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Pamela Muir




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Dec, 2006 4:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Butterflies! Cool That's something I had not thought of. That sword is quite elegant and striking, yet through modern eyes it might be considered too feminine.

Let's see, so now we have hearts, flowers and butterflies. Cool

Pamela Muir

Founder/Lead Instructor
Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts


"I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night. He's gotta be strong, And he's gotta be fast, And he's gotta be fresh from the fight." ~Steinman/Pitchford
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Dec, 2006 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pamela Muir wrote:
Butterflies! Cool That's something I had not thought of. That sword is quite elegant and striking, yet through modern eyes it might be considered too feminine.

Let's see, so now we have hearts, flowers and butterflies. Cool


Thinking it over I wonder if there a distinction to be made between liking decoration or preferring simple line in modern times and seeing any decoration as inherently " feminine ".

Does the actual content of the decoration make it feminine or just the fact of being decorated ?

I would think that decoration is gender neutral and more period / culture dependant: Gaudy versus clean lines ?

Flowers, butterflies, scroll work need not be seen as attached to gender I think.

Well, maybe dragons, lions, wolves, eagles, skulls ( Gulp ) might be seen as "masculine " but what if they are done in a very delicate way ? And your flowers, butterflies, bunnies ( Joke ) as done in a strong graphic style ?

Just some random thoughts. Wink Laughing Out Loud ( On topic random thoughts ..... I hope. Big Grin )

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Pamela Muir




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 23 Sep 2004
Reading list: 34 books

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Posts: 282

PostPosted: Thu 21 Dec, 2006 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

Thinking it over I wonder if there a distinction to be made between liking decoration or preferring simple line in modern times and seeing any decoration as inherently " feminine ".

Does the actual content of the decoration make it feminine or just the fact of being decorated ?

This was exactly the type of thing that I've been pondering. I prefer clean, simple lines on my weapons, but that is a personal preference. I do think some decorations such as hearts and flowers seem to have feminine qualities from our modern viewpoint. I wonder what modern men think about these on antique and reproduction weapons. Are there any preconceived notions or biases? What makes it okay to have a heart on your targe, even though you wouldn't be caught dead (if you'll pardon the expression) in a heart necklace?

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

Well, maybe dragons, lions, wolves, eagles, skulls ( Gulp ) might be seen as "masculine " but what if they are done in a very delicate way ? And your flowers, butterflies, bunnies ( Joke ) as done in a strong graphic style ?

How about unicorns? My mother-in-law, a very sweet lady who spoils me rotten, keeps sending me unicorns. In her mind, a woman who plays with swords must like unicorns. These are not the cool kind that could disembowel a man with its horn, this is more like "My Little Pony" with a horn on its head. Wasn't the unicorn of the past a somewhat dangerous beast?

Edited to add: I just noticed this thread Cool
http://bestiary.ca/beasts/beast140.htm

Pamela Muir

Founder/Lead Instructor
Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts


"I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night. He's gotta be strong, And he's gotta be fast, And he's gotta be fresh from the fight." ~Steinman/Pitchford
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Nathan Quarantillo




Location: Eastern Panhandle WV, USA
Joined: 14 Aug 2009

Posts: 279

PostPosted: Wed 19 Aug, 2009 5:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hello, new forumite here! anyway, ive followed this topic quite closely. i am 15, and still in public school. in history and enlish classes, we occasionally have medieval and rennaissance units and classes and whatnot. for theese, (everyone whos known me for more than a week knows im the town history and armour buff) im usually asked to wear one of me period outfits to an event. last time, when i wore it in class to show the teacher, about 1/2 of the dudes in the class were like WTF, GAY!!!! (i pulled my re-enactment sword out and reminded them that these alleged "GAYS" spent their free time learning how to kill and that remark would oblige me to challenge them to a duel. THAT shut them up) but quite honestly, i can see the modern reaction to an outfit w/ pink tights or the whatnot, in my opinion, this was almost an overly masculine outfit. (black breeches, red doublet) my parents reaction was the same. ARG! these people had lives OUTSIDE THE ARMOUR! now, even modern (allegedly feminine) articles of clothing i see, i dont really see as overly feminine. i also see most aparntly manly articles of clthing to be boring, bland, blocky, whatev. i think that most modern womens fashions grew out of olde tyme mens fasions (heels, tunics, leggings, blouses can look sometimes suspiciously like a doublet, ect) really changes our veiwpoints about these things. and as far as hearts and unicorns go, they actually seem pretty manly to me. hell, i wish my mode of transportation had a horn to skewer things with (think the appeal of a lawnmowers rotoblade). and, actually most people, once they see these so called girly things, reply with a "thats awsome" or something smiler. i think that we still retain a subtle appreciation to these things, (w/o getting to caught up in our apparant manlymess) but its locked deep inside, and only lucky us get direct expirience to it.
"Id rather be historically accurate than politically correct"
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Gregg Sobocinski




Location: Michigan
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Aug, 2009 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I seem to have missed the original post here, and this conversation is going in a different direction, but I'd like to chime in on the original question.

