Thursday, December 17, 2009

Androgynous Nation - The Prevalence of Jeans

Often the most seemingly random topics find themselves percolating in my mind. The past couple of days I have been thinking about jeans--you know, the denim pants that everyone wears. I would actually say that jeans are quite wonderful, if it weren't for the fact that everyone wears them. To be sure, they are fairly practical, and they are at least decently comfortable. Actually, what bothers me most about jeans has almost nothing to do with jeans at all. What bothers me is that women wear them. Everywhere you go, women are wearing jeans. Old women and young girls, trendy chicks and frumpy gals, gorgeous babes and grotesque women all have a commonality in that they all wear jeans. While there are occasional obvious exceptions, as a rule, women wearing jeans look significantly less feminine than girls who wear more traditionally feminine garb.

As I was growing up in a socially conservative family, occasionally my mother (who ironically now wears jeans most of the time) would read some sort of article on how women wearing pants is immodest or unbecoming in some way. I even remember watching a video sermon that nearly insinuated that wearing pants was a symbol of rebellion and a rejection of authority. At the time, I really didn't care one way or the other, since what women should or shouldn't wear seemed to have no pertinence to my life. While I still wouldn't quite agree with such an extreme socially conservative position, I find it both interesting and even somewhat surprising how similar the view of many secular and even liberal minds is to such a position. The truth is, those who understand and value the intrinsic differences between men and women, between masculinity and femininity, also recognize that certain forms of dress are more masculine and certain ways to dress are more feminine. Femininity in women is something that is desirable and attractive. All other things equal, women who act and dress in a more feminine manner are nearly universally considered more attractive than women who act and dress in a less feminine manner. Sadly, modern culture has lost sight of that simple truth in its destructive march toward an egalitarian utopia.

In fact, since the rise of feminism (which is quite a misnomer, since it diametrically opposes all things feminine), American culture has set forth an androgynous ideal in nearly every aspect of life. Men are told to be more sensitive, less angry, more talkative, more submissive and overall less masculine, while women are taught that they should be stronger, more determined, more independent, more assertive, more driven and overall less feminine. In many ways, this cultural shift is perfectly mirrored and revealed by the very clothing modern people wear. Not long ago, Dave in Hawaii wrote an excellent blog on how this shift in thinking has changed the way women dress today. Personally, I think that the prevalence of jeans and other unisex clothing flawlessly illustrates the fact that modern America neither understands masculininity and femininity nor values them.

The truth is, a woman wearing jeans is something much bigger than simply the wardrobe choice of a single individual. Either consciously or unconsciously, it is a symbol of conformity with the modern utopian ideal, which is based on the flawed premise that there is no ultimate difference between men and women. A girl wearing jeans is either making a statement that she accepts what culture teaches without critically examining it or is a making a statement that she rejects the natural differences between men and women and chooses to forsake the pursuit of beauty and femininity to chase after uniformity and aesthetic dullness. Neither of those statements are good ones to make. Why should a woman typically dress in a way that minimizes her natural beauty? Why should dressing up to look nice only be for special occasions? Androgynous dressing is as much an affront to nature and God's design as wearing a burqa is. In one case it's a rejection of femininity because of fear and lack of self-control, in the other case it's a rejection of femininity out of spite and rebellion.

While it virtually goes without saying that the way a person dresses has a major impact on how they are perceived, I especially notice how much a girl's wearing jeans changes my perspective of her. Recently, I saw a girl that I'm mildly attracted to at a social function. She was wearing a really thick and colorful sweater, had her hair pulled back in a ponytail and was wearing some generic-looking jeans. As I looked at her, the word "boyish" sprung to mind completely unbidden. Never before would I have connected that particular descriptor with her. Just the fact that she was wearing jeans radically changed my instinctual impression of her. In contrast, a little while back I ran into a girl that I don't consider very attractive, but on this occasion she was dressed very nicely. She wore a cute dark coat and a medium-length skirt of subtle color. Just because of how she was dressed, she looked sweeter and more feminine than usual. Some would say that such perceptions and impressions of girls based on how they are dressed is a bit shallow and doesn't take enough factors into account. To this I simply reply that how a girl is dressed is not merely an aesthetic factor (which does matter a lot to men), because it is also something that speaks volumes about how she perceives herself and the world.

