Articles tagged with "Gender"

Very Well Mind website explores the term "gender expansiveness", looking at its origins, what it means and how it's being used to classify people who cross normal lines of gender expression.

From the article:

"Gender expansiveness is an umbrella term for any expression of gender that falls outside of society's current gender binary standards."

"One person who has made a name for himself just by wearing clothing meant for the opposite gender is Eli Cohen, an author, speaker, fashion advocate, and "self-expression facilitator." He founded an organization called Spacious Human, with the tagline "Experiencing Expansiveness." Cohen is a cisgender man who began wearing dresses and skirts after the age of 50. He now teaches others how to explore their gender and their expressions of it."

"It can be challenging to put yourself out there in a way that makes you appear different than others, and you're opening yourself to judgment just by looking different or noticeable. However, some people feel that it's more important that society sees more than one version of humanity and expression, so they take on that potential judgment."

"Consider doing your research before asking anyone in your life about their gender expression. This saves others from having to perform emotional labor for you. It is considered polite to not ask people questions you could easily find the answers to yourself."

Original URL: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-gender-expansiveness-6362960

Posted: Today


Vogue magazine reports on the growing trend of male celebrities wearing platform heels.

Red carpet events present a great opportunity for celebrities to get themselves into the media. One way to get noticed is to push the boundaries of what's normally expected and for some stars, they achieve that in what they wear. The outfits in general are not what we would call "traditional" red carpet wear, but many of them are now also including heels in various flavours.

There's some new faces in town too, bucking the trend for men in heels such as musicians Troye Sivan, Conan Gray and Maneskin front-man Damiano David. It's also great to see a consistent style commitment including heels from others like Lil Nas X and Timothee Chalamet.

There's some great photos in this article and it's well worth a quick read.

Original URL: https://www.vogue.com/article/mens-platform-heels-trend

Posted: 8 November 2022


While many curious men explore their gender identity at home, often with items of clothing they've acquired by mail order services, they may consider showing up at their workplace in those items as an unattainable dream. There is however some serious research being done in this area by many people to determine the sociological effect of workplace attire and how people who are gender nonconforming, non-binary, genderqueer and so forth are challenging the norm in the workplace.

From the Gender Sexuality at Work Conference 2022, Dr Briony Lipton gives this compelling presentation of her work on "Men In Heels And Workplace Attire" which forms part of a larger project "Invisibilities Of Gendered Inequality In The Age Of Remote And Hybrid Work". Her research on gender equality and changes in professional attire is particularly interesting as it addresses a fundamental shift in our pandemic and post-pandemic work lives where many of us now regularly work from home, or have a hybrid home/office arrangement with who we work for.

She explores "Queer Heterosexuality" and whether there are ways in which straight men can disrupt the dominant paradigm of the straight-masculine and whether this can help to communicate, challenge and influence organisations and individuals perceptions of gender and sexual identities and their perceptions of equality and inclusion in the workplace.

With notable mentions of @MarkBryan911, @The_Heads_Count, @AlokVMenon, @TheeBillyPorter, @GentlemanHeels and @Mens.Heels.Revolution there are a number of other Instagram accounts featured in the video which we'll leave you to discover for yourselves.

Original URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UCe441EoYI&list=PLhOObpoQndRlSrCjtoprhSRUWCa_qqZ8h&t=4s

Posted: 15 October 2022


Lillian Stone (@originalspinstr) writes for Mel Magazine on the rise of men in heels on social media and how some women are falling in love with the growing trend.

From the article:

"Mesmerized by their confidence and how their heeled shoes make their ass look like marble, women are falling head over heels for guys who dare to don a pair of pumps"

"Wearers are posting their videos to Instagram and, increasingly, TikTok, where videos with the hashtag #meninheels currently have more than 82 million views. Someone’s grandfather even went viral for pairing masculine silhouettes with a tasteful pump.".

"Seeing a man wear heels without a hint of irony confirms what we’ve always known, if only subconsciously — that heeled footwear is sexy, no matter the wearer’s gender. It speaks to a simple truth: If you find a pair of shoes that make your ass look like it’s made of steel, you should wear those shoes."

