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And no-one appeared outraged


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Probably part of the reason for that was that no-one on the busy commuter train appeared to be looking: all too busy on smart-phones, reading the Metro, or curling eyelashes

I'd deliberately set myself up, leaving home equipped with only two, as customarily labelled, 'ladies' handkerchiefs: clean ones, with plenty of flowery embroidery

Unsurprisingly, part-way through the journey, I felt the beginnings of a small trickle inside my nose. Decision time had arrived: sniff, use the back of my hand, or use a handkerchief. Not relishing either of the first two options, I went for the last one; after all, that was the point! The handkerchief selected has small orange roses embroidered in three corners, and huge Madeira-style appliqued orange roses and grey foliage in the fourth: nowhere to hide! Totally unfolded from its laundered triangular state, I ensured that the most embellished corner was out on full view. A quick blow (not dry) and some fairly protracted tidying up, then the handkerchief was thrust into a pocket

So, in 2022, does that entail any type of risk-taking for a male in this setting? Very probably not; but until you know you've been 'spotted' and seen a reaction, it's hard to really know, isn't it?!


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I feel like that's fine for a male these days, there's a lot of acceptance around men wearing women's clothing etc so the use of a floral hanky would surely be okay. 

I'd say people would be more surprised to see someone using a proper cloth handkerchief than anything else

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People on public transportation just want to do their own thing and get where they are going with the minimum of fuss.  Unless it's an immediate threat to personal safety, nobody cares what anyone else is doing.  Ain't none of us the central character in anyone's story but our own!

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Thanks @SleepingPhox - really good point, and I can 99% go with it - I'm certainly not deluding myself that the level of 'difference' I'm describing is just about the most miniscule blip on anyone's radar. Unfortunately, there are instances of people who exhibit more overt 'differences' on public transport getting majorly harassed, or worse - this probably depends on whether the society concerned is one of those on the slippery slope of growing intolerance. I guess plenty folk here are variously involved in pushing back on intolerances, or would like to be. But, anyway, at my miniscule level, I'm encouraged by your response, and will just get on with it - thanks again!

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Public places always make me nervous. But no one really pays that close attention. Plus what’s the chance you’ll ever see them again? That’s how I look at it at least

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I don't think people care anymore either, society is so diverse and alot more accepting of people that a someone using a floral handkerchief is not an issue at all. Nice observation, and sounds like a nice hanky too.

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Slight oversight on my part, forgetting to indicate dimensions: it's 40cm x 40cm (16 inches by 16 inches), so considerably larger than the average 'ladies' handkerchief, and approaching the usual size for a 'men's' one. So it's pretty resilient but, sure, take your point!!

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