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Thorn Explains: Gender and Clothing

Thorn Explains: Gender and Clothing published on 4 Comments on Thorn Explains: Gender and Clothing

I drew some of this for a Q&A on the official Leif & Thorn Tumblr. (If you want miscellaneous background details and fourth-wall-breaking mini-gags, check out the whole set!) When the topic kept getting interest, I figured it deserved to be promoted to a full-fledged Thorn Explains.


Leif: Is my fashion sense as feminine by Ceanska standards as it is in Sønheim?

Thorn: Uh . . . what’s “femin-ish” to Sønheim?

Leif; Skirts, mostly.

Thorn; And, wait, how strict is this?

Leif: For casual clothes, not strict at all. But when you get into formal situations . . . an outfit like this is frowned-on for men, even though it’s respectable for women. You could call my style “feminine to a socially appropriate extent.”

Thorn: Hang on. I’ve seen your ambassador wearing a dress on fancy occasions.

Leif: No, no, that’s a robe. It’s completely different.

“butch” “casual” “cute” “dapper” “femme”
(*very loose English translations)

Thorn: Ceannic styles are mostly categorized by fanciness. Nothing is, ah, “inappropriate” based on gender. Some styles are more popular with women, but I can’t think of anything that’s never worn by men. (Or vice versa.)

Or even anything that’s only worn by men when they feel . . . disconnected from their genders. Is that a thing? It could be a thing. I mean, what do I know from gender theory.

These are basic tunic-and-leggings outfits. Worn by everyone. No special “feminish” or “masculesque” features.

Leif: This isn’t the same one I was wearing. No lace or poofy sleeves.

Thorn: Yeah, those are details that the ladies are usually more into, I think. But in Ceannic it sounds most natural to just call this style “cute.”

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I’m a little confused by your use of “dapper.” I never hear it used to describe women, so it seems odd that you’ve put it on the fem side of “cute,” which I mostly hear describing women. Is it just me, or is this a semantic difference between English and Ceannic, or…

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