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May 19 2017

What's Worse--the RompHim--or the Humorless Feminist Commentary About the RompHim?

by Charlotte Allen

Mothers, don't let your babies grow up to...look like babies again by wearing the RompHim.

Also, don't let your girl babies grow up to write Marxo-feminist commentary for media like the HuffPost linking the RompHim to "artificial layers of masculinization," "socially constructed gender roles," "male fragility," and all the other buzz-terms that got you that "A" in your college women's studies class.

The RompHim is exactly that: a one-piece shorts-and-shirt combo (think jumpsuit with ultra-short shorts) for guys that's guaranteed to make your average 23-year-old look like he's actually 2.3 months old (the pastel shades in which it's offered don't help). The one good thing to be said about this flattering-to-no-one garment modeled after the sundress-except-with-shorts that's a popular female garment) is that it doesn't come in ultra-huge sizes, so there's no chance that you'll have to look at Michael Moore attired in one.

Nonetheless, my hat is off to the four business-school students in Chicago who designed the thing. As of this writing, they've already raised $284,672 on Kickstarter, almost 30 times their original $10,000 goal. Furthermore, one of their RompHim patterns, the "splatter print," is already sold out via advance orders. It's gonna hurt your eyes, but the RompHim could be this summer's ice-bucket challenge. American ingenuity at its best!

But wherever there's a man, there's a humorless feminist anti-man-ifesto. Here goes, from the HuffPost's Claire Fallon:

[I]t’s infuriating that advertisers have come to rely on artificial layers of masculinization to convince men to buy products that should be gender-neutral....

Even as feminists chip away at the socially constructed gender roles that men and women have long felt obligated to perform, male anxiety seems more pervasive than ever. While women feel empowered to lean in to male roles ? and styles ? men battle internal and external pressure to protect a male-only space that distinguishes them from the “weaker” sex. Women today wear pants, Oxford shoes and shirts, and menswear-inspired everything; it’s still rare to see a man in a skirt, and many even find men in shorts to be laughable. Our conception of what men can wear remains as narrow as it was 50 years ago, if not more so....

It’s men who nurture the more acute anxiety about gender neutrality. (This makes sense; in a world divided neatly into men and women, men have almost uniformly gleaned the advantages from this demarcation.) A man watching “Real Housewives” with a glass of zinfandel in a romper is flouting gender norms, but by adopting the lesser-respected female-coded habits. His wine and outfit need to be placed in a separate, more macho category than the identical versions consumed by women....

The real progress will be made when men can drink rosé in a romper without a single batted eyelash or “bro” prefix.

Mmm, I'm not even going to comment on the above--except to ask this rhetorical question: Heterosexual ladies, how long do you think you can stand to wait before your guy puts on his pink romper to watch "Real Housewives" with you?

But Fallon's scarcely the only one. Here's Kitty Stryker at Wear Your Voice, the "intersectional" feminist site:

 

But what makes me especially sad is this: here is a piece of clothing that is encouraging men to try something new; here is something available to cis and trans men that was traditionally limited by outdated gender norms as something “feminine” — and we’re not rushing to encourage them to do so.

 

And here's Isha Aran at Fusion:

 

What is insanely obnoxious, however, is the name. RompHim. Mini-debates over whether or not it should be called “Homme-per,” aside, “RompHim” is the outfit’s biggest mistake....

Rompers don’t need to be “resanitized” and reclaimed for men just because women now also wear them. The idea that men are reclaiming something by positing “him,” in the same way that “herstory” reclaims history from a feminist perspective, is redundant, belittling and just f[---]ing annoying. It makes an overwrought and underwhelming statement about both fashion and masculinity.

Oh dear--I need to "reclaim" that bottle of rose from that guy watching "Real Housewives" and pour myself a big glass.

 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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