Friday, January 27, 2012


I wrote the next two posts a little over a week ago but I haven't really had time/haven't felt like transcribing them from my notebook to here.

A while ago there was an interesting, small kerfluffle on the internet.  Sociological Images has an interesting string of posts on men being considered normal/default and women being considered extra or different.  The post I'm thinking of included Zach Wiener's (of SMBC, which I've linked to multiple times) merchandise store. In the picture it showed an ungendered shirt sizes and women's shirt sizes.  When compared to most of the other examples in the post, this comparison really wasn't fair.  Zach Wiener questions not only gender norms but most societal norms.

This post does raise an interesting question though.  What do you call a shirt that is wider at the top and bottom (which does fit many women's bodies better)?  "Babydoll" is just plain condescending.  "Women's" or "ladies'" has the problem mentioned previously.  Fitted implies that a shirt is just tighter (or at least it does in my mind).  Boyfriend suggested "curvy", which does describe the shape of the shirt, but it also instantly calls to mind women.

So what's the solution? It took me awhile to come up with an answer that I was relatively happy with.  "Curvy: is just a word I don't really like (for...reasons), but if does describe the shirt.  But what happens when you remove gender completely from the question.  No more men's shirts, women's shirts, unisex shirts (when labelled as such).  What about calling shirts: loose fit, tight fit, shaped fit.  I mean "shaped" is ambiguous, but you can always put a note describing what shaped means in regard to your particular brand of shirts.

It's not a perfect solution, but it's one that I like over most others.

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