I just finished the interview with Eric Muller, The Mancow, this morning and it went just about as expected. I anticipated a fairly hostile reception, and wasn't disappointed in that. To be fair, Mancow tried to avoid his natural inclination to simply insult and mock, then hang up. Unfortunately, the segment was followed immediately by citing a 'news' item that betrays a mindset that draws parallels between men's tights and homosexuality. (coincidence? I think not...)
Was it a mistake to go on air for an interview like this? I don't think so... One thing that needs to happen to move men's legwear further away from silly stereotypes is to take the fight right to the enemy--such as walking into the lion's den like this. If men who wear legwear constantly shy away from those who want to call it 'stupid', make insinuations about their masculinity, or otherwise mock--we'll continue to reinforce the stereotypes that still exist in some people's mind. That is, some people will continue to draw parallels with feminized men, unless we demonstrate that we are ready to face down those who want to insult or belittle.
Is Eric Muller 'the enemy'? Not really, but he's certainly hostile to the idea of men's legwear and representative of a certain segment of society that still holds sway to a certain extent. I'm not referring to conservative/libertarian political leanings--as that could also describe myself, too. I'm referring to the mindset that defines masculinity by superficial trappings, while overlooking the things that define authentic manhood. The clothing that's associated with males has changed drastically over time--even as recently as since the 1970s. (Remember what we used to think about men who wore earrings?...) But the traits that truly define maleness changes very little over time.
So, the men who legwear need to be ready to demonstrate their manhood by stepping forward and acknowledging they wear it to those who might not be too sympathetic to it, and saying, "so what? I know who I am." They need to be confident enough in their masculinity to wear their tights in a way that conveys that confidence to all they meet. The one complimentary thing Mancow said during the interview was a remark about my being pretty brave to go on his show knowing what was likely to happen. I take some satisfaction in being able to draw even that small acknowledgement from him.
While it's too bad we couldn't take more than a superficial look at the topic, I understand the limitations of air time. Yet, I'm hoping there are some here reading this because they first heard about it on The Mancow Show. BTW, thanks Eric, for giving me the opportunity to give the website and blog address.
We've seen it many times before: when people take the opportunity to learn more about men's legwear and the practical reasons why men are wearing them, they come away with a much more positive attitude towards it. The superficial approach that portrays it as men trying to be women is what continues to drive negative attitudes--but it's not an accurate portrayal of the vast majority of men who are wearing legwear today.
If you're new to the blog because of listening to the radio interview, I'd encourage you to go to the category links in the righthand column. Find the area that's closest to your situation, whether that be leg health, athletic benefits, outdoorsmen applications, etc, and read some of the articles here. You can also learn a good deal from looking over the Media Blogroll. I put it all out there, the good, the bad, and the ugly, so you'll see articles that reinforce the Mancow mindset, BUT you'll also find those that take a more insightful approach, too. One thing that's clear, the 'mantyhose' is being talked about a lot these days. There must be something to it.
And, guys, if you're one of the many thousands and thousands of ACTIVSKIN customers who're already wearing legwear, do so with confidence--whether with shorts or not--and don't let questions from others cause you to doubt yourself.