As men around the capital delight in light of London Collections, the Oracle – our wisest sage – wishes to address the establishment of a fashion week devoted to the male gender.
Dear Young, Old and Ignorant,
The age-old common perception of men insists that they are inherently different to women. This alleged disparity is believed to derive from nature itself. “It is in our disposition to think or behave in such and such a way”, many would say. Indeed genetics and hormones render men to differ from women in many instances. However, there exists a murky line between what is genetically inherent and socially constructed.
On the subject of women showing more of an interest in fashion – it is a result of both the nature of society, and nature. The historically established social structure has undeniably more been one of male dominance. The common guess is that this is due to both man’s physical strength and the natural requirement for women in general to give birth in order for the human species to reproduce and thrive.
Capitalism, the industrial revolution, both world wars and the noble work of women’s rights activists, altered this establishment. With more and more women in the workforce, male dominance has finally begun to subside. Due to the role of the male being weaker than it was a hundred years ago even, the ultimate social power is also shifting into the hands of the female gender: sex. Men are simply no longer as powerful as they once were in obtaining it.
This at long last, brings me unto the topic of fashion. One would be foolish to deny that the adornment of the self is an offensive sexual tactic. Whether it is through a colourful garment or something as subtle as an expensive Tag Heuer piece – dressing to impress, is impressing to be seen; and impressing to be seen, is acting to be seen by the opposite sex.
We are not the first society in which men take great interest in adorning ourselves*. Nevertheless, in our case, London Collections signifies not so much a tipping of the scales, but the evening out of sexual power between men and women. As more power is rightfully taken back by women, more men will take an interest in fashion – an age old tool in gaining the sexual attention of the opposite gender.
May the respected elders think of you while hallucinating,
Note: The pre-Islamic Arabs too adopted similar habits. It is interesting to note that females outnumbered men in that society, suggesting that women then ultimately held a greater degree of sexual power.
Tahar Rajab is the Oracle