On Gender Roles and Gendered Products

Today I received a package from Sephora I had been expecting, containing some foundation I wanted to try. Sephora also does this cool thing where they give you three free samples with every purchase, so I selected some sample perfumes and added them to my cart. One of these three perfumes was “Versace pour homme,”which basically means that it’s Versace for men. So I sprayed some on my wrist and it smelled so good that I considered investing in a bottle of it in some point in the future. But then I starting thinking about how annoying it is that we gender perfumes. It’s not only for men. Anybody who likes the scent can purchase it. But this is just part of a bigger issue. Our society so strongly feels the urge to gender everything and make a clear distinction between what is “for girls” and what is “for boys.” Because god forbid a guy bought a razor “for women” he would instantly become emasculated. And oh how sad that would be, to be compared to or even be considered a girl.

The social conditioning of gender roles and gendered products is literally introduced into our lives since birth. Boys get wrapped up in blue blankets, and pink is exclusively for girls. Little girls are urged to play with dolls and wear tutus and become obsessed with Disney princesses. Boys should play with hot wheels and Leggos and try out for the little league team. And it’s not as if this behavior and way of thinking is innate. It is learned behavior and ideology. Five-year-old girls don’t have this innate sense to play house or want to be a ballerina when they grow up. We are taught this through observation and guidance. No one ever questions if their little boy prefers pink or blue. It’s just not an option. Fathers automatically assume that their daughter doesn’t want to play catch because she is female. Never giving her the opportunity to decide whether or not she likes sports is what continues this cycle.

And of course people will tell me to not care so much, that it doesn’t really matter. But it does. It shapes the way we view men and women, the way we stereotype, and assume these roles solely based on gender identity. I’m a woman and I like “men’s cologne”. I like dressing comfy and not giving a shit about appearing as a “proper lady”. I’m also gay. But I wear makeup and jewelry. I’ll even occasionally wear stilettos (although that is usually reserved for weddings). What it means to be a man or a woman is not determined through how the media dictates what we should wear, buy, do, or even look like. That is something entirely up to the individual. And I am certainly including transgender folks in this argument. They should not be required to “pass” as a certain gender in order to be respected. Surgery and hormones cost a lot of money, which many trans people don’t have. And someone’s biological make up should certainly not determine their worth, i.e. the overpowering and smothering patriarchy. And of course if you are someone who fits into these specific gender roles that is perfectly okay. There is only a problem if it is not your choice and is forced upon you throughout your entire childhood and adult life. So if you are looking for any rolls to choose in the future, I’d go with sushi.

Daily Prompt: Pants On Fire|Lies of the Heart

When I was a little kid, I was a pathological liar. It was almost like I had a disease. For some reason, I could not stop lying. Every afternoon, when school let out, I would climb into my mother’s car and begin to tell her more of my creative fibs. As of recently, however, it is seldom that I lie. Apparently, I have become much too blunt of a person to hide my true sentiments. Go figure. Regardless of this, I still do lie. I am only human after all, as far I as I know.

The last lie that I have told, that I can actually remember, was when my friend asked me if I was mad at her, and I said no. What she had done to cause me to be mad at her was an act that was certainly forgivable, but only forgivable in time. I had still been in shock over what had happened and was still surprised that it had even occurred at all. I was hurt and angry and I wasn’t quite sure how to move on in our friendship. I wasn’t quite sure I wanted us to have a friendship anymore. So when she asked if I was mad at her, I lied. I told her that everything was fine and not to worry.

Part of me suspected that she just didn’t want to deal with the fact that someone on the planet Earth had a reason to dislike her, while another part of me suggested that she did not and could not understand why I would be mad in the first place. If I had, in fact, confessed that I was still mad at her, that might have just lead to even more conflict, which is what I was trying to avoid. I did not want to have to remember what had happened between us by having a heated argument about why I could not forgive her at the present time. It seemed hideously pointless to tell her the truth when she most certainly did not want the truth, but the answer that would reassure her that everything was alright. So, in effect, I gave her what she wanted. I gave her a lie.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/daily-prompt-fake/