Why I wear only Woman-Made clothes

The other day a gentleman friend of mine was confused when I explained that as a vegetarian, I only buy clothes made from woman-made materials. I explained that I don’t feel right wearing animals if I don’t eat them. My friend is a meat eater, so I tried to explain the difference between products that come from animals and woman-made materials. Now don’t get me wrong – my friend isn’t a vapid blond – he’s a very bright, good looking boy in his early 40s. (He’d kill me if he knew I mentioned his age, but he really looks much younger. He was a coed at Dartmouth College when I met him and really bright.)

My friend asked why I only wear things made by women and not by men. That’s when I realized that he didn’t understand that “woman” is a generic term for human being. I had to explain to him that I’m not sexist. I had taken a cab over to meet my friend that day and I had a man cab driver, and I was fine with that. I don’t think that all men are bad drivers. In fact, I have a man doctor. I even have a man dentist, which is pretty rare.

What drives me crazy is this political correctness that my friend is into, ever since he was a college boy. I happen to be a history buff, and whenever I say anything about the history of womankind, my friend goes nuts because he doesn’t like the term “womankind,” even though it is universally accepted to be a collective term for all humans.

What’s really weird is that my friend is not some ugly dog that has to be a masculinist because he can’t get laid. Like I said, he’s an attractive boy in his 40’s who’s still good looking enough to get a woman interested in him. I think boys like my friend should stop being so sensitive.

There admittedly was a lot of sexism back in the 50s, but the fact that we came close to electing our first gentleman president in 2008 should tell you something. We can also be proud of the fact that a full 17% of Congress is male and there are two, count them, two gentlemen serving on the Supreme Court. A man serving on a jury, let alone the Supreme Court, would have been unthinkable only 50 years ago. So all you masculinist boys out there, please stop whining about a problem that no longer exists. I now have to go pick my son up from school. He wants to be a pilot when he grows up, and although that may not seem like a realistic dream at the moment, who knows? Perhaps 20 years from now, 17% of commercial aircraft will be flown by man pilots.

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24 Responses to Why I wear only Woman-Made clothes

  1. mike says:

    Eric, this was so high concept that it made my head hurt. Were you 100% consistent in the usage reversals? I was not able to keep track.

    • ericesad says:

      Thank you Mike: you are the only person to have commented. Just a few seconds ago I lamented to Sylvia that nobody commented on my gender rant & she said that maybe it was too deep. She hasn’t actually read it yet. In response to your question: When I finished, half-way through I realized that I had flipped & was writing about the paucity of women in government, etc., and had to go back and reverse it.

      • Perceneij says:

        Hi there!

        Eric!!!???! When reading this sooo excellent piece of writing (I will send the link all around if it is ok!), it never crossed my mind that you could be a man!!!! Even after reading your name I still could not believe it and went allover the page to double check!
        My most sincere congratulations, it is so refreshing and unusual to see a man putting himself in our cultural shoes, and with such talent and humor!
        Thanks for bothering!!!

  2. Amanda says:

    Eric,
    Why can’t all men think like you? Thanks for writing this.

  3. Shiyiya says:

    Hah, love it. Well played.

  4. hossin amjadi says:

    kjdn kjendfe keooiencn oedmn

  5. [...] Why I wear only Woman-Made clothes [...]

  6. Hypatia says:

    Fantastic! I’m totally forwarding that post!

  7. jfmartin says:

    I will pass this on!

  8. Zenoodle says:

    Just to say, I loved this! I clicked on an ad from Amazon to get here btw! Otherwise I wouldn’t have known about the blog — off to explore the rest of it now!

  9. T says:

    Zing! Nice work.

  10. all due says:

    Interesting, perhaps if women actually produced something we might refer to things as woman made. Until women start producing materials and reaources on their own and do not depend on men to produce and pay for them I think we all will continue to say man made. It is men who construct, produce and provide most things… Will women ever be independent?

    • EricIndiana says:

      OK, but you do realize that women assemble a lot of the world’s products, right? Assembly lines around the world are staffed by women. And garments are likely to have been manufactured by women. This doesn’t address your question about women being financially independent, since these are mostly low-paid jobs, but a lot of clothes today are quite literally women-made.

    • permial darkling says:

      Unless you are a lab experiment, you were produced by a woman. Be careful what you wish for (I for one do not want to be made redundant), because of in-vitro you can be replaced with a vial.

  11. permial darkling says:

    Well done.

  12. Schmeegler says:

    I thought we had gotten away from the term “mankind”. Sure you will see it in historical texts and most likely hear it from older generations, but to be honest I thought we had long ago moved to the term “humanity”.

    Don’t get me wrong – I like ho you have gotten your point across, but I thought that that the entire “man”, “mankind” as generic term for humans thing was over and done with.

    • EricIndiana says:

      I thought so too, back in the 90s. The RAMONES even came out with a song called, “Humankind.” But then things reverted. I hear “mankind” from elementary school teachers, NPR hosts, Discovery documentaries – everyone. I can’t remember hearing “humankind” in years.

      Not only “mankind” by the way, but people generally say, “man,” as in “Man discovered fire,” “Man’s quest for knowledge”… “Man’s best friend”….

    • Matthew says:

      Mankind is gender neutral. The “Man” part does not refer to the male of the species.

      • Isobel_A says:

        Way to miss the point, Matthew. Would you think the same, as a man, if the word was woman? Woman discovered fire? Woman’s quest for knowledge? Woman’s best friend?

        ‘Man’ is not gender neutral – it is specifically referring to the male of the species. The fact that it is considered gender neutral (and that we have no actual gender neutral word to use instead) is an indicator of just how very masculine-centric the world we live in is. Male is the assumed default, with woman as other.

  13. Both masculinity of men and the femininity of women are equally important in any human society. Gender specifications are essential too. Masculine men and feminine women are the real contributors of creating the human society. So being sensitive to gender specifications is not wrong and that is not sexism.

    • Isobel_A says:

      Sure, men and women can have different strengths, and that’s good. It’s extremely important, though, that ‘gender specifications’ don’t become prescriptive or prohibitive. Masculine men and feminine women are great, but if a man happens to be ‘feminine’ and a woman ‘masculine’ then that’s fine too. Expecting men to behave only one way, and women another, *is* sexist, if it prohibits how a person would naturally wish to behave.

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