Republicans and right-wingers, and anyone who’s ever worried about showing too much affection to their son or nephew or any other young boy in their life lest they make them too “soft,” all collectively freaked the fuck out on Monday, disturbed to see a conventionally attractive man pose in a dress on the cover of a bougie fashion magazine.
Yes, musician Harry Styles has many Loud And Wrong people upset because he is wearing something that isn’t a pair of slacks and a tweed jacket, or whatever these people think is “masculine” formal wear.
My god, I can think of like at least five things with far bigger implications on the course of this country than Harry Styles in dress!!!!
- Something like 500 migrant children still separated from their parents by the Trump administration just months before the end of said administration!!!!
- Just everything related to COVID, from a lack of energy to bring more financial support to people ahead of Thanksgiving and December holidays, to hospitals being overwhelmed, to the rationing of care in El Paso!!!!
- This fucking idiot being elected to Congress!!!!!!
- Biden all but promising he will not be doing anything to hold Trump and his administration accountable for their crimes!!!!!!
- Georgia’s Senate elections in January!!!!!
I am not a lazy person, so I am not going to dig on Ben Shapiro of all men being upset that Harry Styles in a dress may make masculinity more malleable and accessible to men who do not fit the conventional definition of “masculine.” But I will say that I am fucking tired of “manly men” and their reign on this country and their support from women who would rather play out their own harmful stereotypes than be the leaders of their own futures.
I am fucking tired of men who do not know how to process their emotions because they have been told that it is not “masculine” to do so, and so their only means of emotional expression are in violence and rage, toward others and themselves. I am tired of a racist, classist gender binary that garners white, cis male Harry Styles praise for being “brave” and “subversive” for “experimenting” with gendered clothing, but erases nonbinary people and punishes Black trans women for existing.
All of these people fear the “feminization” of men, but, LOL, I wish that was the future we were hurtling toward! All I want is a future where no one is discriminated against for the ways they express their gender — where no one feels forced to form their personality around our standard expectations and to feel bad when they don’t meet them. I am so grateful to have so many empathetic men in my life who’ve had to navigate these destructive messages about masculinity and strength and weakness all their lives. And yet I see the kind of people we elect to power — men promising to decimate one another in fistfights — and I know that these possibilities are so far away.
There are so many social ills that Harry Styles pictured on the cover of Vogue in a dress does not actually address, even though people like Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens and fucking Ian Miles Cheong think he is a threat to their world. These conservatives are shaking in their boots thinking that Harry Styles in a dress is their fucking end of days, and that the United States will lose the international competition on having the biggest, angriest, most ‘roided-out men in the world. And so I take pleasure that they are so afraid, while knowing that their fears for the future of American men are mostly unfounded, despite how much I wish it really was this way.