Friday, 24 September 2010

You sound like a girl! Gender Perception and Sounds

No, I'm not talking about someone's voice. The other day I was standing outdoors waiting to meet someone, when I noticed the sound of someone approaching me from behind. Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop. The sound of a cheap pair of flip flops lifting off the ground and smacking the back of the foot was clear. I never turned around to see who was coming, and I was surprised when a young man walked past me wearing a shorter than normal pair of shorts and a pair of black flip flops. Of course some men do wear them, but flip flops (not to be confused with sandals) were largely associated with women, until recently.

While not all men can, or should, be flannel wearing lumberjacks the distinction between men and women's fashion is increasingly blurred. Nail polish, eye makeup, low cut shirts, skinny jeans, are all examples of feminine fashion trends that girly men have been embracing.

The other day I visited a local university campus. Outside one of the building's a group of construction workers were on their lunch break.
Compare and contrast: Construction workers wearing jeans covered in paint and sawdust, heavy duty workboots, hard hats on the ground beside them, eating massive sandwiches out of their extra large lunch coolers.
Academic wannabes roaming campus in skinny jeans, EMO tshirts and Converse running shoes, carrying their manpurses in their supple uncalloused hands, while texting someone on their Iphone and taking a sip Non-fat, no whip, double blended, grande cinnamon infused moccacino ice.

To borrow a phrase from TMZ: Who'd you rather?