Except they’re not real. So how are women -- how is anyone -- to know where the manly men are, when our programmers are rocking flannels and Carhartts?
“Lumbersexuals are sort of popularly teased in the same manner we collectively tease hipsters -- as only superficially exhibiting any of the qualities they are assumed to have,” said Tristan Bridges, assistant professor of sociology at The College at Brockport, SUNY. “What is thought of as ‘manly’ changes, though. Masculinity is not stable.”
Bridges is right: ideas of what men should look like and how they ought to act certainly shift over time. Guys sporting clothes with puffed-out chests, hose, embroidered pieces, and frills were considered the pinnacle of masculine during the European Renaissance, when little difference was seen between heterosexual and homosexual men. Victorians saw manliness as control over brutish masculinity: religious, polite, protective of the family, wholesome, enterprising, and hard-working, with simpler fashion staples like tight-fitting coats, top hats, and short hair. In these cases, successful men wanted to transcend an image of brash burliness. Pomp, frill, and luxurious fabrics achieved a look of aristocracy.