I stumbled across this article today about gender roles and how as a culture, we’ve made great strides (though we still have a long way to go) in making it socially acceptable for a woman to wear pants and play with power tools, or be a surgeon, or run a company, but if a man does ballet, or wears pink, or likes flower gardening, then he’s obviously gay. As the author asks, “why is it alright for girls to break out of gender roles and embrace their love of tools or cars or spaceships, but when a boy wants to dress up like Princess Jasmine people are uncomfortable?”
It got me thinking about men and boys in the faerie culture. One of the things I love about the “modern” faerie festival is that it’s very gender-neutral. Sure, there are plenty of pastel princesses with shimmery wings and pretty curls, but there are also male faeries and sprites and goblins and elves and greenmen. It’s more about the connection with nature and the other worlds that touch ours than a specific gender role. The gentleman in the photo above, for example, is someone I’ve seen at just about every local faerie and renaissance festival, though I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never actually chatted with him (I did stumble across his website, though – he and his wife are the proprietors/creators of Mythical Masks and Miscellaneous Oddments, and he frequently posts some interesting articles and musings on his blog) – he always looks wonderful in natural, woodsy outfits.