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A reader sent in this full-page New York Times ad from Dockers’ new campaign, “Wear The Pants.” Apparently, the clothing company is attempting to re-cast khakis as a “call of manhood,” man’s three-ply cotton twill answer to the androgynous evils of our “genderless society.” That’s right: Khakis.
Here’s the full text of what Dockers is calling its “Man-ifesto“
Once upon a time, men wore the pants, and wore them well. Women rarely had to open doors and little old ladies never crossed the street alone. Men took charge because that’s what they did. But somewhere along the way, the world decided it no longer needed men. Disco by disco, latte by foamy non-fat latte, men were stripped of their khakis and left stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny. But today, there are questions our genderless society has no answers for. The world sits idly by as cities crumble, children misbehave and those little old ladies remain on one side of the street. For the first time since bad guys, we need heroes. We need grown-ups. We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar and untie the world from the tracks of complacency. It’s time to get your hands diry. It’s time to answer the call of manhood. It’s time to WEAR THE PANTS.
Why Dockers’ khakis will not single-handedly revive our culture’s lost masculinity:
a. What have the majority of men been using to cover their legs in this genderless society? Not-pants?
b. Dockers also sells pants to women. They are the same as the pants for men, pretty much. Women are not being encouraged to “wear the pants” as a symbol of their empowerment, but rather as some sort of leg-covering mechanism designed to protect the lower portion of the human body from the elements:
c. “But today, there are questions our genderless society has no answers for.” But there are sentences the world has editors for.
d. For all the absurd fashion and beauty trends thrown at women as gender-essentials, it’s refreshing that men, too, are being encouraged to satisfy society’s gender norms by shelling out $70 for a pair of pants. (Not man enough? Buy something!) In that sense, this is actually kind of a traditionally feminine marketing strategy.
e. If I could think of one piece of clothing that was perfectly paired with salad bars and non-fat lattes, it would be these: