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Communication and Gender Studies! Random Quiz

In our last offline meeting we discussed Gender, Communication, and Culture. We saw that the African society has a more conservative perception of gender than the western society. While the African societies see gender strictly from the binary point of view, western societies have a more liberal, non-binary perception of gender which accommodates the genderqueer, or gender ‘in-betweens.’

This is a stray quiz. It is for those who are qualified. Read the story on wakkinews.com entitled Man Makes Designer Unisex Skirts, also watch the video accompanying the story and do a quick analysis of the gendered fashion perspective which John Quarion mentioned in the story. Take a look at the gender-based perspective of that story and give your opinion on acceptance of the proposed dress code in a conservative fixed gender society and a liberal run-off gender-recognized society.

Before the quiz, define the term Gender In-betweens in your own words.

Deadline for this work is Saturday July 20, by 10pm.

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, COOU, (formerly Anambra State University), Igbariam Campus.

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  1. IWUAGWU, FAITH O.

    NAME: IWUAGWU FAITH O.
    REGISTATION NUMBER: 2017052004
    ASSIGNMENT TITLE: TOP 15 GAY AND LESBIAN TELEVISION
    SERIES AND TOP 15 GAY AND LESBIAN
    RADIO STATIONS

    A. TOP 15 GAY AND LESBIAN TELEVISION SERIES

    1. QUEER EYE (2003–2007)TV-14 | 60 min | Comedy, Reality-TV series
    Five gay men try to improve the lives and confidence of straight men by giving them makeovers and advice.

    2. THE LAIR (2007– ) 30 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
    The Lair is a private gay club run by vampires, who use the club as a source for attractive young men to feed from. Thom, a local journalist in the small island town begins digging into the past.
    3. GIMME GIMME GIMME (1999–2001)
    A sitcom about two dreamy London roommate: gay unemployed actor Tom Farrell, whose career is going nowhere; and Linda La Hughes, who is about as attractive as a centenary nun, yet has delusions of romantic love.

    4. VENICE THE SERIES (2009– )
    Venice the Series is Co-Created by Crystal Chappell and Kim Turrisi. Venice focuses on the life of Gina Brogno – a single, gay, self-made interior designer – living and working in Venice Beach, California. The plot follows Gina’s human experience in connection with her various love interests, brother Owen, father – the Colonel, and a myriad of other characters that make up Gina’s network of relationships. Gina is a strong, confident, and complex career woman who navigates her relations with people through an intense yet thoughtful prism. The convergence of Gina’s experiences with a progressive, bohemian, and urban backdrop; provides an electrifying plot journey. The storyline offers the best of traditional soap romance, love stories, tragic happenings, and hairpin turns; done in a new, savvy, edgy format with unique character development, diversity of character, and tantalizing plot portrayal.

    5. WILL & GRACE (1998– ) TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Romance series
    Will and Grace live together in an apartment in New York City. He’s a gay lawyer, she’s a straight interior designer. Their best friends are Jack, a gleeful but proud gay man, and Karen, a charismatic, filthy rich, amoral socialite.

    6. RICK & STEVE THE HAPPIEST GAY COUPLE IN ALL THE WORLD (2007–2009)
    Welcome to the gayest of gay ghettos, West Lahunga Beach, where Rick and Steve make their fabulously decorated double-income-no-kids home. That is until Rick’s lifelong lesbian friend Kirsten asks him to be the father of her child. There’s just one catch, Kirsten’s wife Dana and Rick’s husband Steve are mortal enemies. The insults fly, nothing goes unspoken, and the ugly, bitter truth about domestic bliss never looked so cute. Starring the voices of Alan Cumming, Peter Paige, Wilson Cruz, and Margaret Cho, with music from the creators of Avenue Q. Viewer discretion advised.

    7. BROTHERS (1984–1989 22 min Comedy series
    Two conservative men support their younger brother when he comes out as gay, and help him navigate being openly homosexual in 1980s Philadelphia.

    8. THE 1ST SHOP OF COFFEE PRINCE (2007– ) Comedy, Drama, Romance
    A tomboy, mistaken for a lad, maintains the deception for the sake of employment. The situation becomes complicated when her male boss begins to develop feelings for this “boy.”