I blame advertising for much of the feminizing of pastel colors and "playful" shapes. I believe that women were expected to have a more diverse wardrobe than men, and had more time and interest in dynamic clothing options than men in this century, so the merchants and marketing went in that direction. If you doubt the power of advertising, just look at how Coca-Cola stereotyped Christmas to the colors red and white. It all began with one commercial in the early 20th century.

In the 1920's, it was masculine to dress a boy in pink. Now, pastels are mostly shunned for boys after a certain age. I'll see if I can find some data about when this change occurred and post it. (Although pastels definitely made a comeback for 70's formal wear.)

Spare time in the 20th century: Men teach their sons to fix machinery, play sports, and use tools, while women were expected to stay home or shop.

Certainly men's dress shirts and ties have often offered pastel options, but that's mostly to offset the conservative colors of the expensive business suit.

Just my two cents worth.
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Gregg Sobocinski




Location: Michigan
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Aug, 2009 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm back with more precise data on "pink". I hate to rely on Wikipedia, but the data there fits with the what I remember.

Colors associated with gender in the U.S. seems to have started in the 1920's. Pink was chosen as a masculine color due to its association with the bold color of red. Girls were assigned the color pastel blue, due to its use in the portrayal of the Virgin Mary.

During WWII, the Nazis labeled "undesirables" with the following system: Jewish people were forced to wear a yellow star of David, and Roma people were forced to wear a black triangle, men imprisoned on accusations of homosexuality or same-sex sexual activity were forced to wear a pink triangle. (Wiki entry about "pink", corroborated with other sources)

After WWII, Western culture associated pink with femininity.

The symbols are a different matter. I still blame companies like Hallmark. Possibly conservative standards in the industrial society workplace also squelched such "fun" patterns on men's clothing. (Men are often defined by our careers.)
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Justin H. NķŮez




Location: Hyde Park, UT
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Aug, 2009 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have not read the entire thread but the subject matter caught my eye. I too have wondered about this same topic.
Floral motifs for men are not gone just look at cowboys. The most masculine of men and their tack and outfits are regularly adorned with flowers. The same for the Mexican charros the epitomy of macho. Flowers everywhere!

Maybe its the average modern man that is not masculine enough to wear flowers. Like I have always said people don't laugh as much at your tights when you have a rapier or sword or your heavily flowered shirt with a holstered sidearm.
I say that in half jest.

This is a very interesting topic and will go back and read the entire topic. My wife, a sociologist will find this all very facinating.

"Nothing in fencing is really difficult, it just takes work." - Aldo Nadi
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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
Joined: 29 Feb 2008

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PostPosted: Sun 23 Aug, 2009 8:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Pamela- A lot of medieva/renniasance clothing was Practical, no central heating of any kind, remember? The more layers of clothes you wore, the warmer (and safer from unfriendly daggers) you were.I think beyond thst taste changed in how to decorate your clothes to flaunt how wealthy and warm you were
Ja68ms
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Ryan J. Kadwell




Location: Queensland, Australia
Joined: 12 Mar 2009

Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon 24 Aug, 2009 12:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all.

This conversation has made me to remember one of my favourite Blackadder scenes:

Percy: Edmund, Edmund, come quickly the queen wants to see you.
Blackadder: What-
Percy: I said "Edmund, Edmund, come quickly the queen wants to see-"
Blackadder: Please let me finish. What, are you wearing round your neck?
Percy: Ah! It's my new rough!
Blackadder: You look like a bird who's swallowed a plate!
Percy: It's the latest fashion actually and as a matter of fact it makes me look rather sexy!
Blackadder: To another plate swallowing bird perhaps. If it was blind and hadn't had it in months.

Quite aptly, I think Percy summed up why men usually wear what they wear, no matter how impractical, gaudy, or vaguely poofy.

It's sexy. And chicks (at the time) dig it big time.

It is to say, "Look how fabulously wealthy and important I am with my giant frilly hat! Don't you just want to do me?" or "I am totally wearing the feathers of a rare and exotic bird on my helm! See how wealthy and important I am to have that? Don't you just want to do me?" or indeed, dating back to more primitive times, "I am wearing a bear, which is freaking awesome. Don't you just want to do me?" and for some reason, these days, it is "I am wearing sunglasses that went out of fashion seventeen years ago, my black pants prohibit blood circulation in my nether-region and make my feet feel like pins and needles, and I have a pink and fluro blue shirt on that denotes some sort of obscure American fraternity I am in no way or actuality a member of ... something something something ... means I am someone of somewhat importance, at least to some sort of demographic, that I really think you need to know about. Don't you just want to do me?"

In short, women, whether consciously or otherwise, remain the biggest influence over how men dress. In fact, if the Secret Coven of Women Who Decide What Women Must Find Attractive ever decide that wearing flamingo skulls on each hand while dancing sideways through a olympic-sized swimming pool of custard and electric eels is the only thing that can possibly get a woman all hot and bothered, then you can bet some dude somewhere will be looking at a road-map with neat little circles drawn about the local African avian wildlife preserves, Tony's Electric Eel's R Us, a dancing college, a swimming pool and Daisy's Bulk-Dairy Product Wholesalers.

That (the above sentiment), and all else that has been said thus far.

Geoffrey: You fool! As if it matters how a man falls down!

Richard: When the fallís all thatís left, it matters a great deal.
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