On sidewalks, buildings, in train stations nationwide, Dockers tells the male population of America “Face it, You’re a Man.” These bold words are part of their most recent “Wear the Pants” campaign, where they call upon men to stand up to embrace strength and masculinity. Read the words of their Man-ifesto:
In a post-feminist revolution world, it may seem counter-cultural to hear (or see) a message such as this one plastered conspicuously on every billboard. We find it surprisingly refreshing. Some feminists bemoan the “call of manhood” and wonder whether patriarchal norms are once again rearing their ugly heads, but we find no reason for concern. On the contrary, given its popularity already, Docker’s message could potentially launch a cultural trend where noble masculinity is once again esteemed, and viewed not as a threat, but as a valuable and enriching quality.
Jennifer Sey, Vice-president for Docker’s global marketing campaign, speaks candidly to Brandweek about the struggles that men face in today’s culture. Women now outnumber men in the work-force, and men are increasingly disillusioned and confused about what an authentic masculine role might look like. Through the “Wear the Pants” campaign, Jennifer hopes to breathe life back into a dying understanding of manhood:
Men have told us that they are expected to be more sensitive, to do more at home. They are confused about what it means to be a man today. This led us to the pants idea and essentially, the goal is to provide empathy and encouragement, but also a sense of humor and to help define the new modern idea of man, which includes sensitivity, chivalry, ambition, decisiveness, as well as empathy, so we can inspire today’s men to be men.
The feminist revolution did more than redefine the woman’s role in society – there has been a shift in understanding of how a man is expected to function and flourish. Qualities such as sensitivity, understanding, and good communication skills are lauded and encouraged, while chivalry, courage, and ambition are regarded as remnants of an oppressive patriarchal system.
Kevin Kwasnik, grad student and contributing writer for Prolife Propatria, celebrates the Dockers statements with some equally thought-provoking assertions of his own:
“You know a tree by its fruit. Though humorous in tone, the Dockers Man-ifesto relays a nugget of profound truth: the indifference of men leads to the destruction of society, the foolishness of the youth, and the susceptibility of the weak. If our society is to flourish men need to step up and fill the gap. Men must rebuild the structural incontinence of their society, they must guide the foolhardy youth, and they must serve the weakest and most infirm of their brethren. Men, step up and produce good and holy fruit in a society that is starving for authentic manhood.”
We sympathize with Kevin and would also like to echo the words of Leo Keliher, co-president for Harvard’s True Love Revolution: “Manhood really has been swept away in modern society, leaving many men no more mature than teenagers, just bigger and with more work skills. It’s time to bring back real men, confident leaders focused on service to women and children. Khakis are optional.”