    9. OH, GROW UP (1999– )
    This series centers on three guys who were friends in college and are still close to this day and are living together. Hunter, a construction worker and womanizer who discovers that he has a teenage daughter, Chloe, who is going to school in the city that he lives in. Norris, a struggling artist. And Ford, a lawyer whose revelation of being gay ended his marriage to Suzanne, who has trouble accepting that Ford is gay, and how she could have been married to him.

    10. BUMP! (2004–2013)
    Bump! is the world’s first gay and lesbian travel and lifestyle television series. It is unique and international in scope. In each episode Bump! presents a new gay-friendly destination in a stylish and upbeat format. Bump! travels the globe in search of fascinating gay human-interest stories. From gay tourism hot spots like Miami and London, to urban centers such as Montreal and Los Angeles, Bump! focuses its lens on gay and lesbian communities around the globe.

    11. ALL STARS: DE SERIE (1999–2001)
    The Swiftboys may be called All Stars in the title, this nowhere, North Holland amateur soccer team consists of boys who since childhood enjoy the game itself -only gay captain Bram, a lawyer, takes the trouble to spend time on official club business- less then the camaraderie as none has the making of anything resembling a star player, to put it kindly, so they usually end their season by demotion. The point is having fun on the field, in the locker-room, in the canteen, and whenever something happens in one’s life one or more of the others are likely to get involved, which also goes for some players’ female partners, while male bonding seems only to stimulate their flirtatious lust. The chairman is a cigar-smoking fat rat, who intends to exploit the various teams using his infrastructure, and comes to employ as barmaid ex-con Nadja, a red-hair harpy nevertheless considered sexy by most straight boys.

    12. FRIENDS AND BENEFITS (2011)
    Friends and Benefits (FAB), is a queer online web series. It follows the life of Ben Fitzgerald, 21, gay university student who was recently dumped by his boyfriend. Ben turns to online dating to meet new guys and explore the gay culture in Melbourne but begins to find it all quite daunting. Luckily the naive Ben has his three best friends, Calvin, Max and Sophie to help through his adventure.

    13. OI APARADEKTOI (1991–1993)
    The adventures of four people who live next to each other somewhere in Athens. Spyros and his wife Dimitra on one apartment, and Vlassis with his gay friend Yannis on the other. Though they are average people, these best friends can’t stay out of trouble and get themselves in humorous situations all the time.

    14. QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GIRL (2005– )
    From the creators of Bravo’s runaway hit Queer Eye for the Straight Guy comes a new series that turns a tasteful eye towards the ladies. This time, a team of gay stylists will “make-better” Los Angeles-area women in episodes that will feature a full lifestyle “make-betters” sure to impress and inspire.

    15. UNDER THE PINK CARPET (2000– )
    A Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Transgender themed entertainment news magazine series. Irreverent, fast moving and colorful, Under the Pink Carpet features celebrity interviews and backstage coverage at concerts, film/theater premieres, nightclubs, book signings, performances, plays, parties, and more! Because of it’s fun, comical style Under the Pink Carpet is popular with “straight” audiences as well as LGBT people. But Under the Pink Carpet is more than just entertainment news. The show realistically and sometimes critically examines many aspects of the Gay subculture, providing a no holds barred glimpse behind the facade of a “fabulous” lifestyle. The show is produced and directed by Tony Sawicki, who also serves as the primary correspondent. Also featured as News/Entertainment Correspondents are Drag Personality Clover Honey (the 1st and only Transgendered reporter on national TV!), hilarious and openly Lesbian Stand-Up Comedian Michele Balan and Attorney, Producer and self-described “Fag-Hag” Stephanie Butler.

    B. LIST OF 15 TOP GAY AND LESBIAN RADIO STATIONS.

    1. CHRF
    CHRF (980 kHz)is a French-language commercial AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec. Owned by Evanov Radio Group, the station broadcasts an adult standards radio format, along with some multicultural programming. CHRF’s studios are located on Papineau Avenue in the Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie borough of Montreal, while its transmitter is located near Mercier.

