Friday, 11 July 2008
Step Across the Gender Divide - But Tread Carefully
I stopped worrying about gender roles years ago. I'm quite happy to be going to watch Mamma Mia tomorrow night which, I am told is as "...camp as a boy scout jamboree". I'll happily sing along to the songs that blighted my childhood, and I shan't worry about growing lady parts.
But sometimes I do worry whether this 'being in touch with my femininity' has gone a bit far. Take this week for example: watching Ten Years Younger I was discomfited to hear myself say, when top hairstylist Andrew Barton had performed his almost alchemical contradiction to the saw that you cannot make a silk purse from a sows ear, "Oooh that's a nice cut isn't it" and it was. But I do feel that perhaps it should have been Mrs C that said it whilst my role was confined to a glance over the top of my newspaper and non committal grunt that signified that whilst I was prepared to be a partner in watching these predominantly female targeted programmes, I wasn't set on it being an equal partnership.
Similarly, watching Gok Wan's Fashion Fix (again in another moment of marital mateyness) I was surprised to find myself astounded by the apparent preference, of an audience of 'normal women' for Gok's economical fashion fixes rather than clothes costing many thousands of pounds and designed by from some of the worlds best. I mean, even a brute like me could tell that the cloth in the frocks alone cost as much as my car.
But then there was light at the end of the tunnel and I stopped worrying about my masculinity. It seemed that I had missed the point entirely (huge sigh of relief); it was all about empowering women to reject the style stereotypes thrust on them by the fashion fascists and rather be influenced by them to do their own thing.
I think in future, I'll make sure there's a copy of The Grauniad to hide behind, just in case.