Men appearing to have more confidence comes across as one of the key attractions to women. Having greater confidence is often a reason stated by women as to why they wear high heels, but it's still interesting to see this coming across when the roles are reversed.

Original URL: https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/men-wearing-high-heels

Posted: 29 September 2022


Today, we take a look back to 2020 and a Harpers Bazaar magazine interview with Harris Reed (@Harris_Reed), the then up and coming designer who is now probably best known for styling Harry Styles for the cover of Vogue magazine. That moment was a pivotal moment in Harris's career as it instantly catapulted him into the spotlight.

"I’d like to eradicate the categories of menswear and womenswear,” Reed says. “Fluidity offers an alternate way of being, crossing and merging masculine and feminine.”

Harris certainly has a way of making what we would normally call feminine styles and presenting them in a way in which we can call them gender neutral. He is definitely one to watch for the re-shaping of the fashion world we currently know.

...and if that's not enough gender-bending non-binaryness for you, to take a look at @FluidByHarrisReed for his curated collection of classic gender-bending looks from the stars.

Original URL: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/designers/a34458195/gender-fluid-fashion-harris-reed-no-sesso-art-school/

Posted: 3 September 2022


The Vou takes stock of where we are at in the heels for men arena and highlights 38 selections from what's on offer with options to suit all tastes, styles and budgets. There has clearly been a great deal of research put into this piece by Aiden Russell, and if they are anything like me, probably one or two personal purchases along the way!

From the article:

"the number of men reclaiming their space in the high heel fashion world by making profound statements of confidence and style is on the rise."

"Inspired by top fashion brands such as Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin, Tom Ford, Prada, Marc Jacobs, Maison Margiela, Celine, Amina Muaddi, YSL, Manolo Blahnik, Versace, and Bottega Veneta, these heels for men will make anyone look stunning, regardless of gender, style, or taste."

Original URL: https://thevou.com/fashion/mens-high-heels/

Posted: 2 August 2022


People say you’re gay if you’re a man who wears high heels or boots... Is that true?

It may be true that people say that, but it’s certainly not true that any item of clothing or footwear can ever change your sexuality when you put it on. To even suggest that is ridiculous.

In talking to various people during my research for this answer it was by no means conclusive that gay men are more likely than anyone else to wear heels and boots. They don’t need anyone’s judgement any more than anyone of any other sexual orientation, straight, bi or otherwise who want to express themselves with their clothing choices, but one thing is certain it’s not clothes that determine any person’s sexual orientation.

Deconstructing gender stereotypes is the key to changing this situation. There are many on Instagram who are behind that movement and call it out. We all need to play a part if we want to freely express ourselves. Raising awareness via Instagram other social media and blogs will help, but we also need open and honest conversations with the people around us. While we may be comfortable, familiar and accepting of the notion that clothes have no gender and don’t dictate your sexual orientation, to most people that will be a new concept, so perhaps it's time for a coffee and a chat...

Thank you again to everyone who contacted me with their perspectives on this topic during my research. Much appreciated.

Comments from our readers

We had some great comments on this question posted on our Instagram page for previous posts of this Q&A issue...

"No, you’re a person who just happens to like them. Nothing about being gay or straight etc. Do women who dress like a man get called gay"

"As a pre op transgender wearing heels comes naturally to me, even driving in 3 inch block heels no problem"

"After all it is simply an item of clothing. And when you go back and look at the history of boots particularly over the knee boots and thigh high boots they were originally designed hundreds of years ago for men all of this stereotyping people has got to stop gender neutral fashions should be everywhere and we should just be allowed to wear what we want wearing a pair of boots that are marketed for women is not a sign of being gay it’s just a freedom of your own expression. I seriously wish all boot Manufacturers would start marketing to men there are so many of us out there they enjoy the pleasure of wearing a pair of boots design for women and are afraid to come out there is no reason to be afraid times are changing but they need to change quicker."

"Speaking as a heterosexual happily married man who has enjoyed a lifelong passion for wearing women’s boots primarily low heeled or up to an inch and a half out in public for many, many years under my jeans. I do not agree that you are a gay man who wears them. I simply feel complete and comfortable wearing boots over normal shoes but that does not make me gay at all I have no desire to make love to someone of the same sex. I am not against that. I believe everybody should have the right to live their life really and express themselves as long as they are not hurting anyone. You’re absolutely right the time has come to do away with a stereotype labels put on people."

