These Graphic T-Shirts Subvert Gender Roles in the Best Way
The series of garments twists classic gender roles into pithy text that's at once clever and thought-provoking. There's oh-so-many T-shirts to choose from, but notable standouts include ones that read: "Crazy Cat Gentleman" or "Boys Will Be Boys: Kind Caring Thoughtful," and (my personal favorite) "No." Many of them also take phrases you might normally roll your eyes at, like, "Female Engineer," and subvert it by making the women's shirt read, "Author," and the men's read, "Man Author." The editorial choices behind these phrases are a matter of a few letters, but wow, do they make a difference.
The male engineer T-shirt is actually selling fast! Who knew there were so many men engineers? You go boys! https://t.co/XVZH8qVnGq pic.twitter.com/Pxv43rRB6w— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) April 15, 2019
Taken at face value, the manwhohasitall's project might be interpreted as a simple play on words. To that, I say, "No!"
Each shirt is a reminder that the words we use (and don't use) when we talk about people's hobbies, professions, and identity hold weight. So much, in fact, that when the word, "male," is added, or the word, "female," is subtracted, our immediate reaction is that's something's off. Then we realize: It's the original phrase that's actually problematic. These T-shirts call back to all the times we've let words like, "mankind," slip off our tongues without thinking, "Wait a minute? Why not womenkind?"
Happy #Caturday crazy cat gentlemen! You crazy, lonely, kooky animal hoarders. Have a lovely day!https://t.co/jaZLFLSWK0 pic.twitter.com/eCBAks0hmO— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) April 13, 2019
The clothing line is also reminiscent of the well-circulated gender bias riddle about a father and son getting into a car crash. These shirts aren't trying to trick the reader, though. They're pointing out that certain linguistic barriers around sex and gender are best challenged out in the open, on something as casual as a T-shirt.
Just like the thunderbolt "M" logo splashed across your chest clues us in automatically that we're looking at a Metallica T-shirt, that immediate recognition might one day be a possibility with phrases like these. Because, a woman who's an engineer is an engineer. Full stop.
My new T-shirt range lets girls be girls; brave, adventurous and stronghttps://t.co/FXnFGiJ3Qv pic.twitter.com/k7mx3jxKfw— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) April 12, 2019
So many clothing brands are going neutral. Oh, and here's why we need to have a convo about LGBTQ+ etiquette in gyms.
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