Upping my Denim Jacket Game

I have owned a denim jacket for a while now and while I quite like it and it is more versatile than I expected, sometimes it feels like something is missing. The best course of action seems to be to get some sweet patches to sew on it and make me even cooler than I already am.

So of course I went onto etsy and had a look at what was there and I found a bunch of patches (and one pin) that I obviously need to buy.

 

It seems that I have 3 main themes when it comes to choosing accessories: skulls, cats, and feminist  messages. At least being predictable when it comes to these things makes it easy to buy presents for?

Now I have problem that I don’t know if all of these would fit on my jacket – and if they do that might be a bit overkill. Time to buy a new jacket?

 

Boy’s Club

Part of my job is to go onto Kickstarter to see if there are any that our company would be interested in backing. Most of the time I find things I am interested in rather than the company, which is bad for my wallet but good for Kickstarter I guess. I’ve backed some comics and art books, as well as some super cute Nutella stickers. I’m pretty easily amused when it comes to these things.

While looking through the newest kickstarters I always tend to check out the stationery-related projects. Show me a new type of daily planner or a notebook made from rocks or a hand made wooden pen and I will have to put my self-control to the test and stop myself from backing it. I have enough notebooks that need to be used that I don’t need another one just because it looks pretty. Well I mean, I backed the one made from rocks, but that is more out of curiosity than because it’s pretty, because how do you make paper out of rocks?! Madness!

But then I found this project that made me really quite annoyed. BüroMan is a notebook. But it’s not just any notebook, it’s “The Ultimate Men’s Notebook”. Because apparently all the other notebooks that are out in the world and available for people to buy aren’t manly enough, so this needed to be made. As far as I can tell, the only thing that really makes this any different to the other multitudes of notebooks out there is that it has a cork cover. Because “nothing says ‘manly notebook’ quite like cork fabric!”

Look how manly they are

Now it looks like a good quality notebook, and I’m a big fan of the dot graph print that it uses. The paper quality looks good, and I do like the look of the cork covers. It’s something that I would have backed, especially seeing it’s an Australian project. But instead I get misogynistic bullshit shoved down my throat because this isn’t for me! this is a Man’s Notebook! No Girls Allowed! Go sit over there with your Girl Notebooks and Girl Pens and let the poor hard done by Men have something for themselves for once!

Only men do boxing!

The blog on the BuroMan website has this choice quote:

“Stationery is not a typical men’s product. Go to any stationery shop and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a notebook that isn’t bedazzled with hearts or pink polka dots. Don’t even bother asking for a men’s version of the notebook, you’ll simply be greeted with a blank stare and a look that questions your masculinity. If you manage to persist through this awkward encounter, you’ll probably be directed to a plain-black-overpriced-yet-undervalue notebook, as if that’s the solution to your manly stationery needs.”

You’re probably getting a blank stare and confused looks because there is no such thing as a ‘men’s version’ of a notebook, because gender has literally no affect on stationery. A notebook with flowers and glitter on the cover is exactly the same as one with monster trucks. It is pieces of paper and a cover bound together for you to write or draw in. That’s it.

Are you worried that using a pink notebook will make you not a man? Does that mean I shouldn’t be using my plain black notebooks because that’s not girly enough? How do you think that makes the people who do like pink sparkly notebooks feel? Are you saying that they are less of a man than you because they like shiny things or items that are particular colours? Where do we draw the line; is something that is silver ok, it’s just the glitter that is the problem? Are animals manly enough, or do they fall under the girly category? Are movie or comic book themed notebooks fair for both genders, or am I not allowed to use those?

books
Why is one of these notebooks ok for men to use, but the other not allowed?

Why do some people feel like they need to have designated Man Things to prove they are a Man? Are you that scared that someone might think you are not 100% completely heterosexual if you don’t use Man Branded things? You realise that most of these things are exactly the same as the ‘Women’s’ version, except the Men’s version is normally cheaper, right? The candles that smell like whiskey or bacon or leather are still scented candles; chapstick For Men is still chapstick; women’s shampoo and conditioner still clean men’s hair just the same; this Manly Notebook (Rawr, so tuff) is just a notebook. Stop caring what other people think about you and just use whatever product you want. If you like how a notebook feels when you use it then what does it matter what is on the cover? What’s inside is the important part! If it’s not hurting anyone then why do people care so much about what other people like or use?

 

Gendered items are generally bullshit, I agree with this wholeheartedly. But the way to change this is not do add more, different gendered items, it’s to stop trying to convince people to think and act a certain way just because they are a certain gender. Accept that there are men out there that would love to use a notebook covered with pink hearts, just like there are women who use tools (and don’t need ones that are covered in flowers). Breaking down these stereotypes benefits everyone, so why aren’t we doing this already?

LadyThings

Ok, this post is going to be a bit of an angry one. There will be swearing and sarcasm, but I will try and not let it all devolve into a jumble of swears every second word. No promises, but I will try.