"Only a few gay guys appreciate high heels. They even often hate them because it’s woman related."

"Of course everyone is free to wear whatever they like, and should! Speaking purely from my experience, I’d say it is more common to find straight guys who are into traditionally feminine shoes like high heels. Gay guys are often into traditionally masculine boots like motorcycle or combat boots. In other words, if you are attracted to women you like women’s shoes and if you are attracted to men you will prefer men’s shoes. So perhaps which kind of footwear one likes does have something to do with sexual orientation—just not in the way many people think."

Posted: 15 July 2022



Why are gender stereotypes bad?

A gender stereotype is defined as an overgeneralisation of characteristics, differences and attributes of a certain group based on their gender. Typically this is most widely understood in the context of the gender binary of men and women. For example, women are often portrayed as being emotional, caring, nurturing and in need of protection. Men are often characterised as being leaders, rational, career driven and strong. However, a gender stereotype is harmful when it limits the group’s capacity to develop their personal abilities, pursue professional careers and/or make choices about their lives.

Other examples are where assertive women are called “bitches” and “whores”, while men who don’t appear or act masculine are called “sissies” or “wimps” or assumed to be gay, which is a very offensive stereotype in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Gender stereotypes are complex and originate from local culture and traditions. Children learn what constitutes female and male behaviour from their family and friends, the media and institutions including schools and religious bodies. Gender stereotypes can have an adverse effect on all genders, as young people find themselves regularly exposed to messages about how boys and girls should look, behave and play. These socially accepted and often unconscious ideas start to form in infancy.

Gender stereotyping results from unconscious biases held by all of us. Unconscious bias happens when our subconscious makes assumptions about people based on their background or perceived background.

Everyone has unconscious biases. An individual can be unconsciously influenced by a stereotype even if they do not rationally subscribe to it. Becoming aware of our biases and working to counter them is an important way to combat the negative effects of gender stereotypes.

Unconscious bias arises because we have to process vast amounts of information every second. In order to avoid being overwhelmed, our brains have to make assumptions based on previous experience and find patterns to speed up decision making.

However, these assumptions tend to be based on simple characterisations of people such as their age, race or gender. They are communicated through micro-messages such as body language and choice of words. This is more likely to happen when we are stressed or tired, and can cause problems by affecting our beliefs and treatment of others.

As our society moves to a broader construct of what “gender” means, individuals who are stuck in this binary idea of gender have a difficult time wrapping their brains around individuals who do not fit into a strict gender dichotomy, or do not identify with any gender at all.

We are easily thrown in terms of our interactions with others for whom our brain has not been programmed to stereotype to some degree. This is because stereotyping enables us to make sense of the world – at least sometimes. Someone who considers themselves “Gender Fluid,” or “Gender non-conforming,” threatens the stereotypes we are familiar with and for that reason can seem is weird and/or threatening because we can’t even stereotype them.

Mainstream media & advertising have a powerful role to play in defining the gender stereotypes that we perceive, so much so that in June 2019 the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK banned "gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence" following a review.

The ASA said the review had found evidence suggesting that harmful stereotypes could "restrict the choices, aspirations and opportunities of children, young people and adults and these stereotypes can be reinforced by some advertising, which plays a part in unequal gender outcomes".

"Our evidence shows how harmful gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to inequality in society, with costs for all of us. Put simply, we found that some portrayals in ads can, over time, play a part in limiting people's potential," said ASA chief executive Guy Parker.

Media defines culture, and culture defines change. Individuals may see thousands of advertising messages a day in social media, TV, movies, newspapers or magazines. Those messages matter, because they influence our perceptions of gender.

When it comes to the portrayal of men in media, the fact is that harmful stereotypes do exist about what it means to be masculine, focusing on power dynamics, domination of other men, subjugation of women, violence and aggression. When this gender inequality occurs in the background of gender stereotyping, this is in the most basic sense sexism.

