What do women really think of the oft-mocked 'fedora personality'? (We hate it.) No, really, what do they think? (Really, we hate it.) That's what one man wanted to know when he took to the subreddit Ask Women to find out just how we gals feel about the fancy fedora and the personality that sometimes come with it. The responses he got are nothing short of spectacular.
"Do women really not like the whole 'fedora' persona?" asked Redditor FranklinTempletron, adding:
I'm talking about a guy that wears a fedora (or maybe any other hat) and does things like tipping it to you, says things like "m'lady", stands up when you enter the room or exit the table, kisses your hand, etc.
Assuming the guy is fit, practices basic hygiene, and doesn't have a neckbeard...wouldn't you find this sort of thing charming/cute/sweet in an old-fashioned sense (especially when nobody does anything like this these days)? If not, why not? Is it just that most women don't like it, but there's a small sub-set that do like it?
Short answer? No. Women do not like being called m'lady or any other display of manners that seems performative or condescending. And the members of Ask Women reiterated this time and time again.
Some replies were straight to the point, like this one by fierywords:
Even your question indicates the main issue I have with fedoras—you refer to it as a persona. Women don't want to meet a "persona", they want a real person. No caricatures.
Others were a little more thoughtful and elaborate, but still very anti "fedora persona."
Like this one:
Manners are wonderful, but you should extend those manners to everyone equally. If you insist on tipping your hat, at least do it to everyone, and it will come off less creepy. Singling out women as needing a special set of manners is, in an era where most women want equality, deeply unhelpful.
Basically, most women like being treated like normal people. Idealising a past where women (and many other people) basically had a worse time than they do now is not fun for most of us and looks insensitive or even ignorant - and if there are a group of women who like that, I strongly suspect they prefer to be asked first.
I don't want to have to act like a 'lady'; I want ZERO expectations put on me on the basis of being a woman. I want the same respect and opportunity as you; no less, but also no more, because it's a trade off - infantalising women or putting them on a pedestal makes them something 'other' and experience tells us that leads to BAD TIMES.
So no, I would say most women don't like the "fedora persona". There might be some who would be totally into that, but they are (I suspect) few and far between, and you will definitely really annoy some women behaving like that.
In reality this shit is awful because along with the fedora persona of saying m'lady and kissing you hand and what not there are the "negative" aspects like crying about being "friendzones" and raging about never having girl friends and spending excessive amount of time on the internet, also this "high and mighty" attitude that was some how adopted. Those qualities also belong to the persona, and those obviously all sound awful.
Then there were those requesting that fedora-wearers come correct:
Something else to remember: It isn't old-fashioned to wear a fedora. Unless you only wear it outside. It has never been proper or fashionable to wear a hat inside, even in the heyday of the fedora. Or ANY other hat. Men have never worn hats inside, until lame nostalgic dudes who have no idea what hat eras were like tried to bring them back. Hats are outerwear! Never wear it inside.
You can only wear a fedora if you are Joseph Gordon Levitt or act and look exactly like Joseph Gordon Levitt:
Unless you're somebody like Joseph Gordon Levitt or that level of attractiveness and charm, it's just going to seem kind of awkward at best and associate with pretty awful at worst.
Anecdotal evidence that the "fedora persona" is terrible:
...A guy I knew through musical theatre. Looking back, he is the exact stereotype. He didn't speak in a normal New Zealand accent, but spoke as if he were trying to enunciate perfectly and sound... I guess proper? He would always say, "m'lady" and "m'dear" to me. Once, he was auditioning for a TV ad and he showed me his "typical kiwi accent" that he was "putting on" for it - it sounded MUCH more natural and it took so much will-power not to say, "why don't you just talk like that all the time?!"
He believed in old fashioned manners and chivalry.
We lost touch over the years and recently ran into each other at an opera. He texted me afterwards and he did this thing where he unnecessarily said things in a strange way... like, "Hello there, do you perchance have plans this fri / sat / sun?" JUST SAY "WEEKEND"! After I told him I was hanging with my boyfriend he never replied and I haven't heard from him since.
He wore fedoras with jeans.
He was socially awkward in some ways (see above) but confident and outgoing in general. He had no problem talking to women as he spent a lot of time with them in musicals and operas. However, I do remember once when I told him I broke up with my boyfriend he said something like, "So are you now finally going to give me a chance?" I was like... dude, what the fuck? You never told me you liked me. You never flirted with me overtly. You never asked me on a date. I've never denied you.
Then there are the very few outliers who are trying to ruin things for everybody by saying that they find fedoras and put-on chivalry to be old fashioned and sweet.
While thoughts like these maybe only made up 3 of the hundreds of replies, FranklinTempletron, original poster and fedora enthusiast, really seemed to glom onto them, even adding this to his post:
EDIT: Wow, this is eye-opening. Although a couple users (/u/Anya7980 and /u/silverwarbler, for example) have mentioned they liked it. One of them mentioned she was an "old-fashioned hopeless romantic," which sounds like me; would this be the subset of women that actually like this sort of thing?
His attachment to finding some woman out there who would dig his hat (there's somebody fore everybody!) seemed to bewilder (and delight?) the fedora-hating majority even more:
Machinax: You seem...oddly determined to make this thing work.
ericmm76: Well you can't just return a fedora once you've worn it...right?
Someone kissed my hand after anal once.
In conclusion, one member of the Jezebel staff confessed to me that she sometimes sort of likes a man in a fedora. GUESS WHO IT WAS.
Image via Shutterstock.