This pattern — women can dress like men, but men don’t dress like women — suggests that there is, in fact, something demeaning, ridiculous, or subordinating about presenting oneself to the male gaze. Most men feel stupid, gross, or vulnerable when they do it. This isn’t just about conformity to different gendered expectations. If it were just about difference women would feel equally weird dressing in men’s clothes. Instead, when women adopt masculine ways of dressing and moving, they often feel empowered.
So, when men do femininity they feel ridiculous and when women do masculinity they feel awesome. This is what gender inequality looks like.
“With a very few exceptions, your typical beautiful women don’t turn me on. Sometimes I’ll be walking down the street and a friend will nudge me and say, “Wow! Did you get a load of that girl?” But strangely enough, I can’t recall a thing about this supposed knockout. And gorgeous actresses or models don’t do a thing for me. I don’t know why, but there it is. For me the boundary dividing the real world and the world of dreams has always been vague, and whenever infatuation raised it’s almighty head, even during my early teens, a beautiful face wasn’t enough to get my engines started.I was always attracted not by some quantifiable, external beauty, but by something deep down, something absolute. Just as some people have a secret love for rainstorms, earthquakes, or blackouts, I liked that certain undefinable something directed my way by members of the opposite sex. For want of a better word, call it magnetism. Like it or not, it’s a kind of a power that snares people and reels them in.The closest comparison might be the power of perfume. Perhaps even the master blender himself can’t explain how a fragrance that has a special power is created. Science sure can’t explain it. Still, the fact remains that a certain combination of fragrances can captivate the opposite sex like the scent of an animal in heat. One kind of fragrance might attract fifty out of a hundred people. And another scent will attract the other fifty. But there also are scents that only one or two people will find wildly exciting. And I have the ability, from far away, to sniff out those special scents. When I do, I want to go up to the girl who radiates this aura and say, Hey, I picked it up, you know. No one else gets it, but I do.”—Haruki Murakami (via not-badforagirl)