We’ve written new scripts for our daughters about strength and leadership, which are slowly starting to gain representation in media, but what about our sons? What do we want to redefine about their future manhood? New definitions can emerge, though they are often in conflict of our understanding of the world through existing stereotypes. The quantity and quality of advertising messages will largely determine how quickly and how well new roles are defined and adopted by men.

We need to stop seeing challenges to rigid gender roles as a threat, and instead question what’s working for us now and what’s no longer working. The truth is that some gender stereotypes can hold both men and women back from being the best that they can be - and impact our mental health.

Take some time to evaluate the gender stereotypes you frequently encounter and ask yourself whether they truly work to elevate your potential equally alongside others or at their expense because of their gender. Are they genuinely a threat to you or are you simply unconsciously obeying gender stereotype programming which you’ve received since you were born?

When we see a gender non-conforming person in our daily life experience, men in heels being only one example, we should recognise not only the privileges we have in our own position, but the background of inequality within which they have risen through with the mental strength and courage to step outside in the face of gender stereotyping. We may judge them for being "weird", within our own limited experience, or we can regard them as a strong, courageous and individual blueprint for new and positive role models.

Posted: 21 June 2022


ABC News reports in Australia on the debate for the Religious Discrimination Bill where Stephen Jones MP delivered an emotional speech in parliament highlighting the struggles the LGBTQIA community they face every day, highlighting in particular his own son Paddy, who frequently wears gender non-conforming clothes, including high heels.

Original URL: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-02-10/paddy-stephen-jones-son-speech/100819064

Posted: 12 June 2022



Cissexism: "The belief or assumption that cis people’s gender identities, expressions, and embodiments are more natural and legitimate than those of trans people." Healthline digs deeper into this topic which many may not even know exists.

Original URL: https://www.healthline.com/health/transgender/cissexist

Posted: 16 April 2022




Kidadl takes some of the confusion out of raising a child that wants to wear clothes not normally associated with their gender. Kids are born open-minded and are taught social norms by us, like what clothes a boy or a girl normally wears. This is also reinforced by their experience in the world around them. While this article is aimed at boys wearing girls clothes, it applies equally to girls wearing boys clothes, although through deeply engrained patriarchal practice, that has not been seen as carrying the same social stigma. The article concludes that it's fine for a boy to wear "girls" clothes, which it should, as clothes have no gender, and that we should encourage our kids to live as their authentic selves.

It's encouraging to see articles like this as it does seem to show that attitudes towards gender and clothing are changing. Our children are our future hopefully they carry a new hope for future fashion.

Original URL: https://kidadl.com/articles/when-boys-wear-girls-clothes-should-i-be-worried

Posted: 17 January 2022


The New York Times reports on the trend in Spring 2022 fashion shows which is embracing new ideas about gender and its fluidity in fashion. They ask whether we still get freaked out by men in dresses and skirts because we're still holding on to old power structures? and "Is it seen as somehow disempowering for men to have access to classically female clothes? That it somehow... weakens them, since women are supposedly the 'weaker sex'". They conclude that "the balance of power is shifting. These distinctions are just old historical constructs."

Original URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/11/fashion/the-end-of-gender.html

Posted: 1 January 2022


This is a great article from Polyglot Group, a global Human Resources company and provides a perspective on gender equality in the work place.

  • How does this relate to men in heels?!

"Equality is not just a women’s issue.

This is also the main message of #HeForShe, the UN Women campaign that sparked global debate about the place of men in contemporary feminism.

Launched in 2014, the initiative calls 'men and people of all genders to stand in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality'."

  • How does this contribute to the slow pace of change in men's fashion?

"Today, traditional gender roles only serve to restrict people, confining them to stereotypes and tropes born out of an antiquated society and public consciousness.

In fact, the perpetuation of these stereotypes is largely how gender inequality and injustice have endured throughout human history."

  • Why a man in heels visualises an important message for all...

"Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… it is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, not as two opposing sets of ideas."

Well worth a read.

Original URL: https://www.thepolyglotgroup.com/blog/gender-equality-is-a-two-way-street-balance-for-better/

Posted: 19 November 2021


Summary: Danish magazine DR reports on Danish department store, Magasin (@magasindunord), stocking the new range of inclusive sized shoes soon to be launched by @SteveMadden and how shoes in larger sizes benefit everyone regardless of gender.

