In an interview about his song “Just The Way You Are,” Bruno Mars assumes that all women crave compliments about their beauty. Even though he states in another interview that he “wasn’t thinking of anything deep or poetic” when writing his lyrics, I have not written about pop music in forever, so I will dedicate this post to deconstructing my dislike for “Just The Way You Are,” because the song makes female worth synonymous with physical appearance, and it implies that women should find self-acceptance through men, instead of themselves. Continue reading
Tag Archives: sexism
Is it Okay for Boys to be Feminine?
My favorite animal is the flamingo. Lady Gaga, SNSD, and f(x) are among the top 10 most-listened to artists on my IPod. I cried watching Titanic and love reading chick-lit from authors like Jodi Picoult and Sarah Dessen.
Am I a bad person? A risk to society? Do I hurt people or cause mayhem wherever I go? Unless my rendition of “Poker Face” really is that bad, then no, I don’t think so. Here’s a story:
The other day I was eating the cupcakes my best friend and I baked at her house. My mom approached me with an angry look on her face.
“What are those?” she asked.
“Cupcakes,” I mumbled through a mouthful of frosting.
“Where did you get them?” she inquired.
“I made them at Sarah’s house,” I said. Big mistake.
“What?” she said, her voice rising,” why? Why weren’t you studying or doing something important?”
“We were just having fun,” I said. I knew she would explode soon.
“Thomas, you’re a BOY,” she exclaimed,” boys don’t waste their time doing stupid things like that! Do you want to get into college? What will people think of you if they find out you bake cupcakes like a little girl? What if they think you’re gay?”
Her angry mood escalated and it only got worse from there. End of story.
Besides the fact that my mom insulted herself through her blatant sexism, what she said made me sad. I admit it. This doesn’t even come close to the time she asked me if I needed to see a doctor because I gesticulated like a girl (this was when I was ten or eleven… now I’m careful with my body language around her), but still. It hurt.
I’m sensitive, but I’m not stupid. Boys should be allowed to knit sweaters, practice yoga, and even cross-dress if they want. Heck, they can gather plants and herbs like women did during the Paleolithic Era for all I care. It’s not like we’re going to cause an apocalypse by not conforming to faulty gender roles forced upon us by society.
When I first thought of writing this post a couple of days ago I didn’t intend it to be this emotional, but after reading this, I couldn’t stop myself. What kind of cruel parent condemns their child for being who they are? I would rather just not have children than make them suffer in such a horrible way.
Instead of answering “Is it okay for boys to be feminine?”, let me raise another question.
Is it okay for people to be themselves?