Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Politics of Mantyhose

This article, "The Politics of Mantyhose" was originally published on in January 2009. Now, The Politics Place has picked it up again (July 25, 2010). The article raises some interesting points about how differently things are perceived when one gender wears clothing typically associated with the other--depending on who's doing the wearing. I posted some thoughts on the issue--as it relates to men's pantyhose--and I've reposted them here, below:

[Steve's comment]: An interesting article here. I’ve been wearing pantyhose or tights for about 10 years or so—-primarily for improved leg circulation, but along the way have found them to have other benefits as well. There've been dozens and dozens of articles on the rise of men's pantyhose over the past 8 or 9 years, but not that many scratch below the surface of the issue as this one does.

  In the recent past, I've worked for a leading company that produces men's pantyhose, or 'mantyhose'. As such, I've developed a fairly popular blog (The Nylon Gene, and have posted many articles asking such questions as why there's such a disparity between the way 'cross-dressing' is treated when it's a man versus a woman who's doing the crossing over. For instance, everyone thinks its ‘cute’ or sexy when a woman wears a man’s shirt or boxer briefs—or if she’s wearing a necktie or power suit, she’s not typically ridiculed for it. But, let a man wear something that’s in the least bit associated with ‘feminine’ and he’s laughed at, ridiculed, and treated with so much disdain and scorn as to make most guys afraid to so much as pick up a piece of women’s underwear for any reason at all.

So, you’ve got to ask yourself, why the difference? It seems that maybe the idea of a woman wearing men’s wear is seen as ‘reaching up’ to take on the air of the ‘superior gender’—while a guy wearing something associated with women’s wear (in this case, pantyhose) the negative reaction makes it seem as though he is ‘lowering himself’ to the level of the inferior sex. Mind you, I don’t subscribe to that notion—just making the observation. And, as was asked at the end of the article, why is it that some wives and girlfriends of those men who aren’t afraid to wear hose more disturbed by it than the men? Is there a certain inferiority complex ingrained in the women that makes them do that? Or, is it just recognition that society makes that judgment on the relative merit of male vs female, and they don’t want their guy getting degraded?

While many guys will take a ‘live and let live’ attitude towards men’s pantyhose, it’s interesting to note that the guys who DO get really stoked about it (‘he oughta have is ass kicked…’) sound like the ones who are most likely to consider women to be an inferior species.

I do value the differences between the sexes, and believe that men should be men and women should be women—just as God intended us to be. However, I don’t agree that pantyhose (other than the name, maybe) should be considered to be an inherently female garment. I also don’t believe that anyone should consider male or female to be superior to the other. Different DOES NOT equate to better/worse. Each has their own gifts and burdens and those should be embraced. But, wearing pantyhose or not, does not matter, if you like wearing them.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Puttin' on the Spanx (Shapers for Men)

The Nashua Telegraph published an article entitled, "Puttin' on the Spanx", about how Sara Blakely's company is now selling a shaper product in the form of a T-shirt for men (6/29/2010).

Here's my $0.02 worth, which I posted as a comment below the article on the Telegraph website:

Thanks for reporting on this, Mike. Spanx probably has a prototype in her basement for the lower half for us guys, too. However, she's too late on that count, as ActivSkin's already beaten her to it with their full support 'mantyhose'. You can find them at

I've been maintaining a blog called The Nylon Gene for the past year or so, which documents the emerging men's legwear trend and how it's gradually catching on--albeit on the sly underneath the average guy at the office's trousers. See more at and let me know what you think.


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