    2. CIRR-FM
    CIRR-FM, branded as 103.9 Proud FM, is a radio station in Toronto, Ontario, licensed to serve the city’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities, launched in 2007. It is the first radio station in Canada targeted specifically to an LGBT audience, and the first commercial terrestrial LGBT radio station in the world[1] — all earlier LGBT radio stations, such as Joy Melbourne in Australia, Radio Rosa in Denmark and SIRIUS OutQ on satellite radio, were operated by community non-profit groups or aired on non-traditional radio platforms.
    Originally broadcasting from Toronto’s Church and Wellesley neighbourhood, CIRR’s studios are currently located on Dundas StreetWest in the Eatonville neighbourhood of Toronto, while its transmitter is located atop the Sheraton Centre on Queen Street West in downtown Toronto across from Toronto City Hall.
    3. GAYDAR RADIO
    GaydarRadio was a British digital radio station for gay men, lesbians and gay friendly people, available on DAB multiplexes in London and Brighton and also online. It broadcast 24 hours a day, with live programming from 5am to midnight during the week, 7am to midnight at weekends.
    GaydarRadio, which was based in Twickenham in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, ceased broadcasting on Monday 7 January 2013 when the station’s DAB channels were acquired by Gaydio.
    4. GAYDIO
    Gaydio is a radio station for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the United Kingdom, broadcast on 88.4 FM in Greater Manchester, on DAB digital radio in Greater London, parts of the Home Counties the Sussex coast, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cambridge, Portsmouth and online through their website, mobile apps and the UK Radio Player.
    Gaydio became the UK’s first LGBT FM radio service when it launched full-time on Friday 18 June 2010, expanding into digital radio when it acquired Gaydar Radio in 2013. The station’s output attracts around 850,000 listeners per month, making it one of the biggest LGBT media platforms in the UK.
    5. JOY 94.9
    Joy 94.9 is a queer radio station in Melbourne that broadcasts around the clock. Podcasts, live streaming and transcripts are available.
    6. PROUD FM
    This station is to target gay and lesbian listeners.
    A new frequency on Toronto’s crowded FM radio dial is poised to make history, its backers say, by becoming the country’s — and perhaps the world’s — first mainstream commercial radio station aimed at gays and lesbians.
    Proud FM is set to launch officially one week from today at 103.9 FM. Its website promises “an eclectic mix of sounds from current hits to anthems from the 70s, 80s and 90s” as well as a “splash of classical and dance music” and “unique and inclusive” talk programs.
    7. OUT AND PROUD: BANGALORE RADIO STATION FOR GAYS AND LESBIANS PUBLISHED ON OCT 4, 2013.
    The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in India has hit the airwaves with a brand-new radio station launched in Bangalore recently. Called Q Radio, the venture is part of the online portal Radiowalla.in, which has over 40 radio channels for various audiences.
    8. K244FE
    K244FE (96.7 FM, “96-7 Pride Radio”) is a translator broadcasting the LGBT-oriented Top 40 format of the HD3 subcarrier of iHeartMedia’s KQQL. Licensed to Minneapolis’ “Calhoun Beach” neighborhood, it serves the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area inside the I-494/I-694 beltway. The station is owned by iHeartMedia. All the offices and studios are located in St. Louis Park and the transmitter is atop the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis.

    As of October 2, 2014, KQQL’s Kool 1-0-80s format was being broadcast on KQQL’s HD3 channel and on translator W244CS (96.7 FM) in the Southeast metro.[1] On June 12, 2015, KQQL-HD3 and W244CS changed format to top-40, branded as “96.7 Pride Radio”. In addition, W244CS became K244FE, and moved its transmitter to the IDS Center.
    “96.7 Pride Radio” is the first analog station in the United States targeted to the LGBT community, and the second in North Americaafter Toronto’s CIRR-FM. K244FE is an extension of the national “Pride Radio” format available on iHeartRadio and on New York City’s WKTU-HD2.
    9. OUTQ (SIRIUS XM)
    OutQ was a news, talk and entertainment channel on Sirius XM Radio, geared for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender audiences. The channel was available to Sirius and XM subscribers in both the United States and Canada.
    Personalities associated with the channel included Frank DeCaro, Doria Biddle, Larry Flick, Lance Bass, Derek Hartley, and Romaine Patterson. Tim Curran served as the channel’s news director, with Xorje Olivares as the lead anchor. OutQ News changed its schedule on August 4, 2013, leaving behind its top-of-the-hour format in favor of a daily news review aired at 6pm EST.
    On November 20, 2006, station founder and show host John McMullen was relieved of his duties.
    It had been announced that SiriusXM would be closing down OutQ on February 13, 2016.
    10. PRIDE RADIO
    Pride Radio is an LGBT lifestyle top 40 radio network launched by Clear Channel Communications and its online division, CCRD (Clear Channel Radio Digital) in 2006. The radio division became known as iHeartMedia on September 16, 2014. It is one of several music channels that are available through iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio.
    The online portal acts as an interactive hub, hosting a variety of user-generated content. In addition, Pride Radio is a 24/7 streaming pop hits (with dance remixes of many pop hits) channel with a gay sensibility, which is also carried on the HD Radio channels of selected radio stations. The channel and accompanying online portal provide the LGBT audience with programming that aims to be entertaining, informative, and uniting. Pride Radio introduced personalities in May 2013.

