The girlfriend who gives her dude a clothing makeover is a well-worn heterosexual trope. But are dudes who submit to such treatment defaulting on their "masculine duties?"
That's the argument Lawrence Schlossman makes in his Details blog post:
As a man, you have to take pride in yourself, in how you present yourself to the world. So get your shit together and do your research. There's this thing called the Internet, and just like it helped you make an informed purchase with regard to your new kegerator, it can help you move past the school-teacher-goes-to-Las-Vegas vibe your lady aided and abetted. Now hit the shops. Godspeed.
Schlossman doesn't make his point particularly gracefully — is it not possible to speak to a male audience without referencing kegs? Still, he's right that there's plenty wrong with the idea that guys can't buy clothes for themselves. First of all, it's linked to the notion that caring about how you look is feminine and therefore stupid. Second, it enables that most grating of relationship dynamics: one partner treating the other as a fixer-upper. Third, it puts clothes-shopping in a particularly obnoxious category of activities: those men are supposedly too infantile or incompetent to do for themselves.
Shopping is more fun than some things men are allegedly too dumb to handle, like laundry. But for every woman who wants to be her boyfriend's personal sartorial consultant, I'll show you a lady who would rather he buy his own damn socks. And while I'm not particularly in favor of telling guys they need to learn basic life skills "as a man" (I don't clean my bathroom "as a woman"), I do like a version of masculinity that includes being on top of your shit, even if it requires a trip to the mall.
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