Gender and fashion

By Grace Helmke 

Our society entirely revolves around judging a person based on how they look. We attempt to discern who this person might be through the things they wear, the style of their hair, or the makeup they put on.

Since the day we are born, we have been taught to think a certain way about these choices in style. If a person wears a dress, then they’re a girl. Men can only wear pants. Only women can wear makeup.

Stereotypes surrounding gender and fashion, that have captivated society for centuries, are shifting. Slowly, generations are breaking the bonds of traditional ideals, questioning what is taught, and making their own rules. 

As we are discovering more and more about gender as a social construct, we are learning about fluidity in the fashion world; an industry that has long been the source of exclusion on all spectrums. In a lot of places, websites and stores are continuing to play into the binary definition of gender.

However, there has recently been a wave of gender fluid, or gender inclusive apparel companies. Runway ready brands like Rich Mnisi, Eckhaus Latta, and Older Brother, lead the pack of designer wear that does not conform to gender norms. They have disregarded the tradition of categorizing by gender, and have placed merchandise under types of clothing (trousers, sweater, blouses, etc…) 

The Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, has also questioned the idea of gender stereotypes through a garment exhibition called “Gender Bending Fashion.” The exhibit discusses gender identity as a spectrum, and explores clothing in history that has challenged what was widely accepted in society. 

This movement of discovering one’s own identity in clothing, and disregarding the norm, is present in the stars. Billy Porter (he/him) is an actor and singer who has defied any and every societal standard. He questions what masculinity and femininity really is through his own self expression.

Porter has captured the attention of many in a number of ensembles. He has graced the red carpet in ball gowns, glistening onesies, and golden winged garb.

Another celebrity who defines his own dress, is Jonathan Van Ness, a gender nonconforming (preferred pronouns are he/him, but is okay with being called she/her or they/them as well) influencer who gained recognition through the Netflix show ‘Queer Eye.’ His signature style revolves around heels, skirts, and a handlebar mustache. He is melding attire traditionally associated with men and women, and creating his own definition of fashion as it relates to his own identity.

Like many issues that are faced in America, and around the world, there is still a lot of progress to be made. But with gender becoming an increasingly talked about topic, stores are beginning
to shift more and more towards gender inclusive branding.

Exhibitions are being created to get it out to the public that clothing is fluid, and there are historical fashion rebels that have defied society in order to be themselves. Figures such as Billy Porter and Johnathan Van Ness are just two of the many leaders who challenge what is considered normal, inspiring others to wear what they love, instead of what is accepted. 

The terror of Genhis Khan 

By: Mohamed Ahmed

Childhood and young adulthood

There is a lot controversy around Genghis Khan’s childhood. Based on information from multiple sources, this is the basic background of Genghis Khan’s early life. He was born superior to others. In his blood flowed the blood of the great Khabul Khan. When he was born he had a blood clot and to the superstitious Mongols that meant that he was destined to become a great ruler. 

When he was nine his father was poisoned by a rival tribe. He wanted to take charge of his clan immediately but the clan refused to acknowledge a nine-year-old. His family was removed from power and he was enraged. 

He soon later killed his half-brother and became the leader of the Mongols. 

Rise to power 

Genghis was captured by another tribe at age twenty, and was tortured but he wouldn’t submit. When he escaped his reputation spread like wildfire. 

He wanted to unite all of the Mongols so he made an elite fighting unit. He used that squad to one by one unite the smaller tribes into his own. Then he would draft the men from the tribes that he beat. 

His force was over twenty thousand strong when he went up against the rival tribe that killed his father. He easily defeated them and went on to his next revenge. 

His next target was the tribe that tried to enslave him but couldn’t because of his iron will. He beat them and boiled all of their chieftains alive. 

He beat one more tribe before he had full control of Eastern Mongolia. 

He planted spies and knew the importance of intelligence using his spies to figure out military strategies and to assassinate rival strategists and key opposition members. He used new tech from enemies he defeated. He used many communication techniques so that his troops could adapt mid battle and receive commands long distance. 

The reign of terror/benevolence 

He made sure the quality of his troops was high and didn’t let anyone in his army who wasn’t an expert at horse riding and close range combat. Genghis had elite troops that could handle horses with just their legs so they could shoot arrows or use their lance, shield, javelin, or dagger with their hands. 

Genghis knew that a battle wasn’t only the men at the front so he had carts with extra supplies, officials who cataloged the plunder, and shamans who could give spiritual support, raise troop morale, and even treat the wounded. 

The shamans then bestowed the title of Khan on him. 

He then, with all of Mongolia with him, conquered the Xi Xia province of China in only two years, and earned the unconditional support of its people. He then attacked the Jin Dynasty, and had an epic battle that lasted twenty whole years. 

While that was happening, he had diplomatic relations with a combination of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Persia. These relations were destroyed, when he sent a caravan with 450 men, and they were executed as they were thought to be spies by the Turkey, Afghanistan, Persia group. 

Genghis then sent three diplomats. The lead diplomat was killed and the other two’s beards were shaved. They returned in shame. Genghis Khan then invaded their dynasty with 200 thousand men and razed city after city. In only two years he forever destroyed this dynasty. 

He started an age that had many morals and values and brought law to the war torn lands and even made it a meritocracy. He made religion free choice, and even made a mail system that was better than the ones for the next few centuries. 

Image taken from: Biography.com

For more information, please visit:

  • infographics.com
  • Biography.com
  • ancient.eu