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Things generally considered pretty, like flowers and lace, are also considered feminine these days. This is completely sexist. And before you think I'm going off on another feminist rant, let me tell you a) I enjoy being a girl b) this is indeed an anti-sexism rant, and c) it's sexist against MEN.

Why do we feel like we need to repress men so much? Why aren't they allowed to express themselves? For the last fifty years men have been severely restricted on what they can wear and like. Prior to that, it was perfectly normal for a masculine man to enjoy pretty things. You should see my strapping great-grandfather's shaving mug (for his manly handlebar mustache). It's cobalt blue and covered with flowers and swirls and gold paint. It's beautiful. Men used to be able to wear velvet and lace without being automatically considered gay and/or effeminate. And boys had pretty porcelain dolls.

I don't think the capacity to appreciate pretty things has disappeared from men and boys, it's just been stifled for decades. Some men will still like pretty things more than others, just as women do, but they should at least be allowed to enjoy them openly.

My point is that this is unnatural and recent. Ignore it, guys. If you like pretty stuff then indulge that. The women around you will probably find this appealing, if you're concerned about that. It delights me that I can give my boyfriend a floral birthday cake, and sometimes send pretty things to Starrynight. Women, don't assume guys hate all things pretty. Giving a guy flowers is still considered weird, if not unheard-of. I don't know a single guy who, on receiving flowers, didn't truly enjoy it.

This is one of the few areas in which sexism favors women. In the realm of personal taste it's far more acceptable for a woman or girl to like masculine things than the reverse (professions and such are another matter).

PS: The USA is among the more uptight about this issue, other countries being a bit more relaxed (oddly enough, especially cultures with a big emphasis on machismo). But the general idea is true to varying degrees in most "industrialized" nations.