefer the pronoun “they.” In fact, "they" in this specific context was Word of the Year in 2015 by the American Dialect Society, and same in 2019 by Merriam Webster, and Word of the Decade for the 2010s by the American Dialect Society.

Not that those facts are the end all be all of the topic, but interesting nonetheless to see that organizations whose job it is to record word definitions and usage also see no problem in using "they" in the singular in the context of non-binary people or people of gender unknown to you.

The only times we truly do not understand what someone is saying is when they are speaking an entirely different language or almost entirely gibberish, and not just a word or two here and there. And on the occasion when a word or two is truly not understood in context, we ask or we look it up. Again, there is literally no problem understanding "they" in the singular.

There is zero cognitive or psychological problem with using a familiar, 400-year old form of "they" in the singular. Acceptance of this form has ebbed and flowed, but has existed for centuries and is commonplace today.

It's also acceptable to use "they" in the singular both in writing (most forms) and not just in casual language, which all of us use. It's very common and has been for centuries and certainly throughout your lifetime and mine. Furthermore, in the dynamic movements of language, informal words often become acceptable as formal and vice versa, sometimes becoming obsolete or returning from the grave into contemporary usage again.

And for anyone who believes this kind of usage is a slippery slope into linguistic tyranny and “thought police,” NO, it is not. It’s just usage changing, as it always does and always will, regardless of end-of-the-world-right-wing-animal-brain fear mongering hijacking your frontal lobes’ supply of oxygen and glucose. Get a hold of yourself.

Typically that means it might be a man or a women.

"Typically" in what context? In the context of the actual history of the word and our human ability to understand new usages and definitions no matter what the context? Or the context of one person's preferences and ideological identity group making judgments of other people's use of a particular word?

So that means the context is some group that cannot be defined as him or her but includes both.
It is defined as either plural or singular, and, more importantly, you are not automatically entitled to personal information about others just because you're used to having it embedded in words.

Consider that a lot of people use "partner" to mean their wife or husband in an otherwise traditional heterosexual marriage. In case anyone hasn't heard this, it’s a thing now.

If you are only used to the terms, husband (male), wife (female), Mr., Ms., etc., and then hear "partner," you might at first assume something about the relationship, which is understandable and not necessarily a judgement on your part, but then learn that the couple is a traditional heterosexual marriage, you won't continue to automatically make that assumption when you hear "partner." You might have other reactions and thoughts about it, but you won't assume it's a non-traditional relationship.

Those heterosexual couples are using "partner," not because they feel the need to hide anything about themselves (because they recognize that society accepts them as the norm), or bevause they just want to be cool and trendy, but because they want to help people get used to the fact that they are not automatically entitled to personal information about others just because the language they are used to using does automatically give or suggest that information. If they need such information for some reason they can ask for it.

We are all fully capable of making this minor adjustment to our understanding of a common word that has been used as the singular form for 400 years, and that's historically as well as right now, in this language and culture that you and I share. This context, right here, the one you and I are most familiar with, the use of "they" in the singular is not at all an issue in reality except in a few neutral writing contexts or when attached to things that conservatives don't like and also believe they are entitled to dictate to groups of people they’ve turned into two-dimensional, superficial cartoons because they don’t understand non-binary.

As I mentioned, it's not even uncommon. Colloquially, it's ubiquitous. Your brain is already perfectly fine with using "they" in the singular and so is everyone else's barring some specific issue such as learning disability.

This issue has real consequences in the real world that we live in, and it behooves anyone who thinks they have something new or as yet unheard of perspective on this topic to know what they are talking about before dismissing what marginalized people are telling you. Simply asserting preferences and opinions based in childhood rote learning doesn't count as knowing what you're talking about. It just counts as presenting preferences and opinions as facts or useful commentary.

The use of "they" as a singular is The plural form is therefore appropriate and carries some meaning.
This sentence appears to be a casualty of editing.

But in the case where the context concerns one individual there is no rational basis to use the plural "they", or "their".

There is a mountain of rational basis for using "they" and "their" in the context of an individual. Plus we already use it anyway. No one's confused by it. There is literally no problem with it beyond some people's prejudices.

Again, something that doesn't seem to occur to most people - understandably, because in their world, it is never challenged - is that you are not inherently entitled to know anything personal about other people if they don't tell you just because you're used to automatically getting that information through words. Maybe that kind of makes you feel a bit confused and that’s not fair but that doesn't justify dictating to others what pronouns they prefer.

Universal rules of language don't really exist. Ask any linguist and they'll tell you that there are numerous commonalities in languages and how our brains process language, but there are always exceptions and variances.