    11. PURPLE RADIO (LONDON)
    Purple Radio was an internet and British digital radio station for a gay, lesbian and gay-friendly audience. It was available on a DABmultiplex in London and also online. It was the first full-time gay and lesbian radio station and broadcast 24 hours a day, with live broadcasts from a different nightclub every night.
    Purple Radio was launched in 2001 and merged with Gaydar Radio in 2003.
    The station played a mix of dance and mainstream pop music, interspersed with chat and news. Live shows took place during the day, with Programme Controller Pete Flynn (who now runs SFM Radio) presenting the breakfast show at launch.
    Purple Radio’s unique programming came in the form of close involvement with London’s gay and lesbian nightclubs. Early evening programming saw DJs introducing their favourite tracks to listeners in a unique mix of chat and music.
    From 10pm each night the station broadcast live from a different nightclub, using ISDN codec including Heaven (nightclub).
    The station was based above London’s Hanover Grand nightclub, a grand nightspot which was later demolished to make way for a shopping centre just off London’s Oxford Street.
    Originally broadcast over the internet, the station was one of the first to start broadcasting on British digital radio station a short time after the BBC launched its first digital station [2]
    Purple Radio used the tagline “The Digital Soundtrack to Gay Life in London”[1] and also “The World’s Fastest Growing Radio Station”.
    12. RADIO FG
    Radio FG (since February 2013, formerly FG DJ Radio) is a French-language radio station that began broadcasting from Paris on 98.2 MHz in the FM band in 1981. It is France’s first radio station that broadcasts deep house and electro house music (originally electronic and underground music). The station’s current playlist is house, dance, R&B and electronica alongside several American hip-hop songs broadcast from time to time.

    Radio FG was founded in 1981 as a community radio rooted in the Parisian gay scene and in support of the gay community. The ‘FG’ initials were said to vary in meaning from “Fréquence Gaie” (Gay Frequency) to “Futur Génération” (Future Generation) to “Filles et Garçons” (Girls and Boys).
    During its initial four years of broadcasting, the station faced financial struggles as well as internal conflicts, but managed to survive. As time went by, the station, facing an identity crisis, distanced itself from its social activism and re-defined itself as a dedicated electronic music station.

    In 2001 Radio FG abandoned its community radio status to become a private radio station. In September 2003 Radio FG became known as FG DJ Radio and broadened its spectrum of music to include R’n’B and Raï music. Mixshows (known as Club FG for most of the time) originally accounted for 30-50 percent of the entire broadcast week. It now only accounts for 10 percent.

    Today, the station broadcasts throughout the Parisian suburbs and in other major cities around France. In September 2004 the radio started a free webradio service called Underground FG. The station devotes 24 hours a day a mix of house, techno and dance music (similar to the original Radio FG), alongside older mixes that already aired on Radio FG.

    13. RADIO Q
    Radio Q (Q standing for queer) is an online radio station serving Romania’s LGBT and queer community. The radio station was established under the name 2G Radio on December 18, 2005. It is affiliated to the gay portal GayOne.ro, which was previously named 2G. Radio Q is the first LGBT radio station in Romania.
    Radio Q broadcasts non-stop through its Internet streaming service, the bulk of its broadcasts consisting of music of varying genres (with a focus on electronic music and trance). There are also a variety of programmes that discuss LGBT culture and rights in Romania, and these are archived on the website so that they can be downloaded after they have initially been broadcast. In the future, Radio Q intends to develop into an FM radio station so that its broadcasts can be received without using the Internet.

