On the flip side, a lot of guys who liked “girly” things when they were younger will never admit to it now. At least, they won’t to those who won’t get it. Sadly that’s most people. There are just so many stigmas. Also, you’re automatically labeled as “gay” or “queer” if you like fashion or get a bit “too into” interior design. Fortunately, on the interior design side, we’ve seen a move away from that, so I’m happy there. And there are plenty of straight men who are fashion designers. So please.
Why Can't Guys Write About Their "Girly" Side
It’s true that there are many jokes out there about how guys don’t have opinions on what their partner is wearing. This is actually not totally true. Guys definitely have opinions over makeup, clothes, shoes, etc. It’s that they’re simply often not brave enough to put them out there. There are so many anonymous surveys out there that prove this to be true. I am happy to see there are a lot more male fashion writers out there today. But it’s still “weird” to a lot of people.
Yes, men and women do think differently. Most of the time, that is. And thinking a certain way can have something to do with your sexual orientation. But it’s because you already are that way, not because you were taught to be that way. And it’s fine in any case. If we all thought the same, the world would be extremely boring. Nothing would ever change. Strangely enough, I think there are plenty of people that would be happy going back to a primitive hunter-gatherer society and clubbing each other over the heads. But I digress.
Still, it goes deeper than that. What I find extremely odd is how cooking sets and playhouses are so often aimed towards girls. Why is this? I mean, it’s not always the case, but it is often enough that it annoys me. OK, actually it’s more “baking” vs cooking. So baking is for “girls” and cooking is for “guys?” Please enlighten me on how this came to be a “thing.” Guys cook and bake all the time. But then there are all these pink cooking sets and if a boy plays with them, it’s wrong.
Guys write about “girly” things all the time, then. It’s just we don’t see them that way. Men and women do have a tendency to write differently. But it’s all statistically based. And statistics don’t lie, but they can most certainly be bent.
At least, we’re at a point where women can actually publish their work at all without having to resort to a masculine pen name or just use initials. We’re at least making progress. Men used to write about everything, including HOMEMAKING! So yeah. There’s that.
“Boy Things” vs “Girl Things”
There aren’t such things as “boy” things or “girl” things, really. They are created to be that way. Boy stuff is blue, girl stuff is pink. I’ve never liked that association much. Pink is hardly one of my favorite colors. But heck, I know plenty of guys who love pink that are most definitely straight. You like what you like. There’s the age old GI Joe vs Barbie argument that I think is really dumb. Playing with either doesn’t make you more masculine or feminine.
I know some people try to be gender neutral. That’s ok. Some people say it’s impossible. Yes, boys are often attracted to different things more often than girls and vice versa. The boy vs girl argument is actually based on some factual things. But it’s been taken to a crazy extreme. And a boy liking things that are supposed to be “for girls” as opposed to “for boys” may be a statistical aberration. But there’s nothing wrong with that. People like what they like and to prevent people from expressing themselves, especially children, is very dangerous to their self-esteem and cognitive development.
When it comes to children, especially, you need to let them explore what they want to explore. There’s this social stigma of dressing boys up in dresses. As recently as the late 1800’s they did this all the time with both boys and girls. This attire had absolutely no effect on their sexual orientations. Heck, GI Joe’s are still dolls. It’s all marketing and subliminal messaging that makes us think certain ways about gender. It’s all about gender roles and all that nonsense.
Seriously, Different Doesn’t Mean Not Equal
Yeah, I’m very progressive on this type of stuff. But I must say this: yes, men and women, boys and girls are in fact different. In some ways, very different, especially physically. But you can be different and still be equals. We’re all different and we are all equal. So as much as America is founded on equality, we don’t practice it nearly as often as we preach it. Contradictions abound throughout American and world history. We just have to accept that we’re all more alike than different and to embrace differences, not fear them as our instinctive natures can sadly cause us to do.
So next time you catch your son watching My Little Pony or your daughter playing war games with action figures, don’t be alarmed. Just let them be. As long as they’re not hurting themselves or anyone else, you’re doing them a favor.