Sunday, 10 May 2015

LABELS AND BOXES ARE FOR ORGANISING


Gooood evening everyone! Here I am with another post for y'all! Today's subject is one that's very close to my heart and to myself: gender roles and boundaries. You might or might not have read this post I wrote about gender roles, and I know I may seem like a repeat offender, but I feel like there's still need to talk about this all. Now, you have to know that the idea of writing this didn't pop up in my mind randomly. On last week's press days, I had an inspiring talk with Belgian actress Joy Anna Thielemans. I met her at the Pravda pressroom, and we got chit-chatting quite easily. After a while we got to more serious matters, like social media, integrity, using your influence and being/staying yourself while doing that. I was wearing the same fur sleeves you can see on the pics that day, and we started discussing the fact that it's kind of a bold piece, and I told her that I am not here for gender boxes thinking and all that jazz. She told me to use that as my strenght, to different me from the thousand other bloggers out there, and actually,...she was hella right. Thanks to this blog, I got the chance to be a voice, and I want to grab every opportunity to use that voice as much as I can.
I am and always will be someone with a very specific style. I like to get influenced by a lot of thing in my surroundings, such as other blogs, architecture, different cultures and of course the fashion scene itself. When I say 'scene', I do mean the whole scene. Not only one part of that. Not only the men's section of it all. All of it. Menswear, childwear, womenswear, the whole shabang. To be completely honest with you guys: I don't give a damn if a sweater or bag comes from an other section than menswear. Let it be clear, I identify as a man, I fully do, I just don't do well with that gendercorrect thinking we have. At what point in history did we decide that a piece of fabric stitched in a circular form and called a skirt could not be worn be men? When and why did we put in our heads that some items are reserved for men and some for women? Can someone please tell me what the concrete difference is between black cotton trousers or a black cotton skirt to cover up your private bits? I am a strong proponent for clothing that is gender neutral, I applaud diversity in all it forms, but I think that we first have to look at ourselves.
When I wore these custom made fur sleeves my friends Soraya made me in Antwerp last week, I thought it'd be okay. I mean, if there's one place in this little country where I can wear what I want without getting dirty looks and offensive comments, it's the capital of fashion, right? Right. That's what I thought. Nevertheless, when I walked down the Meir, Antwerp's biggest shopping street, I couldn't help but notice almost everyone staring and/or laughing when I walked by. I asked myself, why? That question floated around in my mind for quite some time, but in the end I came up with a theory to answer it: we are afraid. Afraid, yes. Afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what is different, afraid of what is new. Just a glance into history is enough to know that I am right: when Western conquerors murdered whole civilizations, when Galileo Galilei was convicted to a lifelong house arrest due to his revolutionary theories, when Martin Luther King was murdered because he believed in changes,... wasn't that all out of ignorance, out of fear for the unknown? 
The time has come for us to realize that gender boxes aren't relevant anymore, for us to see that times are changing. In ten years, I hope know that gender roles will be seen as stupid and irrelevant, and the time to make a change is now. The next time you see someone out on the streets wearing something you might consider strange or different at first, don't laugh at him or her. Don't make that person feel small. Applaud him. Applaud him for being brave enough to be who he or she wants, applaud him for being different. It's the differences that make us all so unique, that make us all interesting to each other. 
Celebrate each other's differences, without labelling the pieces they are wearing as strictly reserved to one particular sex. After all, those silly 'rules' when it comes to conformity are all in our heads.  If women can wear suits (and look hella fly in them), wait and see what a man can do with a dress... Boxes and labels are there to organise your old stuff, and not the people around you.




What are your thoughts about this subject? I'd love to hear!
Thank you for reading!

2 comments:

  1. You rock this world, young man! Sterke post, sterk karakter!

    PS: jammer dat ik je ben misgelopen bij de persdagen. Is al zo lang geleden!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ik denk dat het probleem ook voornamelijk ligt in het feit dat mannen in vrouwenkleding als lachwekkend beschouwd worden, want waarom zou een mannelijke man nu in iets vrouwelijk willen rondlopen. Het zou mooi zijn als ook op het gebied van kleding er niet zo'n kloof tussen mannen en vrouwen zou zijn, al een geluk zijn er fabulous mensen zoals jij die het voortouw daarin nemen ;)
    Naomi, x

    ReplyDelete