But, don't just take my word for it. Decide for yourself. What sort of girl looks more beautiful and feminine: a girl wearing jeans, or a girl wearing a dress or skirt? While androgyny is something that contemporary culture advocates, it seems clear that working towards such a goal defies nature, makes a people more drap and dull, deprives the world of much-needed beauty, makes both men and women less attractive, and shows a lack of appreciation for God's creation. Now, if a woman wants to diminish her beauty and attractiveness by dressing in an androgynous fashion by wearing jeans, then she is certainly welcome to do so, regardless of the stupidity of such a goal. But in such a case, at least it should be an informed rejection of nature and her own physical appearance, rather than simply cultural conformity out of ignorance. Those women who properly know their place in the world and value their appearance will dress themselves in a feminine manner and avoid wearing clothes that would look equally fitting on a man.


  1. I think I wrote this opinion , if I didn't know better , in fact , the more a woman wears menswear or its feminized version (?); the more intolerant/ critical these masculinized "Drag Kings " are of males wearing something not common in menswear and are quick to question the gender appropriateness of this garment as to imply the male is maybe cross-dressing, while she is wearing Levis/Lee jeans, basketball snickers, sweatshirt and a baseball cap !The ultimate Chutzpah, eh ? This senario isn't that un-common. Two examples from two different religious Education middle-aged married women : I am wearing " Amphib thermal male athletic tights " with " Hot Chillys " thermal tights underneath becauuse the temp.was minus 17 degrees " F ",no wind chill factor was involved and walked into the parish hall and first thing she did was to say to me " What statement are you making ? " Implying that I should not be wearing ski tights because I am a normal married man; second woman : Upon seeing my off-white woolen Irish embroidery ski hat, stated : Is that a girl's hat ? Both of these women wearing Jeans 24/7 and sneakers; women are such intolerent hypocrits when it comes to what is menswear. There isn't anymore menswear; everything is now socially considered womenswear !Give me a break !

  2. I don't understand your terminology, you say that a woman should dress more feminine as to show off her natural beauty but in my opinion a woman could look just as good in a pair of jeans. A woman wearing jeans is not her ignorantly conforming to the androgynous cultural views of today but more of her feeling comfortable in her own skin. I personally think that a woman wearing a dress and hating it looks a whole lot worse than a confident woman in a nice pair of jeans, a dress does not make a woman anymore beautiful than she already is. All you did with your pictures up there was put beautiful women in beautiful dresses and say that the dress is why she was really beautiful. I challenge you to take a less attracticive woman and only change what she has on with a dress and not add any fancy makeup to her and she'll still be unattractive.

  3. This whole article is ignorant crap. Yes today's society is more androgynous because it is more evolved. You are basically saying that women should be wearing skirts because it is more naturally beautiful. Why don't you just come out and say that women belong in the kitchen cooking and cleaning for her man? Honestly, a girl will wear whatever she wants to wear. If she feels like wearing a skirt or a dress, she will. If she doesn't she won't. It has nothing to do with your ignorant view on reality.

  4. "Those women who properly know their place in the world and value their appearance will dress themselves in a feminine manner and avoid wearing clothes that would look equally fitting on a man."

    Wow, you sound like an advocate for the "in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant" brigade. (May as well come out and admit it.) Since jeans were originally designed to be worn by blue collar workers (admittedly, male).. Isn't a man wearing jeans an indication of being lower class? Best regress to dressing in suits and silk collared shirts.

    Or even better! You come into this world naked, shouldn't you stay au naturel as God intended?

    What I'm saying is, your statements in this post are about as silly. The measure of a woman's beauty and femininity is her character.. I rather feel sorry for the girl that settles for you.

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  6. take off your pants...and put on a dress woman

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