So who it concerns is everyone who uses the English language

You don't know everyone who uses the English language and cannot possibly know in what ways specific usages of a couple of words might concern them. No one does, but it is not a problem anyway, and so it stands to both reason and to general wisdom that it's much more useful to be flexible and open (because language is) to changes in language that we hear, and to have the self awareness and willingness to reflect on our reactions and assumptions regarding words.

and follows rules of proper diction.
In some contexts, "proper" diction is useful or even required, but not in the context of ordinary language usage of the word "they" in the singular. Following rules of "proper" language is not a matter of either universality or anything absolute, or judgment of usage or persons using words, nor is it required for the purpose of communication.

Using "they" to refer to an individual who neither identifies as male or female is dehumanizing simply because it doesn't acknowledge that person's individuality.

No, it is not dehumanizing if the already dehumanized person says it isn't, and asserting that something is dehumanizing when in reality it is exactly what the dehumanized people in question are asking in order to help society learn to humanize them, please is itself dehumanizing or at the very least, disrespectful to insist on doing the opposite, and this has real consequences for real people.

But I'm very sure that some conservative minds could read your statement and feel quite relieved to hear that their prejudices and world view are "humane" when they are not.

I think you fail to recognize southernhybrid's genuine respect for non-binary individuals, and the discomfort that results from addressing them in this way.

SH's comments convey no such thing. I have responded to all of them and don't plan on repeating them here, but they reflect at the very best a level of ignorance and only a superficial perception of non-binary individuals as fully human and whose value as human beings is a thousand times more important than whether or not they're using "they" and "their" in the singular and asking the rest of us to do the same (though forcing no one).

But I imagine that conservatives having these experiences that challenge their traditions and ideas about rules and obedience - don't make waves, don't challenge the status quo or all life will end - both conscious and subconscious, would make them uncomfortable. In that sense, their statements are certainly understandable. But they are not reflective of an accurate or useful understanding of language or what may be right or wrong in regard to words or people, and their personal discomfort is irrelevant to that, especially in regard to this contrived claim of dehumanization. Respecting people includes letting them tell you what is dehumanizing to them and not insisting on doing the opposite.

That's a pretty sick thing to do to someone, really, like the handmaids in The Handmaid's Tale being given their master's names with the explanation that this practice "honors them."

"I will decide what is dehumanizing to you or not and I will feign sadness when my made up premise is challenged by you saying you prefer the pronoun "they". I care a lot!"

I would think that it's a problem within the non-binary community as well. One I'd think they'd want to resolve. And then everyone could breath easier.

Of course it is. Yes, absolutely! I don't know if I would call it a problem, though. but that'll do. But yeah, it’s kind of a maelstrom, an often contentious one among LGBTQ+ people and their, for some, newfound freedom to express themselves. Everyone has their preferred pronoun. There’s no need for everyone to be the same on pronouns. That's why they tell us and why it is respectful to ask and to do your best to remember it and it’s ok if you forget. It’s only not ok when you purposely refuse. If you value politeness, I would think that would extend to all people, including people who identify in ways that confuse you.

Terminology is a big thing for people who have been marginalized all their lives. They have adapted by living their more easy breathing selves out of the public eye and - this part is important - also by suppressing much of what they feel and experience and bowing to a great extent to the expectations of those around them at home, at school, at work, everywhere. We all lie to ourselves and others if that's what it takes to not be kicked out of the safety of the group.

So imagine living under such conditions and then suddenly find a globally connected media and also more and more a real life connected community of like minded people who have learned the hardest way possible - through threat or actuality of being kicked out of the human community or worse - to be accepting of people who are weird or different or do not meet expected paradigms that are none of your business to begin with and who are hurting no one. Imagine that. I know I’d be crying in relief myself.

So, yes, the community of people who are experiencing a great level of freedom to exist openly due to technology connecting them around the globe and who do not meet their society's standards of sex, appearance, body parts, sexual preferences, relationships, etc., are going to be forming new language around that, around those layers upon layers of real experiences and relationships and a dynamically changing environment, because the existing language in common usage is derogatory, condemnatory, and dehumanizing. It's a language that tells them that if they express themselves freely, they will pay for it in some way that hijacks their animal brain fear of losing the protection of the group at the very least and often fear of brutality and murder.

This is a tactic of cults, by the way, making people afraid of disobeying and not conforming. When a society accepts and cares for the needs of everybody without judgement or condition, cults will find few if any followers there.

No one’s forcing you to say “they” in the singular. Some people are just telling us it’s what they prefer, and in reality there is literally no problem with that outside of the reactions of conservative minds.

I know this post is quite long, but this is not an inconsequential topic by any means. And for the record, I’ve never held any ill will toward SH and in fact I’ve always liked her and enjoy her posts. She has expressed views that reflect great empathy and respect for the people or groups being discussed, has gone to great lengths to understand what she’s talking about, and makes intelligent, nuanced comments on the topic.