    14. RADIO ROSA
    Radio Rosa was a radio station in Copenhagen, Denmark, which broadcast a community radio format for the city’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.
    The station was launched on June 22, 1983 by the Danish National Association of Gays and Lesbians and was one of the world’s first gay radio stations. It closed August 1, 2010.
    15. WGAY (INTERNET RADIO)
    WGAY is a gay-oriented Internet radio station based in Washington, DC.
    The internet station features live programs with conversation, unusual music, and comedy, on Friday evenings from 9:00 PM to 1:00 AM Eastern. Having first signed on as WGAY in February 2006, it evolved from a Washington, DC Part 15 (low-power) broadcast and internet radio station founded in 1991. During the week, it broadcasts an eclectic music format that features popular music from the 1950s through the present day. Weekdays at 11 AM Eastern, archived broadcasts of WGTB from the 1970s are aired. WGTB was a legendary and controversial student-run station at Georgetown University. Ultimately the Jesuit school shut the station down because of the radical programming it carried. Weekdays at 2 PM Eastern are reserved for a vintage (late 1970s – early 1980s) program from WUVT titled Ozone Hours. (Iwuagwu Faith O/ 201705204)

    1. Submit in the M.Sc classroom. Not here please

  2. THE GENDERED FASHION PERSPECTIVES OF JOHN QUARION’S DESIGNER UNISEX SKIRTS
    BY
    OKOYE JUDE VC
    GENDER IN-BETWEEN
    The term gender “in-betweens”, also known as “gender queer” is the concept used in the western hemisphere to describe the individuals who do not exclusively identify as or fall within the masculine or feminine gender categories. Gender queer people are not restricted to a particular gender category. They may express a combination of masculinity and femininity or neither. This is queer. Isn’t it? It is not popular here in Africa where gender is strictly binary. It is not to say that gender in-betweens do not exist in Africa, but only that African culture has not been liberal enough to allow them open expressions. In the west gender in-betweens do not hide their identities for fear of discrimination. Remember that gender is a social assumption or ascription of roles based on biological compositions of male and female sexes. Such ascriptions are not always correct.
    To John Quarion and ( h/er ) designer unisex skirts, it is simply an idea. It looks like a good idea for a startup. It is worth exploring. Ideas they say rule the world. Who knows “skirtcraft” might turn out to be a global cloth label.
    But, the world Quarion and his/her “skirtcraft” may rule is the West and not the rest of us. Unisex or the in-betweens are allowed free expression in the United States, where Quarion plies his and her trade. So it is not a big deal. It is a non binary gendered society. There is nothing weird about it. But here in Africa, it is a serious matter to entertain the idea of a male cloth label for a female skirt. Though it is a market niche that might make a business sense, it can only be carved out in a more liberal clime like the west.
    The historical perspective which Quarion bandied as a motivation to recreate or resurrect skirt wearing culture among men seems plausible, but the situations that allowed the culture in those centuries then are no longer here with us, even in the west. Culture has moved on. Except Quarion means to stage a campaign to turn it around. Soldiers need much more rugged dressing now than they needed it then for riding horses.
    The truth is that Quarion is simply not like me and you that fall along the gender binary category. Quarion is as human as we are, created like me and you. We have our rights and wishes and hope that they are not denied by our fellow mortals, so it is with Quarion. Nature recognizes differences and variations in all things. Nature cannot be faulted. It is the society, men and women, I and you that design strange ideas about the works of nature that is beyond our understanding.
    John Quarion has every right to try out his idea. He should indeed go ahead. Thank goodness he is in the gender non binary west. The idea may flower and flourish, but in Africa I bet you, the $16000.00 he has been able to raise from crowed sourcing will likely end up in harassment and frustrations from the conservative cultural elements and institutions.

    1. Great job as usual. Well done.

  3. Meaning of Gender in-betweens

    Gender is often seen from the African conservative viewpoint of binary – male and female. But the liberal definition of gender by the Western countries recognizes binary and non-binary. Therefore, all the sexual identities that fall in-between the two binary extremes are called the ‘in-betweens’. They are what Nwabueze (2018) calls “run-off gender – sexual identities or orientations that don’t fit into any of the binary”. These include intersex, bisexual, queer, a-gender, omni sexual, zeno-gender and transgender etc.

    Skirtcraft: Mainstreaming Fashion into a
    Multi-gendered World.

