copyright 2000 Linda Marcas - All Rights Reserved



Crank's Corner: Commentary by Linda Marcas


Real Men Wear Pink

   A couple of summers ago, I bought two day-glow pink T-shirts for my husband.  We go to flea-
markets together, and bright shirts make it easier for me to spot him in a crowd.  He likes his pink T-shirts,
and he wears them often, but the bunch of electricians he works with give him grief whenever he does.
"Guys can't wear pink!" they exclaim.  Well, maybe "guys" can't, but real men can, and do.
Personally, I would never date, much less marry, a man who wouldn't wear pink because of a "guys
just don't" reason.  It's one thing if they don't look good in it (say, if it clashes with their red hair) or if they
just don't like it (a friend's husband won't wear green, because he says he wore enough of it while he was in
the military) but shunning pink for "guy" reasons is a good indication that they have more gender issues
than I care to deal with.  Pink is just the tip of the iceberg; the real relationship-sinkers are hidden below the
surface.

   By the same token, I advise women to pay close attention to the way men behave if the woman,
when wearing high heels, is taller than her date.  My mother was 5'7", and my stepfather was 5'8"; she
spent
years in flats, whether they went with the rest of her outfit or not.  You might be the sweetest, most biddable
girl in the world, but if his ego is threatened by your shoes, it will be threatened by lots of other things, too.
Steer clear.  There is hope, however; tall girls, take heart!  Despite the widespread cultural bias that a man
should be taller than the woman in his life,  I know quite a few short fellows who just adore being seen with
six-foot Valkyries.  Real mendon't need to be tall.

   And what a fuss guys make about baldness!  Transplants, toupees, Hair Club for Men, Rogaine,
bald-spot touch-up paint in an aerosol can... who do they think they're fooling?  Fake hair for bald men is
like make-up for women, fine if you feel like wearing it sometimes, but a sure sign of insecurity if you won't
leave home without it.  Wearing a hat at all times is no solution, either; people do catch on, eventually.  I
went on one date with a guy I who never removed his hat in public, or maybe it was one-half of one date;
he
left early, but I stayed to hear the band.  Good riddance.

   My husband is bald, but it's okay, because he's not weird about it. He was bald when I married him,
and he's even balder now.  He wears hats in the summer to keep his scalp from being sunburned, but he
takes them off when he comes inside.  He wears a house hat indoors during the winter, but then so do I; we
need them to keep our heads warm. (I'm not bald, but I have thought about shaving my head, then decided
it
would be too difficult to maintain.) Bald is cool, if you're cool with it.  Patrick Stewart, John Malkovitch,
Sean Connery: all hotties, all bald.  Real men don't need fake hair.

   Many American men have a horror of transvestism, partly from homophobia (which is too much to
go into here) and partly from what I feel is a basic disrespect toward women.  Why else would guys who
think nothing of displaying butt cleavage in droopy drawers, beer bellies in cut-off T-shirts, half of their
jockey shorts inside or all of their boxer shorts outside their pants, come over all scandalized if you suggest
that they wear a Levantine caftan for lounging at home?  "What if someone sees me, and thinks I'm wearing
a dress?" Oh, goodness gracious me, the sky would fall, and the sea overrun its boundaries!  The Mideast
has some of the most male-oriented cultures in the world, and men there wear caftans in public.  Maybe
they
don't fear being mistaken for female because the women are all in purdah!  I'll drag my husband into it
again, and have you consider this: while we were dating, we got invited to a Halloween party.  I wanted to
go as a cross-dressed East European couple, but he balked at the idea of wearing a skirt, so I went as a
vampire (I trimmed some pearl-colored fake fingernails to points, and Krazy-glued them to my eye teeth!)
and he went as "Uncle Pervy," wearing a ratty raincoat, a T-shirt, and boxer shorts with a flashing button
pinned on them, so he could whip open his raincoat and "flash" people.  Later, having given the whole thing
some serious thought, I pointed out to him that, as a product of Western culture, he was accepting its bias
against women to such a degree that, even for Halloween, he was more comfortable dressing up as a sexual
predatore than as a woman!  Next Halloween, we went as the cross-dressed East European couple,
proving
that real men can not only wear skirts, but they can also change their minds and admit when they are wrong.
And those might be the most important things for keeping a couple together.

   Ladies, please don't extrapolate from this column that, in your search for the ideal mate, you should
hold out until you meet a short, bald fellow walking down the street wearing a pink dress!  You might have
to wait a long time; that combination is a lot to ask for, especially in Ohio.  On the other hand, if you do see
such a man, he might be worth talking to.  Just try to avoid guys who think they are always right, or who tell
you how to dress, or who delude themselves with comb-overs (if he can lie to himself about being bald, he'll
lie to you about other things).  Good luck, and remember: real men wear pink.