Conservative commentator Candace Owens is facing down Twitter wrath after saying Harry Styles’ groundbreaking Vogue cover is an “outright attack” on “manly men” in American society.
“There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men,” she wrote on Twitter in response to a tweet from Vogue promoting the Styles interview.
On the cover, which was the first one ever to feature a man by himself, Styles wore a Gucci dress. The tweet that prompted Owens’ criticism used this quote from his accompanying interview: “There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes. I’ve never thought too much about what it means–it just becomes this extended part of creating something.”
When the cover was revealed last Friday, Styles and the Vogue team were met with praise for breaking gender norms for both fashion magazine cover models and men at large. That same level of engagement was applied to Owens’ tweet, which prompted actress Olivia Wilde to say the political commentator was “pathetic.”
Writer Brandon Friedman went a little deeper, referencing marches held by the Proud Boys and white nationalist groups in recent years; “Assuming Candace’s definition of ‘manly men’ means those most capable of attracting a suitable female mate, I’m pretty sure Harry Styles will fare 100% better in a dress than any of the body armor-wearing losers wandering city streets whining about not being replaced.”
Of course, Owens had her supporters, too. Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro backed up her statement with his own, saying, “This is perfectly obvious. Anyone who pretends that it is not a referendum on masculinity for men to don floofy dresses is treating you as a full-on idiot.” Matt Walsh, another conservative voice, said much of the same.
It was Twitter stan accounts that went on the defense the hardest, of course. Owens’ tweet accumulated dozens of responses that featured fancams of Styles and One Direction, as well as flippant dismissals of Owens on the whole.