    By
    Onyima, Anthony

    Introduction

    Fashion is easily the most visible means of how gender is socially constructed in a postmodern society. Individual’s selection of what to wear on a daily basis affects the way they are perceived by others, defines the expectations of those around him or her and ultimately contributes to the impressions formed about the individual. Fashion (dress and garments) in general terms not only shows social construction of identity but depicts social class. Hence, the famous cliché that ‘what you wear depicts who you are’. The costume someone wears at work, at a social gathering or in an interview affects the perception and the opinion created on the capabilities and preferences (Giles & William, 1975). According to Mayer & Beik (1985) and in conformity with the Symbolic Interactionism Theory the “dress is among products with strong symbolism and great semantic value through the type of brands, origin etc”. The subjective influence of clothing on gender perception has historical roots, as people choose color, style and fabrics, according to the traditional social status, role and age. As rightly noted by Solomon & Douglas (1987), dress or garment is an external signal emitting meanings of an image of the self to others but can also be internal, enhancing the self-image and confidence of someone to play a role. Roles of men and women in the society have influenced clothing and garment and vice versa. The female dress has historically limited the social roles of women both physically and symbolically.
    However, fashion was not always gender scarred. History shows that the 18th century there were no significant differences in the dressing of both sexes. Men and women wore long decorated costumes. Fashion became feminized in the 19th century, when the expression of sexual difference through the clothing was more important than that of the social order (Steele, 1989). According to Davis (1992), during this period the Protestant values of thrift, hard work and individual economic progress dominated the society and these values reflected on what men wore. Flugel (1930) regards this male abandonment of colorful fashion as the most important event in the history of dressing. It is against this background and context that one can effectively analyze the present effort of Joe Quarion and his Skirtcraft Company to introduce to the world a unisex skirt.

    Mainstreaming Unisex Skirt

    John Quarion, an American from Minnesota can easily be called a renaissance man. He is disrupting the fashion industry and gender discourse with his unisex skirts. Launched in 2015, Quarion says unisex skirts are the “original and eternal human garment”. His skirts with large pockets and better airflow, he says, “are for everyone” (male and female).
    Quarion may be right in his claim. As this paper had earlier established, both male and female in the Western society wore skirts in the 18th century. Perhaps, in a bid to stamp his masculinity in 19th century, the male abandoned costumes considered too colorful, which included skirts to women thus bringing gender scar into fashion. This feminization of fashion has continued into postmodern Western society.
    Gender scholars could take Quarion’s unisex skirts as a bold statement on gender equality because he is reclaiming a garment that was worn by everyone before the male abandoned it. With its launch and growing acceptance in a liberal run-off gendered western society, Quarion is obviously mainstreaming the unisex skirts in a multi-gendered world. His marketing video and advert copy said much of his intent and purpose:
    The original and eternal human garment. An essential alternative to pants. Having a better airflow. A less confining feel and that singular, striking drape. They’re for everyone. And they must have pockets. (wakkinews.com)
    This is evident in the volume of sales recorded (450 pieces) in 21 countries and the amount of money realized from the crowd funding. That he exceeded his target of $11,500 with $5,500 is an indication of the level of interest in his new fashion by like-minded men. Feeling satisfied, Quarion is confident that the western society will eventually accept his new fashion idea. “I think fashion-wise and culture-wise, we’re moving toward people not being as constrained,” the skirt designer said. Following the encouraging sales, Quarion in 2018 launched another crowd funding campaign on YouTube for a second line product called Aqueous Skirts.
    However, Quarion’s unisex skirts will not make much, if any, impact in a conservative fixed gender society like Africa, which culturally sees gender strictly from the binary point of view. Majority of people in these conservative societies would most likely perceive anybody wearing the unisex skirts as engaging in “cross-dressing”. According to wikipedia, cross-dressing is “the act of wearing items of clothing and other accouterments commonly associated with the opposite sex within a particular society”. Often times cross-dressing is used for the purposes of self-discovery, comfort, disguise and even for rebellious cause. A cross section of African society particularly the religious purists still have certain perceptions about women who wear trousers (pants). In fact in some religious denominations, such women are barred from participating in the Sunday worship and other activities. They regard trouser as cross-dressing whereas in liberal western society it is normal and looks even more elegant. It is also interesting to note that none of the 21 countries where the skirts were accepted is an African country.

    Conclusion

    John Quarion’s unisex skirt is no doubt extending the frontier of gender discourse and it offers a good example of how culture and social norms influence gender discussion in different societies. Predictably, Quarion’s Skirtcraft will grow in sales volume and acceptance but may most likely fail to make any appreciable impact in conservative societies. This is in spite of the pervading influence of globalization fueled by technology and media.

