NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Men seems to be participating in activities that were once traditionally thought to be only for women, which may raise the question: is this gender merge making men the new women?
As CBS2’s Kristine Johnson reported, gender lines are blurring and men seem to be embracing wearing skirts and high heels and getting manicures and facials.
East Village restauranteur Ravi DeRossi said he is crossing the gender line; he wears nail polish, altering between black and red depending on the occasion.
“It’s an expression of, I don’t really care, or I’m confident. I don’t really care what you think about me, I don’t care if you don’t like it,” DeRossi said.
“I feel good about it. I never thought about whether it taps into my feminine side or not. I just think it’s comfortable,” said grandfather Alan Swerdlick.
Like DeRossi, Swerdlick doesn’t care what people think either, or that he’s the only man in the salon, he likes the end result.
“Your hands feel clean, they’re wonderful,” he said.
Psychologist Dr. Jean Malaps said men who bend the “gender rules” are making a statement, whether they know it or not.
“It’s probably a sign of feeling comfortable enough in themselves and feeling like manhood doesn’t have to have sort of one size and one definition, and that’s probably a wonderful thing,” Malpas said.
And they’re not just at the beauty salon. A group of men who discovered the joy of knitting meet regularly on the Upper West Side.
“I don’t have to hide my enthusiasm about something I love to do,” one man in the group said.
Men are even moving in on what some believe to be a female rite of passage: the baby shower.
“Having a baby is a life-changing event,” Craig Dexheimer said.
Dexheimer created ManShower and throws showers for expectant fathers, but said it’s more than just a party.
“It’s about creating a network for dads to make them feel comfortable that hey, it’s really cool to be a part of raising your children,” he said.
CBS2 asked some women how they felt about men participating in activities traditionally believed to be mainly for women.
“I think they need to step back, you know, stay in their lane,” one woman said.
“There are enough manicures and pedicures in the world for all of us,” Park Slope resident Jackie Tierney added.
“I don’t mind. Live and let live, baby, live and let live,” another woman said
If you are wondering why this is happening, experts tell CBS2 there is an increased public attention around gender matters—from stereotypes and discrimination to gender fluidity.