Toeing the line.
To toe-ring or not to toe-ring…a question of gender acceptance.
I said in my last post that I would tackle something a little less serious this time blogging around. The ugly state of the ‘socioeconomicpolitical’ landscape can fester for the time being. Back to the issue of toe-rings; really a non-issue at first glance. The problem being simply, I am male. Men do not wear toe-rings. End of sentence, full stop, termination of debate. What society says is pretty clear on the matter. I’ve been wearing my toe-rings now for 14 years and what a gauntlet I have run.
It of course starts with the stares… the incredulous looks. What is going on here? That is not the worst of it. It is my nature to be polite, *very* polite. Apparently as a man, that is another strike against me. The question that I have polled my friends about on his initial impression is quite simple. “Is he gay?” Since when has extra ornamentation coupled with a civil attitude point to sexual orientation?
Of course, gender identity, and societal norms are all called into effect in this situation. I realize that but I also see certain standards that are appropriate for women, but not for men. Women are ‘supposed’ to adorn themselves with all sorts of shiny beads and gaudy baubles. Men…well… they can wear a watch and maybe a necklace if they are lucky. Professionally for men, the open toed shoe or sandal is a no-go. If we are not sporting the jacket, tie, loafers etc combo, we are not taken seriously or respected. I’m not really much for the status quo anyways, but at times not being part of the herd is rather disquieting.
I’m thinking that a more relaxed attitude towards the fashion rules for both sexes would be a good thing. Women just seem to have a better grasp on bringing the established clothing trends together and making it work. Men I think are still gripped in the ‘manly’ image and censure those who are on the fringes of acceptable male fashion.