    References
    Davis, F. (1992). Fashion, Culture and Identity. Chicago: University of
    Chicago Press.
    Flugel, J. (1930). The Psychology of Clothes. London: Hogarth.
    Giles, H., & William, C. (1975) Communication Length as a Function of
    Dress Style and Social Status. Perpetual and Motor Skills, 40,
    961-62.
    Mayer, R., & Beik, R. (1985). Fashion and Impression Formation among
    Children. In Solomon M. (Ed.). The Psychology of Fashion.
    Lexington: Lexington Books.
    Nwabueze, C. (2018). Ph.D lecture notes; Department of Mass
    Communication, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu
    University, Igbariam.
    Solomon, M., & Douglas, S. (1987). Diversity in Product Symbolism:
    The Case of Female Executive Clothing. Psychology &
    Marketing, 4, 189-212.
    Steele, V. (1989). Men and Women: Dressing the Part. Washington:
    Smithsonian Institution Press.

    1. Great job as usual. You are truly a scholar. Just keep it up.

  4. CHUKWUEBUKA CHUKWUEMEKA

    AN ANALYSIS OF JOE QUARION’S GENDERED FASHION PERSPECTIVE
    BY CHUKWUEBUKA CHUKWUEMEKA

    Gender in-betweens refer to gender identities that do not match strictly the typical definitions of man or woman. They are otherwise called genderqueer ie they are neither male nor female and do not identify themselves as male or female. They could express their gender as masculine or feminine or both or anything outside the gender binary concept. This is really bizarre and confusing as the name suggests-queer.

    Now to the Joe Quarion’s story, I think it is weird. I am not coming on board because it is a bad idea for a man like me to put on skirt under whatever guise. These are my answers to the posers on Joe Quarion’s stuff. As enthusiastic as Quarion is about his skirt craft project, I don’t think it is going to fly in Africa. Africa is gender binary oriented and very conservative. In as much as I agree that his fashion idea-a child of circumstance is novel, it remains for the western societies where gender is all-inclusive.

    To start with, I do not agree with Joe Quarion that selling 400 skirts to 21 countries of the world between 2016 and 2018 is enough evidence that the fashion is penetrating all corners of the world. Even in the western world, the battle between gender normative and gender non-binary still rages on. We still cannot discuss gender identities and gender expression without talking about biological sex and sexual orientation. The introduction of this unisex skirt will be seen as another joker by the gay movement and it is common knowledge that not all the countries in the West have legalized it. Joe Quarion has just introduced another article for contention.

    Again, if Joe Quarion’s history about men and skirts is correct and he admits that skirts disappeared due to civilization, does he think to turn the hand of civilization?

    In Africa and all other conservative fixed gender societies, the investment is no doubt a waste. Any gender expression that is not binary oriented will be stiffly resisted in Africa. Think of what happens in public places when males appear with braids, earrings and the likes, that will give you an idea of what is going to happen to this gendered fashion idea.

    I advise Joe Quarion to fight his battle in the West and all other liberal run-off gender-recognized societies. May be and just may be, he might find a way forward.

  5. Ekwunife Rosemary Obianuju

    GENDER IN-BETWEENS
    Gender in-betweens can be defined as those whose identity does not fit in any gender. These are people that do not identify with any of the aspects of gender assigned to their biological sex.Some of these people are transgender, genderqueer or non-binary.

    MAN MAKES DESIGNER UNISEX SKIRTS,VOWS TO MAKE SKIRT POPULAR AMONG MEN AGAIN.
    Gender-neutral clothing doesn’t force someone into a box.

    In African society, clothing for both men and women is culturally defined. Cultural norms and expectations are related to the meaning of being a man or woman and are closely linked to appearance.
    According to Joe Quarion, in his story, gone are the days when skirts were just for women and trousers were just for men. He believes that since skirts were worn by men in ancients times and they were found pleasing there’s no reason why that dress code should not resurface today.

    Quarion argues that fashion stereotypes have exclusively associated skirts with women for centuries and this has made it difficult for men to adopt skirts as normal wears. He came up with a particular design, (unaligned) skirt which was made of heavy fabric. It is modern but also rugged and had deep pockets and belt loop.
    Quarion’s business plans are growing, he has so far sold around 450 of his unique skirts, mostly to like-minded men and he recently concluded another successful kick starter campaign for a new style of unisex skirt, the Aqueous.

