It’s a F*cking Bun: The Unnecessary Gendering of Everything
From hair styles and make-up, to children’s toys and coloring books, society likes to place a gender on literally everything.
What we don’t ask is why there is a continued separatism of the genders.
I’ve gone to crafts stores, groceries stores any store you can think of and not once have a seen items that aren’t gendered. Colored pencils for girls are usually bright pastels and boys get the the very bold dark colors. Really? They are colored pencils, i’d prefer all of them in one non-gendered box for my coloring needs if possible.
But then we have tea for men and tea for women. Does Men’s tea carry some specific flavor? Car oil? The tears of their youth? Is it because men’s tea has chili in it and women can’t handle that because they’re so fragile?
What baffles me is the complete outrage from people when companies choose to make items gender neutral.
Not too long ago, Target decided to make all of their children’s toys gender neutral and rather people be okay with not having to struggle to find toys and just buy whatever, many people actively chose to not shop at target because they are being “Overly PC.”
Michael Foucault states, “in our societies, the system of punishment are to be situated in certain ‘political economy’ of the body.” There is an inherent social norm for everything to have it’s place, including toys. Any attempt to stray from those norms and that comfort lead to immediate backlash. Foucault goes on to say, “…it is always the body that is at issue — the body and it’s forces, their utility and their docility, their distribution and their submission.” From straying from these gender and social norms, the body risks not being docile and this political structure loses it’s power and control over the body.
Of all the items that are given a gender, the history of what is masculine and what is feminine has changed dramatically. Up until the mid 1700’s, men wore heels and women didn’t start wearing heels until the the 1630’s as they tried to appear more masculine. As fashion trends changed, heels were seen as effeminate and foolish.
And Pink being a feminine color? yup that is also a lie. The past has shown that pink was once for boys and blue was for girls.
Today, a lot of these ideas are flipped. Makeup can only be for girls and they like bright colors and boys like dark colors and getting messy.
This still begs the question of why we separate the genders? And this can be boiled down to fear of stepping outside of the norm. Judith Butler states in Bodies That Matter, “It is not a simple fact or static condition of a body, but a process whereby regulatory norms materialize “Sex” and achieve this materialization through a forcible reiteration of those norms.” When we are children we are told that girls to this and boys to this and children get in trouble if they step outside of those norms. Even though it is completely ludicrous to think anyone falls perfectly in-between these binaries. And why is it that the U.S. Specifically upholds these binaries when many other cultures do not have the same norms.
However, this isn’t always the case. Judith Butler also states, “That the reiteration is necessary is a sign that materialization is never quite complete, that bodies never quite comply with the norms by which materialization is impelled.” People do not naturally fit into molds and there is this need to step outside of what is considered normal.
We see this in things such as guy-liner and the man bun. These are small ways that people can step outside of these gender norms, but it almost seems like a push back by giving items a gender and reinforces that gender binary.
It’s really just a bun, you get a hair tie like everyone else else and put it in your hair. And your guy-liner is probably from wet and wild. Calling it eyeliner or a bun isn’t going to strip away your “Man” card.
Now here are your unnecessarily gendered items of the day