Well, first analysis on this brings up a couple of thoughts.
This applies only to the US, though the ads and tv are sent all over the world and it could be spreading, but I don't know. Is it necessarily what people (male or female) like in the other or what they are *told* they should like by the merchandisers, media, ads and so forth, or even the culture of "fashion" in general? Looking over history (and Lewis mentions this in "Screwtape" iirc with the idea that the Enemy shapes the "ideal" to the most useless sorts.) the purported "ideal" changes. In the late 1800's to early 1900's there was the emphasized shapely woman (Gibson Girl). In the 20's was the flattened Flapper. This sort of pattern applies to men as well, the Dandy vs. the militaryman for example.
While women aren't told to "masculinize" they *are* told that they are nothing if men don't like them and for men to like them they have to show skin, dress in certain ways, fit in a phyical pattern of thin-ness and so forth. It has been said in the past that women's fashions are designed by people who hate women (how to explain all those torturous, foot damaging shoes?
) But the plain fact is that most women are never going to look like the models in the magazines and neither are the men.
The writer says that "Each sex puts on his or her best face and packages themselves to attract the opposite sex." Well, sometimes it's not the "best face" but a mask; the real person isn't showing.
I don't see many movies, but while reading the essay, I flashed in the Lord of the Rings movies. There has been some discussion as to whether they are "Action" movies for males or "chick flicks" for all the men in them. (neither, just a good story? Both?) I have read much from women discussing the merits/desirability of the men in them and none of them are "feminized". Legolas may have long hair, but he wields a mean bow and knife. Maybe with these movies and such others as "Master and Commander" and "Hidalgo"(except I think they changed the name on that one) there's another turn in the "Popular" image of men. Just a thought.
I also have to state here that I don't believe in "Women" or "Men". There is no monolithic bloc of thought or agreement or one single view. There are individuals, some of whom agree with some others.
Sometimes there are large groups that are swayed by smaller ones. I also am a bit of an odd-ball and don't buy into alot of "pop culture" but look at it thoughtfully and try to figure out what it means, if anything.
These is just a random set of thoughts through a headache. My apologies if they aren't coherant. I'll re-read and correct when the pain meds kick in.