“Clothing Doesn’t Have a Gender”

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Emily McLaughlin, Staff Writer, Co-President

  Recently, artist Harry Styles has made headlines for his unconventional Vogue cover issue. Harry notably has become the magazine’s first solo male cover, and his issue definitely did not disappoint. Harry had various looks displayed throughout the issue. The most notable look was a gray Gucci dress, which he wore on the cover of the magazine. For Harry’s fans, this look was no surprise. The singer has been known to break down gender barriers and advocate for complete and individual self-expression. 

  When I saw the photos, I immediately loved the issue. I took a few minutes to admire the quality of the intricate high-fashion displayed and then moved on with my day. Seeing the male singer in a dress did not make me think twice. I assumed this would be the opinion of others, but I was quickly proven wrong. Candace Owens, a prominent conservative political commentator felt the need to take to Twitter to express her anger about the vogue issue. “There is no society that can survive without strong men,” Owens wrote in response to Vogue tweeting out the article. “The East knows this. In the West, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men.”

 I am going to be completely honest. This tweet, along with a series of statements from Owens following the tweet, provoked great anger in me for many reasons. We are in the middle of a global pandemic, but men dressing “femininely” will be the downfall of our society, according to Owens. From my perspective, she also blatantly uses a logical fallacy. She equates men dressing femininely to the spread of Marxism, the theory that is the basis of communism. I’m sure Owens has her own rationale for this, but I personally found this to be an outrageous claim and a false analogy. She is seemingly using the outdated “red scare” tactic to push her narrative. Harry has said that he takes inspiration from iconic artists like Prince, David Bowie, Elvis, Elton John, and Freddie Mercury. Owens’s reaction suggests that this is new to society, when in fact, it is not. Harry is following in the footsteps of other male artists who paved the way. 

  It’s 2020, and it is time that we all realize that clothes have no gender. No matter what you identify as, everyone has the right to express themselves in their own respective way. Your gender is what you make of it, and no one can tell you otherwise. Wearing a dress does not make a man any less of a man. Wearing a suit does not make a woman any less of a woman. And anyone who identifies in any other way, the same goes for them. It is just that simple. Clothing was not meant to be a strict social construct that we have to enforce to keep society in order. It is insane to put that much importance on a dress. Because at the end of the day, it’s fabric. 

 And in case anyone was worried, I can assure you that Harry Styles wearing a dress will not be the demise of western civilization as we know it.