For The Gents pt. I

Written By Willa Tsokanis, Edited by Aurora Hinz

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -  How are environmentalism and masculinity connected you ask? BUCKLE UP BEEFCAKES!

Ah, the timeless debate, feminism, and masculinity. It seems the more we talk about these concepts as a society, the further we get from understanding them. Simply, feminism is the idea that males and females are equal and should be treated as equals.

Sure, in conceptual terms this makes sense. The problem is, feminism isn’t a concept. Outside of the textbook definition, it’s an experience. Its missing presence as a fundamental tenet of our society is felt in small doses of injustice and in painful wallops. Despite what we may think, these scars of injustice don’t impact women alone. 

Fun fact: women have testosterone and men estrogen….. Balance is in our DNA.

We train men and boys in the United States to be tough, to withhold their emotions, and to relate to women as objects in their fantasy life. We craft American boys to be the definition of a macho man. To an extent, this is a privilege. There is an unspoken agreement act like a "man" and you will be rewarded.

For those of us who have been fighting the good fight for gender equality, feminism/masculinity can be a tiring subject to broach. We talk frequently about the impact of male privilege, but what’s it like to for men once they get a grasp on their leg up?

When people of privilege discover their privilege it can be a hard pill to swallow. The mind races with anxiety...

“Have I made women feel uncomfortable without evening knowing it?”

“Have I hurt someone?”

“Why didn’t anyone tell me?!”

“How could I not know this?”

“What’s wrong with me?”

“It’s not my fault!”

All of these reactions make sense. And let’s be real, most men don’t fit into this very general tough-guy stereotype. The truth of the matter is, human beings are far more complicated than the black and white binaries we choose to corral ourselves into. We exist on a spectrum of grey. Everybody cries is what I’m trying to say. Holding in those tears, lads, isn’t just hurting you.

A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research puts it in cold-hard facts. We have stereotyped environmentalism as being a feminine concern. Publicly sharing that you care about the state of our environment pigeon-holes you as participating in bitch behavior, to put it bluntly.

OK, so now we know that. What’s the point? Well, esa is here because we’ve seen gaps in the conscious fashion movement and we believe the only way to fill those gaps is by educating people from all walks of life and listening to what they craft as solutions. At our core we know that the dirty nature of the fashion industry touches everyone who wears clothes. Whether you care about racial justice, economic equality, breathing clean air, drinking pure water, gender equity, fair working conditions, stylistic self-expression, cultural identification…. you get where I’m going here?  (We’ll be going into more detail about this in our Mag, in our events and classes this year so stay tuned!)

What I’m getting at: THIS ISSUE IMPACTS YOU. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT IS IN BETWEEN YOUR LEGS OR WHAT YOU IDENTIFY AS. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE RIGHT NOW.

TRUST. US.

Next week we’ll be delving deeper into the experience of men who are on different walks in their journey towards building an environmentally conscious lifestyle and how they’re grappling with the stigma of femininity attached with giving a shit about our planet. In the meantime hunks, remember ten out of ten esa lady gang members polled say 100% chance of getting a second date to a dude who asks for no straw on the first date ;).