Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Machismo


My friend Eamonn over at his blog makes the following interesting point:

We went the Korean national day do at the embassy on Friday night. It was my first time at such an event and something that struck me was the huge difference between what was being worn by males like me; black shoes, nondescript dark jacket, shirt and tie, or a dull suit, and what the numerous military attaches present were wearing; yards of gold cord, racks of multicolured medal badges, rows of shining military speciality pins, loads of trousers with brightly coloured stripes down the sides etc etc.

Could it be that they, having proven their invincible heterosexuality by being in the military, can feel relaxed in gear like this, while the rest of us want to prove how hard we are by rejecting foppish display?

3 comments:

Toby Wollin said...

Or, could it be that people who need a uniform to support their egos join the military? But dressing up in costume is always fun and provides a bit of color to otherwise drab ceremonial events.

Marian D said...

In "The Language of Clothes", Alison Lurie comments on the semiotics of military uniform. My copy is still in a packing case somewhere, but I think the gist is that many male uniforms (from generals to teddy-boys) are meant to make the wearers look like inverted penises. 'Nuff said.

PS On checking out whether I'd got the plural of penis right, I found the following
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=89574
Make sure you read the pdf file too - it's good Latin fun: https://alumni.os3.nl/~leeuwen/pdf/pluralpenis.pdf

Marian D said...

Oops! I've just realised that the web page I've referred you all to has got lots of dubious links on it.
Including one called "Clone a Willy - Make your own chocolate, candle or glow in the dark willy from £14.99"...