Who Knew that a Color would Determine My Destiny?
Blue and Pink; such simple concepts that somehow represent so much. For ages, in some way or another, one’s gender has determined one’s path in life; often represented by the colors blue for boys and pink for girls. It can start as early as the second we find out the assigned gender around week 20 or so; if it’s a girl then it’s “I can’t wait to dress her in pink, frilly dresses; and she’ll be so pretty, and will maybe be a teacher or nurse one day”. Whereas, if it’s a
boy, it’s expected to be tough, strong, maybe a doctor, or lawyer, or maybe even President (side note, somebody run back to 1946 and tell that guy that he isn’t allowed to be President. But I digress). These are some of the overt tone setters that we have in many societies across the globe. The idea that men and women are relegated to certain roles, specifically roles that allow men to stay in power, permeates deeply within our cultures. I mean seriously, do we really need gender specific toothpaste? I’m pretty sure that no one is particularly a fan of plaque and tartar buildup; and I’m assuming that those stereotypical nine out of ten dentists (all male, no doubt) probably
are hoping that everyone is brushing adequately. Is there a great crisis if a woman decides to throw on some AXE body spray? In short; what the hell do we need such rigid constructs for?! These constructs mean much more than simply men being paid more in overall wages; or women frequently being asked not what they do for a living, but what their husbands do; it goes
much deeper than that.
These constructs are what allow rape culture to continue to show its ugly
face worldwide. The idea that men are allowed (even encouraged) to be big, loud, strong, dominant, and any other adjective that tickles your fancy; but that women should be docile, vulnerable, dainty, blah blah blah. This conflict within the power dynamic is what continues to allow men to feel entitled to encroach upon the boundaries of others. This further extends to the
Part of the hypermasculinity issue is the idea that male on male attraction isn’t “manly”. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that a guy getting his rocks off to someone of the same sex doesn’t fit the criteria of what a man is. I am personally attracted to women; but there’s not a day that I can ever say with a straight face that Jason Momoa and Idris Elba are not damn attractive men. I can admit that without wanting to have sex with them. It’s simply mutual respect for other attractive people. So let’s break this down for those who still aren’t with us yet (seriously, I’ll draw a roadmap if need be).
If I wake up tomorrow and decide that I want to dance ballet in a tutu, I’m going to own the hell out of it (or rent. Broke grad student problems). That doesn’t make me any less of a man, or a person. On the flipside, we need to work harder to empower our women. Hell yes, you can wear blue. Hell yes, you can be a construction worker and get your hands dirty. And hell yes, you should be paid just as much as anybody else doing the same job as you are. Screw the idea of what society tells you that your gender dictates for you. Live your life, love your life.