"Every time you do something that creates a visible equalization of gender differences it will in the long run help to create more equality between the sexes"

This is a great article and reflective of change that is happening in the fashion footwear industry. Bravo both @SteveMadden and @magasindunord!!

Special thanks go to @gender_free_universe and @willgonzalez1726 for leads on this story.

Original URL: https://www-dr-dk.translate.goog/nyheder/kultur/snart-kan-du-finde-stiletter-i-stoerrelse-45-i-dansk-stormagasin-og-det-er-faktisk-en?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=nui

Posted: 18 November 2021


Quartz looks at how gender lines are blurring in the Fashion industry. Originally published in 2015, it's clear that although the topic has been on the agenda for a while, there is still a long way to go. The article does acknowledge that the constraints around what men and women wear are loosening and with lines from numerous retailers now clearly making clothes of interest to non-binary and androgynous buyers, they have at least set the wheels in motion.

Original URL: https://qz.com/381790/sex-and-gender-arent-perfectly-binary-why-should-clothes-be/

Posted: 6 November 2021


British newspaper The Independent reports on changing time and how Vogue magazine has decreed that heels for men and now in vogue, literally. @KanyeWest, @HarryStyles and @JustinBieber are leading the way with small heels, but the trend is definitely towards higher heels specifically for men. Gender lines are blurring and men in heels are now a sign of the times.

Original URL: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/heels-for-men-back-in-fashion-harry-styles-kanye-west-justin-bieber-russell-brand-marco-rubio-a7794591.html

Posted: 28 October 2021


Vogue magazine reports that skirt shopping is gaining popularity by men. Persistent presentation of men in skirts on the catwalk is finally paying off with more men adding a skirt or two to their wardrobe.

Original URL: https://www.vogue.com/article/men-are-shopping-for-skirts-thom-browne-lyst-report

Posted: 9 October 2021


The Bubble asks “Do clothes define gender?”. Harry Styles’ appearance on the cover of Vogue magazine in a Gucci dress opened the flood-gates of discussion around gender. This article digs a little deeper into the topic of gender, stereotypes and the associated backlash from conservatives.

Original URL: https://www.thebubble.org.uk/current-affairs/do-clothes-define-gender-harry-styles-sparks-debate/

Posted: 22 September 2021


British newspaper The Guardian takes a look at the music and style icon that was Prince. Always more than a musician and singer, Prince spoke about himself through his style, which most notably included his trademark high heeled boots and where Prince led, others followed.

Original URL: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2016/apr/22/prince-how-his-androgynous-style-influenced-fashion

Posted: 7 August 2021


Meet @henrybae and @shaobohan, the creators of @shopsyro, the gender-nonconforming shoe brand here to cater for the new demographic of men and gender-nonconforming people who want to wear high heels. @evanrosskatz interviews Henry and Shaobo who give us the low-down on the brand that's there for those in search of "something to give them a more cunty experience on the street."

Original URL: https://www.allure.com/story/syro-shoes-high-heels-for-men-gender-nonconforming-people

Posted: 14 July 2021


This article from Fashion Journal in 2020 asks a pointed question “Why is fashion still gendered in 2020?” and suggests that segreated clothing in stores may soon be a thing of the past. It highlights Androngenous dressing as one factor driving the change and how we are re-thinking the purpose of clothing.

Original URL: https://fashionjournal.com.au/fashion/fashion-gendered-2020/

Posted: 2 July 2021


This article by @edsullivan2 from the brilliant InStyle magazine (@instylemagazine) explores how spaces like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube have given androgonous stylists, post-gender visionaries and queer creatives the freedom to embrace their authentic selves, tools to build a platform, and potential to have a wide reach and impact. We see how people like @tripleminor, @wisdm, @alokvmenon, @sammyratelle, @elierlick, @jayybeech, @bethanycmeyers, @nicotortorella and @patrickchurchny are successfully challenging fashion boundaries and taking fashion influence from the streets to social media.

Original URL: https://www.instyle.com/fashion/clothing/tiktok-gender-free-fashion

Posted: 20 June 2021