But this topic apparently isn’t one of them. And as you can probably guess by now if you have read any of my posts on this topic, I will not be chastised or accused of wrongdoing when I challenge inhumane views, whether the views are asserted by someone who is aware and malevolent or someone who is simply ignorant and rigid on the topic. The end result is the same when such views prevail in society in terms of real policies and social attitudes and real experiences of real human beings.
 
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Treedbear

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...
I have no problem with the singular use of "they" when the context describes a situation when the gender is unknown. By default there is an uncertainty about the particulars of the person in question.
We've heard and used "they" as the singular throughout our lives. ...

If you're so confident about that give me an example instead of just repeatedly asserting it.

The only times we truly do not understand what someone is saying is when they are speaking an entirely different language or almost entirely gibberish, and not just a word or two here and there. And on the occasion when a word or two is truly not understood in context, we ask or we look it up. Again, there is literally no problem understanding "they" in the singular.

If I read somewhere "Mary is going to the ballgame. They will be there around noon." it would be normal to assume that she is going with someone else. If instead it reads "She will be there around noon." then I wouldn't automatically assume that. There's a problem there. Also if I read "They is ..." I'd have to assume there's a typo. According to Merriam-Webster the definition of "is" is "present tense third-person singular of BE." Whereas "They are ..." would indicate the plural.

There is zero cognitive or psychological problem with using a familiar, 400-year old form of "they" in the singular. Acceptance of this form has ebbed and flowed, but has existed for centuries and is commonplace today.

It's also acceptable to use "they" in the singular both in writing (most forms) and not just in casual language, which all of us use. It's very common and has been for centuries and certainly throughout your lifetime and mine. ...

I don't believe I have. If you're so confident about that give me some examples.

...
Please, you are no one’s authority but your own. No one's telling you what pronouns you should prefer.

So it's fine with you that I go ahead and call some individual him or her rather then they? Then what's the problem and why are you calling that attitude "sick"?

... And yes, “they” does apply to that person if that’s what they want.

...

Again, something that doesn't seem to occur to most people - understandably, because in their world, it is never challenged - is that you are not inherently entitled to know anything personal about other people if they don't tell you just because you're used to automatically getting that information through words. Maybe that kind of makes you feel a bit confused and that’s not fair but that doesn't justify dictating to others what pronouns they prefer.

I'm not uncomfortable with calling a women "Ms" instead of "Mrs" or "Miss" if they want the same anonymity granted to men by using "Mr". Somehow that's liberating because it's what's acceptable for men, and men have more liberty so it must be good. Whatever! It doesn't bother me or confuse me to do so. But I think that therefore a real need exists for the non-gender community to come up with the same type of solution and invent a convenient pronoun that is suitably gender-neutral rather than bastardizing the use of "they". Either way, they will still be identifying themselves as non-gender. So I'm not sure what you hope to accomplish in terms of personal privacy. But I'm perfectly fine with it if we need to recognize a third category. I'm not rigid and certainly not a conservative with regard to changing social conventions.

...

That's a pretty sick thing to do to someone, really, like the handmaids in The Handmaid's Tale being given their master's names with the explanation that this practice "honors them."

"I will decide what is dehumanizing to you or not and I will feign sadness when my made up premise is challenged by you saying you prefer the pronoun "they". I care a lot!"

...

No one’s forcing you to say “they” in the singular. Some people are just telling us it’s what they prefer, and in reality there is literally no problem with that outside of the reactions of conservative minds.
...

Then please stop calling my views sick and denigrating my sentiments. I cannot refer to an individual as "they" simply because it conflicts with my understanding of the meaning of the word. I explained to you why using logic and reasoning that you haven't yet disputed. I find it dehumanizing to characterize another human being in that way and therefore degrading to my own humanity. It's not just a matter of what they might or might not want. It concerns my own status as a human being. And I as an individual cannot under any understanding of the word be a they.
 

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If you're so confident about that give me an example instead of just repeatedly asserting it.

I'm not going to do a search now, but throughout my posting history on this site, I have often used they/them as a general pronoun when not wishing to specify he/she him/her.

For years before I started noticing all of the which pronouns do you prefer stuff got started. No one has seemed to have a problem understanding me and in my memory, no one has remarked upon it, much less called me out on it.

I have used they/them/theirs as a convenience, not as a political statement.
 

Treedbear

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If you're so confident about that give me an example instead of just repeatedly asserting it.

I'm not going to do a search now, but throughout my posting history on this site, I have often used they/them as a general pronoun when not wishing to specify he/she him/her.

For years before I started noticing all of the which pronouns do you prefer stuff got started. No one has seemed to have a problem understanding me and in my memory, no one has remarked upon it, much less called me out on it.

I have used they/them/theirs as a convenience, not as a political statement.

In my opinion the only correct way to use they is as a way to refer to a group as a whole. What is referred to as the singular form of they is correctly used only to indicate the existence of two or more subgroups. Such as when a group is of mixed gender and so him or her is not appropriate. Therefore the plural they still carries meaning. If you'd provide some example I can show you what I mean.
 

Toni

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If you're so confident about that give me an example instead of just repeatedly asserting it.

I'm not going to do a search now, but throughout my posting history on this site, I have often used they/them as a general pronoun when not wishing to specify he/she him/her.

For years before I started noticing all of the which pronouns do you prefer stuff got started. No one has seemed to have a problem understanding me and in my memory, no one has remarked upon it, much less called me out on it.

I have used they/them/theirs as a convenience, not as a political statement.

In my opinion the only correct way to use they is as a way to refer to a group as a whole. What is referred to as the singular form of they is correctly used only to indicate the existence of two or more subgroups. Such as when a group is of mixed gender and so him or her is not appropriate. Therefore the plural they still cares meaning. If you'd provide some example I can show you what I mean.

Again, not going to search my post history. I understand what you are saying from a strict, traditional grammatical sense. But if someone really wanted to, I am sure that they could easily find an example in some of my posts. (see what I did here?)

I regard posting here as taking part in an informal discussion. I can get pissy about definitions, that's true. But I habitually will use they/them when the individual's sex is unknown or irrelevant and could be male or female. In other words as a general third person pronoun, suitable for any person regardless of sex or gender.
 

Swammerdami

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If you're so confident about that give me an example instead of just repeatedly asserting it.

I'm not going to do a search now, but throughout my posting history on this site, I have often used they/them as a general pronoun when not wishing to specify he/she him/her.

For years before I started noticing all of the which pronouns do you prefer stuff got started. No one has seemed to have a problem understanding me and in my memory, no one has remarked upon it, much less called me out on it.

I have used they/them/theirs as a convenience, not as a political statement.

In my opinion the only correct way to use they is as a way to refer to a group as a whole. What is referred to as the singular form of they is correctly used only to indicate the existence of two or more subgroups. Such as when a group is of mixed gender and so him or her is not appropriate. Therefore the plural they still carries meaning. If you'd provide some example I can show you what I mean.

Dictionary writers fall into two camps: Descriptivist and Prescriptivist. Both groups will agree that a meaning in use for several centuries should be Described rather than Prescribed Against.

And the singular 'they' HAS been in use for centuries. Do you need a cite for this? Will you accept a competent dictionary as evidence, or do we need to find the usage in Shakespeare?
 

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Here's the real problem. When something or someone unusual starts to become more common, people are afraid to discuss it. They are afraid they will be attacked. They are afraid that the insanity of overly zealous wokeness will inspire some to make insinuations about them, insinuations which usually aren't true. Btw, I am very fond of AF, even when I disagree with her, so this isn't meant to be a personal attack. I'm not implying that she is a victim of woke culture. I'm just think that woke culture has made it more difficult for people to discuss subjects like this. That is exactly why I started this thread. I wanted to see if we could discuss this, and sometimes disagree without making assumptions about each other and without attacking each other.

But, A Floof has made many generalizations about me. Just because I spent several hours exploring this issue so I could learn more about it doesn't mean that I was comforted because some in the transgendered community feel that non binary people are being insincere or trying to be cool. I just thought that was interesting that people in a similar in-group are having difficulty understanding non binaries. It gave me no comfort. It just made things a little bit more confusing.

I don't automatically accept anything without doing a bit of research, and some critical thinking. I was a bit amused by the frequent assumptions that a person who might have a problem with the term "they" being used to describe a single person, has a "conservative mind", whatever that's supposed to mean. I don't think we have liberal or conservative minds. But, since I don't think we have free will, if someone does have a conservative mind, that's they really can't help it, can they? ;) ( humor ) I try to be open minded when it comes to something that can't be demonstrated by scientific evidence and I like that evidence to be very obvious.

And, even if I were to decide that the category non binary is just a made up cultural concept, I respect people who are different and I would defend their right to feel that way. I wasn't agreeing with those in the trans community who have been critical of them. I just found that interesting as well as confusing. There was no need to make the assumption that I was validated by them. I'm my own person, not easily swayed by others.

So far, there is no physiological evidence for a person having more than one gender or having no gender, at least not among humans. That is why at least for now, I tend to think it's a cultural thing. But if the evidence comes in to support that this type of gender identity is physiological, of course, I will accept that.

Yes, sometimes we use the plural when we are speaking of a person, but when we use that pronoun that way, it has nothing to do with being non binary. In fact, when "they" is used that way, it's not always clear whether we are referring to one person or a group of people who are similar. So, when you say that "they" has always been used in a singular way, I don't think that's completely honest, as it's not being used to describe non binary individuals or even people suffering from multiple personality disorder for that matter. ( humor, ok )

All I'm saying is when you insist on being referred to as "they", people are confused. All I'm saying is that other cultures have created new pronouns to describe a non binary person so why is that a problem?

