Is the new masculine non-binary? A response to Pharrell’s GQ interview.

Pharrell is on the cover of the latest GQ New Masculine Issue and did a lengthy interview with their Chief Editor, Will Welch, on evolving masculinity and spiritual warfare. These are my thoughts on some of what he had to say.

First of all…

Hmmm…Blurred lines is rapey? I didn’t know. That’s some blurred line.

Dude talks about the world, specifically fashion evolving and gearing towards a non-binary sense…I think not so much non-binary but more effeminate (he does also say that).

It can’t be non-binary if non binary means “gender indifferent”. I view it more as more feminizing because, especially in fashion, feminine evokes imagery of less and loser wear, more skin, figure emphasizing and elaborateness … Just look at the high waisted pants (rapidly becoming popular with men apparel. I actually like this one, on suits especially.) But what happened with men just being men.

My qualm lies with the Wests feeling of entitlement to speak for the rest of us (the whole wide world). They drive the conversation , emphasising the tone of the narrative and shoving down our throats their beliefs and values. How about when we have our own and ours are contrary to theirs? They’ll say we wrong, unenlightened, Backward, stuck on old mores.

The advent of the internet and access to it, frees us all in a way. It opens up our world to a wider array of thoughts, cultures, trends and values. It also places a spotlight on who says what and who believes what. We can more easily identify the hotbed/hot spot of ideas.

It’s true the west has traditionally set the tone on what we ought to believe as right (since the birth of  Globalization as a movement). I remember being younger and feeling their ways were cooler. Not so much anymore. Most of the trending issues are Western issues (not really ours and I don’t see why we should concern ourselves with their issues.. we ought to focus on our own issues).

The downside of the internet is the peril of groupthink and Twitter as an example has become fertile grounds for this.

In the end I agree with Pharrell’s idea of ” having the willingness to just be. Just live and let live”.It should be ok to have and express tastes and preferences. Even when those tastes and preferences conflict with others tastes and preferences.

It should be ok for me not to like your ways and it’s should be ok for you to do as you please even if I don’t like those ways so long as there’s a mutual respect of boundaries. A person shouldn’t ever have to feel threatened verbally or physically for it.

Img Src: GQ


Written by Edwin Kamurasi

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