Column

Why Women Like Men Who Wear Dresses

Vogue didn’t put Styles in a dress in order to emasculate men; they did it because it’s hot

Jessica Valenti
Published in
3 min readNov 17, 2020

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Harry Styles at the Met Gala on May 6, 2019. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/MG19/Getty Images

With over 1,000 Americans dying every day of Covid, the president of the United States refusing to concede an election he lost, and the West Coast continuing to burn, there is no shortage of pressing issues to be outraged over. That’s why I find it so strange that conservatives have focused their energy and ire on perhaps the most innocuous event of the year: a male celebrity in a dress.

Musician Harry Styles appears on Vogue’s December cover wearing a Gucci gown — the first man to ever be featured solo on the front of the iconic fashion publication. Styles told Vogue, “you can never be overdressed” and celebrated how gender norms are changing around clothing: “What’s really exciting is that all of these lines are just kind of crumbling away… anytime you’re putting barriers up in your own life, you’re just limiting yourself.”

What many see as stylish fun, though, members of the right view as a feminist conspiracy to weaken men. In response to Styles’ cover, conservative author Candace Owens claimed that the “steady feminization” of American men was part of a plot to bring back Marxism, tweeting that we need to “bring back manly men.”

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Jessica Valenti
GEN
Writer for

Feminist author & columnist. Native NYer, pasta enthusiast.