    However, in the gender-based perspective of the story, it will so odd and unusual for men to be wearing skirt,it will even be so unconvincing for them except the like-minded men.
    Through an examination of historical changes in Western men’s and women’s dress, it is possible to gain a greater understanding of the changes in the social meaning of clothing and its relationship to gender.
    Men followed a restricted code for appearance, limited to angular design lines, neutral and subdued color palettes,bifurcated garments (example pants) for the lower body,natural but not tight silhouettes, sturdy fabrics and shoes and simple hair face grooming. This simple and restricted dress code related well to a focus on work and on social, economic, and political accomplishments rather than to change in fashion.

  6. Definition of Gender in between.
    Gender in-between can be referred to as a situation whereby a person is unable to identify with neither male nor female gender, this is also known as non- binary or gender ambiguity. They may express a combination of masculinity or femininity or neither in their gender expression.
    Topic: Quarion’s Ideology on Fashion (skirtcraft).
    Fashion can be viewed as a popular style especially in clothings, footwear, accessories, makeup, hair style and body. It is usually known to be distinctive and it is an avenue whereby a person can express his or her ideology and opinion. John Quarion, very much aware of this fashion fact decided to invent the unisex skirt ‘skirtcraft’ to portray his own ideology and belief on gender related matters.
    His idea was welcomed in the western community where gender is not defined from a binary point of view unlike the African community. He was able attract sales in the western society where every abnormal ideas in the African society is deemed normal especially when it comes gender related issues this is because the western world has a more liberal approach to life style in general and so Quarion’s idea is nothing new and very typical. In the African community, this would have been a very absurd idea and thus unacceptable simply because of our very myopic and biased understanding on gender issues.
    In general, I believe that Quarion expressed himself just like every other person should when it comes to ideologies and beliefs without restriction. People’s cultural beliefs shouldn’t be a hindrance to a person’s idea no matter how weird or abnormal the idea may be. We just have to weigh the pros and cons of the ideas and when proven harmless should be welcomed by all means regardless of any societal cultural norms and beliefs.

    please disregard the first one. it was sent in error.

  7. NTOMCHUKWU FESTUS CHIGOZIE

    ANALYSIS OF THE GENDERED FASHION PERSPECTIVE OF JOE QUARIOM ON UNISEX SKIRT.

    DEFINITIONS: Gender is often seen as same as sex. It is a social construct ascribing roles, characters, behaviours and attributes by the society for men and women. It is a social construct because men and women are taught expectations and attributions that is actions, interactions and their limits for men and women.

    (a)GENDER INBETWEEN: This is also gender queer as it has identities and features of both sexes having overlaping or indefinite lines inbetween.
    Joe Quarion could be described as gender queer as he possessed the features of men and women.
    A full blown man suddenly went into activities and attributions of women.

    (b) Gender issues have always centered on women yet usually negative. The drive therefore is equality for both men and women-gender equality. Joe Quarion having been aware that women have for centuries been associated with skirts began to wonder why men could not wear it. His effort to get one for himself failed so he embarked on learning how to sow preparatory to setting up or making his own type of skirt which he fashioned and called ‘skirtcraft’ and later another style acqueous.
    Joe tried to underscore the fact that there should be gender equality in dress code (skirts) which should not be exclusive of women.It afforded men of like minds to patronize him and closed gap of disbelieve and attribution that skirts were only meant for women.

    (c) A Curssory Look at the story reveals the following:
    ( i) that in a conservative fixed gender society like Africa, the man in a skirt is seen as queer, that is abnormal. It has cultural implications, a norm that tends to suggest that he is possessed of the deities , gods of the land and needs spiritual cleansing. Sometimes he is seen as been an escape goat of the gods. Such a show by man in a cultural setting of Africa is described as taboo and people have minimal association with such a person . Infact he is not considered in any serious or relevant discussions in the family or community.

    (ii). such thrives in a society like Minessota where social constructions are realities, where there is liberal and social understanding, where cultural norms do not overwhelm social norms, people are not averse to discoveries.

    The discovery or establishment of the skirtcraft and acqueous skirts opened the thinking cap 0f both sexes (male and female),made like minds (men) to patronize it and has continued to gain grounds, attracting patronage across the world. For instance, Joe had shipped the materials (skirts) to over 21 countries by 2015.

    Apart from gender equality which it buttresses, it further brings about development and sustenance as wealth and jobs are created, improving human existence.

    The liberal run-off gender recognized society gives equal opportunity for all to develop potentially individual and collective endowment. Laws (social norms) play down cultural norms.

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