Of course, nobody needs to reveal that they are non binary. A non binary individual who was female sexed at birth, can use the non binary term when she wants or she can use the term she when she wants to hide her non binary identity. If the non binary community wants to be taken seriously, they might need to be open about their identities and choose a word that isn't confusing, imo. ( opinions aren't facts ) At the same time, anyone with a minority gender identity has the right to remain in the closet if they feel safer that way. It's like atheists. Some of us are very open about our atheism while others are more comfortable in the closet. It's up to individuals to decide what's best for them.

I would hope that we could discuss controversial things without making negative assumptions about each other. That to me is one of the problems in Western culture these days.

Now, I'm ashamed for spending so much time trying to explain my position. I obviously have no free will. :D

PS. I still love you Floof! :huggs: Can we lighten up now? It's almost 4:20.
 

Ruth Harris

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Yes, sometimes we use the plural when we are speaking of a person, but when we use that pronoun that way, it has nothing to do with being non binary. In fact, when "they" is used that way, it's not always clear whether we are referring to one person or a group of people who are similar. So, when you say that "they" has always been used in a singular way, I don't think that's completely honest, as it's not being used to describe non binary individuals or even people suffering from multiple personality disorder for that matter. ( humor, ok )

All I'm saying is when you insist on being referred to as "they", people are confused. All I'm saying is that other cultures have created new pronouns to describe a non binary person so why is that a problem?

Of course, nobody needs to reveal that they are non binary. A non binary individual who was female sexed at birth, can use the non binary term when she wants or she can use the term she when she wants to hide her non binary identity. If the non binary community wants to be taken seriously, they might need to be open about their identities and choose a word that isn't confusing, imo. ( opinions aren't facts ) At the same time, anyone with a minority gender identity has the right to remain in the closet if they feel safer that way. It's like atheists. Some of us are very open about our atheism while others are more comfortable in the closet. It's up to individuals to decide what's best for them
^^^This^^^

My real issue with this whole situation is the fact that I am, without a doubt, a grammar Nazi. I do try to keep it under control but there are times when it is very difficult for me.

It makes me very uneasy to use typically plural pronouns when discussing a single individual. I do understand that it makes the non binary individual uneasy when someone refers to them with a sexed pronoun. Now, in some cases (like my previous sentence) a typically plural pronoun can easily be used grammatically to describe a single individual - but many, many times it cannot. So one or the other of us is going to feel uneasy in those circumstances. This has nothing to do with my personal stance on non binary individuals at all; it is simply a matter of grammar. To me it would seem that having a new pronoun for those individuals would be the best option. I would think that those of the non binary persuasion would welcome an identification that is not just a repurposed existing pronoun. I could be wrong.

Like SoHy, I am not yet convinced of the existence of actual non binary persons. But I am more than willing to show individuals who state that preference the courtesy of using their preferred pronouns. I would just like for them to understand that using apparently incorrect grammar is as disturbing for me as being referred to by a sexed pronoun is for them.

Ruth
 

Treedbear

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^^^ That. Although I will acknowledge that since biologically non-binary persons do actually exist that there's reason enough to come up with a workable solution. If someone simply wants to identify as such it's a different issue. Actually there's a whole lot of issues involved. But resolving how to refer to them that respects each person's individuality is probably a good place to start.

In my opinion the only correct way to use they is as a way to refer to a group as a whole. What is referred to as the singular form of they is correctly used only to indicate the existence of two or more subgroups. Such as when a group is of mixed gender and so him or her is not appropriate. Therefore the plural they still cares meaning. If you'd provide some example I can show you what I mean.

Again, not going to search my post history. I understand what you are saying from a strict, traditional grammatical sense. But if someone really wanted to, I am sure that they could easily find an example in some of my posts. (see what I did here?)...

Yes, thank you.
  • "I am sure that he could ..." > refers to an individual within a group of only men.
  • "I am sure that she could ..." > refers to an individual within a group of only women.
  • "I am sure that they could ..." > refers to an individual within the group: men or the group: women.
The latter would apply in that case. But if the group you were addressing was essentially all women or all men then referring to one individual among them as "they" would be incorrect. And that's assuming that you don't mean "they" as them all working together to find an example, which you obviously didn't since you referred to "someone".
 

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I agree with nearly all of your post :)

I really should make an effort to watch some of RuPaul's Drag Race. Drag has always made me somewhat uncomfortable because in my mind (which may be completely off target), those who dress in the exaggerated drag are purportedly expressing femininity in ways that I do not associate with anything feminine. I simply don't. I may very well be misunderstanding the point of drag.

