I just saw this juxtaposition while browsing Digg this morning:
The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is visiting New York City so he can attend the United Nations General Assembly. This guy has been the target of a demonization campaign by the United States and others for some time now. One of the items of detail they are using in their demonization is the fact he does not wear a tie, and goes for a laid back look. For that matter this same detail has been used in an attempt to associate Senators Barak Obama and John Kerry with, uh, nefariousness because they both often go without a tie and follow much the same look as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
On Digg at the moment of when I took this screen shot, juxtaposed next to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was an instructional video showing people how to tie ties. Hurm.
As someone who studiously does not wear a tie, does not own a business suit, yet works in a well paid technical job ... I have to ask what's the big deal about ties? Why is it so important that men wear ties? I did it for a couple years and got tired of feeling like I was wearing a noose, so I made a life vow to never do that again, and I donated all my suits to charity.
The inside-the-beltway types who use this as part of the demonization campaign are in effect promoting a given idea. That is that males must wear a suit and tie or else. You can see this in womens styles as they go into the workplace, often they'll wear feminized versions of the suit and tie.
From my perspective of having not worn this attire for well over a decade, I've had a growing question to which I don't know the answer. Where did the western 'tie' come from? Who decided it was stylistically a good thing? And where oh where can I find a tie that's printed as a noose?
Millions of men around the world are being forced to wear this garb due to society expectations. Given what men wear when given freedom to choose for themselves, I really doubt the suit and tie are what any man would prefer. But I say that knowing there are men who go out of their way to find good quality suits and ties, and I honestly don't understand why.