Photo by Vlada Rennes.

In the last few months the Internet has been ablaze with the term “manly men”. Candace Owens took to her Twitter and commented that “there is no society that can survive without strong men,” after Harry Styles made history as the first man to have a solo feature on the cover of American Vogue magazine — and to top it off was featured wearing a dress. Who is Candace Owens you ask? She’s an American conservative author, political commentator, and activist. And she insinuated that Harry Styles is “weak” for his appearance in a dress! It seems that Owens is saying that a man wearing a skirt, a garment we now associate with femininity, makes him less of a man. But since skirts historically were symbols of masculinity, perhaps Candace misses the mark here. In Scotland, kilts were originally known to be a garment worn into battle, and came to represent heroic actions performed by soldiers. In ancient Rome, togas were a common style of dress for men and women. Across time periods and regions, men wore skirts, kilts, loincloths, togas, and other flowing clothing that is not pants. 

There have been many pioneers of crossing clothing boundaries in the past think Prince and David Bowie to name a few. And let me tell you those two were notorious for their appetites that made them anything but girly if you know what I mean.

It seems that what Owens is referring to here is that a man in drag is a pansy. According to her a manly man should be chopping wood, entering burning building, carrying pianos up the stairs and the likes and it very well may be that for her but it certainly is not for me. I don’t want that type of a man by my side. I want a man who can pay someone to carry that piano up the stairs and have the wood chopped, I want a man that can recite poetry and compose music in my honor. I want a man who can tell a diamond apart from a cubic zirconium, perhaps even a man who would on occasion don make up and ladies lingerie if I asked him to. Now that’s a manly man!

Story by Annika Sharber.