I am really not a fan of drag. To me, it's no better than old school minstrel shows: It's men putting on women's clothes, and playacting an exaggerated, stereotype-driven caricature of womanhood. I find it insulting. When you add in the fairly common derision that a lot of drag queens express toward women, it's even worse. For example... a drag queen who is convincingly feminine gets called "fishy".
 

Emily Lake

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One advantage that women have had over men is that it has become acceptable over the past 100 years or so for women to wear traditionally male clothing while the reverse has not been true. And why not? Why has it been more acceptable for women to embrace 'male' characteristics/behaviors than for men to embrace the feminine? And why are certain things considered 'masculine' but do not require male genitalia or male hormones and why are certain things considered 'feminine' but do not require female reproductive organs/genitalia/hormones? I don't get it. Boys may (or may not) like climbing trees and looking at insects and rocks more commonly than do girls but such activities are not inherently masculine. Nor is enjoying art or cuddling animals or dolls inherently female. Given the opportunity, many boy children will happily play with dolls and stuffed animals, care for them, create imaginative play where the toy plays the part of a character in the child's fantasy. We're comfortable enough with boys doing that with GI Joes and Star Wars figures so why not with teddy bears and baby dolls?

Because in our patriarchal societies masculine qualities are considered good and feminine ones bad. Why would a man want to adopt bad qualities? It is more respected that a woman might want to become better or stronger, but why would a man want to become worse or weaker? Women do still get criticized for adopting masculine characteristics, but certainly not as much as men get vilified for adopting feminine characteristics.

You see this in entertainment media, right? Women superheroes or adventurers are basically women doing what men do. Strength is kicking butt and being strong. How many female superheroes do you see using feminine qualities to save the day? It's very rare. The closest I've seen lately is in the movie Wonder Woman, where it was her compassion that led her to saving that village when all the men wanted to pass by without helping. But she still saved the village by being strong and defeated the villain in the end with punching and power.

I deeply want to disagree with your post... but I can't. It's all very true, and it saddens me.
 

Emily Lake

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Otherwise, frankly, a casual t-shirt dress is less hot than pants and a top and sometimes, on very hot days, I prefer those t-shirt dresses simply because they are cooler than pants and a top.

There have been times I've wished a dress was socially acceptable for men for this reason. While I haven't actually tried it I would think a short dress would be the ideal hot-weather garment. Clothes are a substantial impediment to the body's cooling system.

I dunno. I'm undecided. Yes, a skirt or dress can allow more air circulation... but it also leads to your thighs sticking together which is not so much fun. I tend to go for loose-fitting shorts and tank tops... Or air conditioning.
 

Emily Lake

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I've been reading about gender fluidity all afternoon. Apparently, the cool younger generations get it, but most of us who are over 45 aren't used to seeing men in frilly dresses or people who identify as both genders or no gender. I read their stories. I'm just having a hard time with it. They call gender a social construct because some people have a different combination of sex chromosomes. Still, does every person who identifies as gender fluid/non binary have rare chromosome combinations? If not, is gender fluidity a social construct? Does it matter if we are all able to be tolerant toward's each other, regardless of our differences?

It's a positive if people stop stereotyping based on sex/gender characteristics.

Gender as a social construct has nothing to do with biological sex, nor with chromosomes. In humans (as well as animals), sex is determined not by chromosomes explicitly, but by the type of gamete that one is organized to produce (even if one never actually produces said gamete). In humans, all mammals, and the vast majority of vertebrates, there are two distinct types of gametes, generally referred to as ova (large immobile gametes) and sperm (small motile gametes). Even with the chromosomal variations associated with some disorders of sexual development (DSD, colloquially "intersex"), each individual is still only male or female. Of the 1.7% of people who have a medical DSD condition, the vast majority of those have no ambiguity about their sex, and the condition is diagnosed as a result of fertility or pubertal development issues. People with DSDs that cause ambiguous genitalia are only 0.02% of the population, and each of them is still exclusively only male or female.

Virtually no people with DSDs are non binary, gender fluid, or trans gender. The two have nothing t do with each other.

Gender as a social construct has everything to do with sex-based stereotypes and behavioral expectations. IMO, the world would be better off without it altogether. Men should be allowed to wear make up and heels, women should be allowed to drive dump trucks. Biological differences still exist, but the social strictures imposed on us are harmful.
 

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I've had a silly-looking but semi-serious question for some time. This thread gives me an opportunity to ask it.

Why do men wear trousers, while women wear skirts? Wouldn't the reverse of this be more practical?

I'm thinking of the differing packaging needs. Trousers, especially if they're tight, flaunt a man's junk. And just as parting one's hair on the left or the right is a cosmetic decision, so men may need to decide which pant-leg to park their convex appendage in. (I've not had these problems since middle age.) Women, being more concave, do not have such issues.

Not-entirely-joking...

