The Man Repeller: Not About Men

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About Hugo Schwyzer

Hugo Schwyzer has taught history and gender studies at Pasadena City College since 1993, where he developed the college's first courses on Men and Masculinity and Beauty and Body Image. He serves as co-director of the Perfectly Unperfected Project, a campaign to transform young people's attitudes around body image and fashion. Hugo lives with his wife, daughter, and six chinchillas in Los Angeles. Hugo blogs at his website


  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    Almost right. The women in The Movement weren’t dressing independently to please themselves. They were hewing to a strict code imposed on them by others. Or, to put it another way, they couldn’t otherwise sit at the Cool Kids’ table.

  2. Can we get a little consistency here? I mean if women “dressing not to please men” or whatever is all empowering, then too the so called “slacker” movement i.e men not getting high-powered jobs to please women must also be empowering… is it not?

    Where is the article about how Judd Apatow is a revolutionary combatting female expectations of male success?

  3. I have two articles of clothing that I always thought were ‘man-repelling;’ a boxy winter coat and a hoodie about 3X the size of any other hoodie I own. The purpose of this clothing is purely because of the cold winter here, nothing to do with men one way or the other. I feel lumpy/shapeless/boxy in this clothing, and I always thought it put me in the irrelevant to unattractive range. The first time my boyfriend told me I looked sexy in the hoodie, I thought he was joking and laughed it off. I thought I could maybe look ‘cute’ at best, but definitely not ‘sexy.’ But he has since said the same thing at different times when I was wearing either or both hoodie and winter coat, and I think he actually means sexy.

    I can’t say I completely understand how he could find me attractive in the figure-hiding clothing, but maybe it’s similar to the fact that I prefer when a man looks real. I don’t like fake tan, too much gel, too much muscle, too preened and perfect (the steroids look). My boyfriend looks sexy; hair done or not, clean-shaven or not, collared shirt or t-shirt and jeans, and he can lift me up and carry me around but doesn’t look it. At times he has expressed concern about not being muscular-looking enough, or having bad hair or boring clothes, but he looks so sexually compelling to me, and I wouldn’t like it if he tried to look like something in a magazine.

    Both sexes dress for a range of reasons, from practical, to fitting in with your gender group, to impressing co-workers, to attracting sexual partners. But both sexes have some wrong ideas about what is/isn’t attractive, and more genuine discussions and reflections of what is really attractive is needed. I think it’s common knowledge that even the people in magazines don’t look perfect in reality, but somehow us real imperfect people still manage to find other imperfect people attractive and get together. If you don’t think the fashion or ‘men’s health’ magazines reflect what is really attractive, don’t buy them. Talk to the person you’re dating or married to, or with friends about what’s really attractive. I don’t feel like I’m buying into the fashion industry’s idea of beauty, but the answer I got still surprised me.

  4. Richard Aubrey says:

    “political correct” means something else entirely.
    For example, a prof at UNLV was almost fired for making the observation that gays typically have shorter planning horizons than straights, probably due to not having families. It may or may not be true, seems it could be empirically investigated, but it is one of those things you Must Not Say.
    Blacks commit disproportionately more violent crime than whites. But you must not say that. You know about James Byrd, but not the Knoxville or Wichita horrors.
    You know about Matthew Sheperd but not about Jesse Dirkhising. For the latter, see Andrew Sullivan scorching the media on that.
    You know about the Duke lax hoax but not about Katie Rouse, also a Dukie, raped at a Duke frat house. Some things are true but it is not politically correct to mention them.
    The Duke/Frank Lombard incident would be headlines except there are at least half a dozen competing master narratives and so nobody knows what to say about that, except that anything you can think of is likely not politically correct, and even if you wish the poor kid well, that means something happened to him which leads to the other competing narratives which means you ought to just shut up.
    Pedophiles are straight and gay so there should be no particular accusation toward gays in the Catholic church scandal. Except that wasn’t pedophilia. It was ephebephilia, exclusively gay. But you must not say that.
    No, it’s the accusation of “racist” that means you’re out of your league.

  5. Rayan Khayat says:

    will this just lead to burkas?

    • Pallus Pallafox says:

      As long as men don’t start beating and murdering women for not wearing burqas or niqabs, things should be fine.


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