Last night I went in to the city to look for Christmas presents for my family. I was feeling good that I was being organised this year and trying to get it all done early, so I didn’t have to go to the shops when it’s full of people and have to convince myself that punching an annoying child is a bad idea. I went to a book shop, so I was feeling even better, because book shops are the best place to waste time and I had to hang around until Ben was ready to go get dinner with me. It was when I gave up on presents and had to wander through the Home Improvements section on the way to look at the pretty Japanese craft books that everything went downhill. It was there that I, very quickly, found these books and had to take photos of them because they just blew my mind.

Three separate books aimed specifically at women on topics that are seen as things that “the man of the house” would do. All of them were nestled up against books that would teach you the exact same stuff as these ones, but didn’t feel the need to pander to bullshit gender roles. When mentioning these to my friends, one of them found me the full title of “Girl’s Guide to DIY”. It’s actually “Girl’s Guide to DIY: How to fix things in your home without breaking your nails”. If it wasn’t bad enough to begin with, it just really rams home the whole deal that if you’re a woman you should only care about your clothes and your nails and none of that hard scary stuff around the house. I’m sure this book is full of simple DIY things that I can do while still wearing my favourite kitten heels!

I’m just so sick of this bullshit of targeting products to women that really don’t need to be. Pens, Cars, Computers, Beers, Cigarettes, Tools, these things keep being made and marketed and the list keeps getting bigger and bigger. Why do I have to have a pink hammer if I want to build something? Because I’m a woman I am physically incapable of using a standard hammer with a wooden handle? Why does my car have to match my eyeshadow rather than being a colour that I like? Is a green car too manly that my poor lady brain might get confused and I end up having a crash? How is a pen for women any different to any other pen available to buy today? I am pro-pens and have never ever passed up on buying one because it wasn’t appropriate for my delicate lady sensibilities. And while I don’t like beer, it’s not because all the beers out there are too manly for me to drink, it’s because I don’t like the taste of beer. This ladybeer is less carbonated so that we don’t burp, because God Forbid I perform an act that is perfectly natural and something everyone does. Oh no, I forgot, women don’t burp or fart or poop or smell bad.

On top of all this stupidity, why does everything targeted towards women have to be pink!? It starts right from the get go, where you’ll be inundated with pink things as soon as people find out you’ve popped out a girl. Toys, clothes, furniture, all that stuff that is supposed to be for girls is pink. As a girl who doesn’t overly like pink and never have, it fucking sucks. Thankfully I was a strong-willed child because if photos from that time are any indication, I chose what I wanted to wear and it was very rarely fucking pink. If you like pink, good for you, wear it all you want I don’t care, but if I have a choice between pink and almost any other colour ever then pink’s going to be on the losing side. If I have a baby girl then she’s going to wear whatever coloured clothes she wants, not pink just because she’s a girl. And if I have a boy and he wants to wear pink then I will support him wholeheartedly because these things shouldn’t fucking matter.

I want to know where the male version of these things are. There’s nowhere near as many bullshit “Crochet For Blokes” or “Manly Gardening” types of books out there. It must be because men are capable of working things out for themselves but women need their hand held throughout the process because they’re such delicate beings. Men don’t need to worry about how they look when doing manly things, because they’re tough men! They have more important things to think about than that, but fickle flighty women are so shallow that their appearances are vital. It makes me so angry that the world is like this.

When I was younger I would try and avoid girly things as much as possible, I think in an attempt to show my frustration at the whole deal. These days I do some stereotypically feminine things; I wear dresses, put on makeup, paint my nails pretty designs, I like to buy flowers to have around the house. I will squeal in excitement at cute animals and will base some of my purchases on which thing is prettier. I have told Ben he couldn’t buy a specific gaming mouse for his computer because it is too ugly (he bought it anyway because he knew I wasn’t serious and also because he has free will). I knit and crochet and embroider. I am not a straw feminist, hating everything and yelling about the patriarchy at every turn. I understand that I can like girly things because I like them rather than because A Man has decided I like them.

But at the same time I don’t need to be pandered to in my life. I will buy the stationery I want, and if it is not pink that’s not going to stop me from using it. If I buy a car I will be looking into safety ratings, not the car that helps me not get wrinkles. If your drinks taste like shit it doesn’t matter how girly they are, I’m still not going to drink them. I really wish society would realise that everyone is a person with a personality before they are a Man or a Woman or anything in between. A woman in a dress and makeup buying paint is just as legitimate a customer as a big beardy dude in clothes covered in paint splatters; her wearing a dress in that moment doesn’t mean she is magically incapable of wielding a paintbrush just as competently as the guy. And by the same token a beardy guy is just as capable of doing something feminine like crochet as I am, so people shouldn’t just laugh it off when he goes to buy yarn. It shouldn’t make a difference, why can’t people realise that already?

It probably won’t happen in my lifetime, but I can still hope. Thankfully it seems that I’m not the only one out there that is frustrated by this, if the angry articles about the ladycar or the ladypens are anything to go off.