Men wear pants so they can ride horses without chafing their balls. Women wear skirts so that men can more easily rape them.
 

Emily Lake

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I've had a silly-looking but semi-serious question for some time. This thread gives me an opportunity to ask it.

Why do men wear trousers, while women wear skirts? Wouldn't the reverse of this be more practical?

I'm thinking of the differing packaging needs. Trousers, especially if they're tight, flaunt a man's junk. And just as parting one's hair on the left or the right is a cosmetic decision, so men may need to decide which pant-leg to park their convex appendage in. (I've not had these problems since middle age.) Women, being more concave, do not have such issues.

Okay. I'm being humorous, but I do think that generally speaking men's legs aren't something that look good in dresses. Perhaps all you men could wear maxi dresses, as they were called in the 60s. They went down to the ankles. Anyone else old enough to remember that style? :D

Oh, I dunno. For some strange reason, I've always found a well-fitted priest's cassock to be very sexy on a man. And kilts... oh goodness kilts are hot.
 

Emily Lake

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Oh boy. This should be contentious.

It is defined as either plural or singular, and, more importantly, you are not automatically entitled to personal information about others just because you're used to having it embedded in words.
I agree that nobody is entitled to personal information about others. That said, in the real world, humans are highly sexually dimorphic, and we can accurately identify the sex of another post-pubescent human well over 99% of the time. A person's sex isn't something that can be hidden, unless we force all people to wear muumuus and masks all the time. It has nothing to do with entitlement, it has to do with observation and the scientific realities of secondary and tertiary sexual characteristics. Pronouns don't refer to a person's internal gender identity, they refer to a person's apparent sex, based on the perception of the speaker.

I'm fine with using whatever basic pronoun set a person likes, within reason. Even though it rubs me wrong grammatically, I'll even use "they". But that's a matter of courtesy, not because a person's sex is somehow magically transformed or hidden by their adoption of a nonbinary identity.


This issue has real consequences in the real world that we live in
What consequences does it have?

So, yes, the community of people who are experiencing a great level of freedom to exist openly due to technology connecting them around the globe and who do not meet their society's standards of sex, appearance, body parts, sexual preferences, relationships, etc., are going to be forming new language around that, around those layers upon layers of real experiences and relationships and a dynamically changing environment, because the existing language in common usage is derogatory, condemnatory, and dehumanizing. It's a language that tells them that if they express themselves freely, they will pay for it in some way that hijacks their animal brain fear of losing the protection of the group at the very least and often fear of brutality and murder.

I'm sorry, but the existing language of "he" and "she", "woman" and "man" is not derogatory and dehumanizing. I understand that it's a touchy subject for some people, and I'll try my best to accommodate their feelings.

On the other hand, being referred to as a "uterus haver" or a "menstruator" or a "birthing parent" or a "person with a cervix" is actually extremely dehumanizing - it literally robs women of their humanity and reduces them to body parts. All in the name of "inclusivity".
 

Emily Lake

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^^^ That. Although I will acknowledge that since biologically non-binary persons do actually exist that there's reason enough to come up with a workable solution.

Biological sex in humans is strictly binary. There is no in-between, and there is no third sex.

Also, none of the people in the news expressing a non-binary social gender identity has a disorder of sexual development. None of them are intersex people. And the vast majority of people with DSD conditions do not consider themselves to be non-binary.
 

IanSYK

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I will make a comment about the use of they

Before I came online I didn't know that people didn't use it in singular situations.

All my life in the North of England I've used it.

Examples

"I saw your Uncle Fred today"

"Oh What were they doing?"

"I saw Sue Smith at the train station"

"Where were they going?"

I assume I picked it up from people around because I done this all my life.
 

steve_bank

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In Seattle there is a uni-kilt store. The first time I heard of it I had a good laugh.

I do not think you would want to go into a pub in Scotland and start calling men who wear kilts wimps or something like that.

Are men and women the same? No. Different hormones. Expression with clothes is cultural. The 90s metro sexual look was sexually ambiguous, masking differences.

Gays dressing like women piss off hard core heteros in my generation because it conflicts with identity,.
 

Treedbear

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^^^ That. Although I will acknowledge that since biologically non-binary persons do actually exist that there's reason enough to come up with a workable solution.

Biological sex in humans is strictly binary. There is no in-between, and there is no third sex.

Also, none of the people in the news expressing a non-binary social gender identity has a disorder of sexual development. None of them are intersex people. And the vast majority of people with DSD conditions do not consider themselves to be non-binary.

Are you certain that there is no in-between or intersex?

Sex assignment at birth usually aligns with a child's anatomical sex and phenotype. The number of births where the baby is intersex has been reported to be as low as 0.018% or as high as roughly 1.7%, depending on which conditions are counted as intersex. The number of births with ambiguous genitals is in the range of 0.02% to 0.05%. Other intersex conditions involve atypical chromosomes, gonads, or hormones.
 

