I haven’t had a lot of time to write lately because work has been putting the ‘salaried means you get to work extra hours for no overtime’ smackdown on me. It sucks on many levels, not the least of which is because I can think of about three-hundred-seventy-two things I’d rather be doing without struggling too hard. On top of that my parents are driving down for a visit so the few hours I’ve had at home have been spent cleaning up my clutter (not mess, mind you, just clutter).
It’s given me a lot of time to poke and prod around the web on my phone and one thing I’m starting to notice is that the world isn’t as forward-thinking as we could hope. Yeah, I know a lot of us know that. Those of us who fall into the gay, queer, bi, questioning, etc. categories know it all too well. But I’m even going back to a more basic level. One we thought we’d gotten over.
Culture still sends the message that men and women aren’t equal, and it’s better to be a man than a woman.
I was shuffling through ads waiting for a job to run at work and I realized I’m seeing plenty of ads that encourage women to be more masculine, more rugged. Tomboys. It’s encouraged. In some cases, desirable. A woman or a girl can build stuff, play in the mud, anything she wants, wear rugged jeans, big boots, a plaid shirt – and society in general will indulgently (and sometimes) call her a tomboy. They’ll praise her for being strong.
But a man or a boy plays dress-up with mom’s clothes, has dolls, likes make-up, and suddenly it’s a problem. A big problem.
I’m not even going to address that, because, damn, we know that’s an issue. Why can’t you just let a person be a person?
It’s all right if your girl wants to be a tomboy. But OH NO, we can’t have boys pretending to be GIRLS.
Is being a woman so bad that we don’t want to encourage men to embrace the feminine? Are we still stuck in the Dark Ages here or what? Here I’d thought we were at least past this whole ‘man good, woman bad’ chest-thumping period of culture. Sadly no, it’s still very much in evidence. It makes me angry, particularly because (as you know) I play both sides of the field. Or neither side of the field. Which ever I feel like that day. If I want to wear a pretty dress, it doesn’t make me weak. It makes me strong. It makes me feel good. If I want dress slacks and a tie with a sharp suit coat, then that’s good too.
Someday maybe we’ll get past sex and gender and realize we’re all just humans. In the meantime I’m just going to have to go back to the man/woman thing and start flapping my loud mouth about gender inequality in general.
Eh, well, it’s what I do.