DrZoidberg

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Evolution is a slow process. Apart from white people losing some of our skin pigment, not much have happened to our bodies since we left the Rift valley in modern Kenya. Hunter/gatherers from that area don't need clothes for protection. And that's what we've evolved for. Black people actually still excellently adapted for just that climate even if naked. And that's the climate our instincts have evolved for.

Also, it's a question of what you're used to. Humans are highly adaptable. Swedes spend a lot of time in the cold. We go skinny dipping in the winter and so on. WE get used to it. Once I went diving in Egypt in the winter (10 degrees Celsius). After hours of diving our bodies were severely chilled. When we got out of our wetsuits and were going to dry off, the Egyptians, Americans, French, Vietnamese and Korean in our group looked like they were dying from the cold. The Norwegians, Russians and me were all fine.

Genetically we're all the same. So it's not genetics. It's just a question of what you're used to.



What's possibly more practical than being naked? It requires zero effort to get ready in the morning. After we've been swimming naked there's zero wet swimming clothes to bother with.



I can assure you that this is a cultural artifact. It's a weird hang-up. I'm from Scandinavia. Northern Europeans (Germanic tribes and Viking regions) have cultures very relaxed about nudity. I regularly go skinny dipping in the Copenhagen harbour during the middle of the day. It's smack in the center of Copenhagen. Nobody cares. Nobody has a problem with it. Nobody is offended. Nobody stops to stare. And more importantly. I'm not alone. Lots of people do it.

You don't need to spend a lot of time naked together with your family and grand parents in a sauna to get relaxed about it. I'd argue that it's the healthy thing to do. Young people would have a hell of a lot less hang ups about their bodies if they were surrounded by normal people, letting it all hang out.

South Europeans and Americans are noticeably more neurotic about sex and intimacy than Northern Europeans.

I don't think this cultural obsession about covering up and hiding your eyes from public sexuality is healthy. It seems to make people really twisted and weird in the head. With all kinds of weird hang ups about sex and sexuality. It seems to make people fearful of both other people as well as their own bodies. From a Scandinavian perspective their behaviour around sex is very odd.

Me personally, I've stopped having sex with Americans and Italians. Too much weird hang ups and fucked up ideas about what sex is and should be. It too often feels like having sex with a child in an adults body. Even Arab women are more relaxed about their sexuality than Americans. Just my impression from decades of being a slut.



Sure. But the face is no less at risk than the rest of the body, and no culture has issues about letting our faces be exposed to the sun. So it's clearly not that.

There may be lots of bearded men with dresses in your neck of the woods, but I promise you that won't happen in my very conservative American city.

Copenhagen is extremely liberal. Berlin, Amsterdam and Copenhagen is the three most liberal cities I've ever been to in the world. That's why I chose to move to Copenhagen.

Yeah, we have a lot of bearded men in dresses. It wouldn't get any reaction in these parts. I have a Danish friend here. And ex soldier. An absolutely massive guy. Well over two meters tall and a mountain of muscles. And a big beard. Always wears West African colourful kaftans. So a dress basically. Nobody has ever looked twice. Nobody cares over here.

I am not offended by nudity. I just think that most people look better wearing clothing. It's about aesthetics, comfort and protection.I grew up in a climate that had cold winters. By the time I was about 12, I hated the cold and was always cold. We are all a little bit different when it comes to how we are able to tolerate extremes in temperature. Enough. We have different opinions. No problem.

So you don't think the culture we live in has an impact on our preferences for what we wear?
 

bigfield

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Here's a fun fact: in Italian, the word for dress (vestito) is a masculine noun!
 

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I am not offended by nudity. I just think that most people look better wearing clothing. It's about aesthetics, comfort and protection.I grew up in a climate that had cold winters. By the time I was about 12, I hated the cold and was always cold. We are all a little bit different when it comes to how we are able to tolerate extremes in temperature. Enough. We have different opinions. No problem.

So you don't think the culture we live in has an impact on our preferences for what we wear?

Sure it does. But I don't think culture tells the whole story.

I'm less inclined to believe that culture is responsible for the whole story of how we view nudity or how comfortable we are naked. That includes religion, btw. I was raised more religious (but not very religious) than my husband but I've always been less shy about walking around unclothed. My sisters were scandalized when we were kids so I dressed more quickly than I would have otherwise. Looking at my kids, two were naked little kids that you had to chase to get clothes on after a bath and to teach not to open the door unless you were wearing clothes. The other two? They were happier dressed. Difference in temperament? Personality? I honestly don't know. I hated the dressing room during gym class but at home? Not a problem to walk around naked. My husband spent a lot of time playing sports so had much more time in locker rooms so one would think he'd be less shy about nudity.
 
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