I was lucky enough to have been raised by open minded women. Never once did the idea that girls are only supposed to be a certain way come up. Early on I learned that girls and boys are equals. I was treated as such up until middle school when all of a sudden it seemed like people had to define their gender. Sexist jokes all of a sudden became funny and I was supposed to laugh at a joke that degraded me. I was required to like make up and dress like the girls in hip-hop videos. I was no longer a person, but rather A Girl and I had to follow a whole new set of rules. Suddenly, I was defined by my gender and I had to wonder …
A friend of mine recently created a zine about the slut/stud double standard for a electives course called Feminisms that she’s taking. She included various fairy-tale-esque ads she found in magazines depicting women as love-obsessed. Watching her make her zine got me thinking about the image we always see of women as relationship-focused and emotional. Specifically, it got me thinking about the way we’re generally told girls and boys view random hook-ups, and I began to question whether those views are as widespread as we’ve been led to believe.
Remember the movie He’s Just Not That Into You? For those of you who missed it, the basic premise of this highbrow film (read: crappy rom-com) is that women and girls make up all kinds of excuses to rationalize men’s jerky behavior. According to He’s Just Not That Into You, we come up with justifications when a guy doesn’t call us, ignores us, or just treats us generally badly.
Apparently, we all need to realize that, upsetting as it is, he’s just not that into us. I agree. If someone is treating you badly, chances are they aren’t worth your time. But I have one issue.Movies like He’s Just Not That Into You and nearly every other rom-com in existence (save, maybe 500 Days of Summer) tell us that men often act like jerks and sometimes act nice. They usually tell us to find the nice guys, but they never address the fact that women also act like jerks, and sometimes she’s just not that into you.
I’ve always wanted to be a historian, and not just your run of the mill historian but one that changes the study and review of the discipline. But I’ve faced a problem, it’s such a subtle problem that I almost missed it, but in hindsight I realise it’s something I need to tackle head on.
To begin with, you must meet my male friend, J, now J and I are best friends due to our love of history. In fact we both want to study it in university, the difference being that J wishes to be a teacher and I wish to be an academic. During my final year of High School, J and I and others were asked continually what we wished to study.
Procrastinating is always loads of fun, and thanks to the Internet, it’s really easy to do. One such time that I was putting off doing something important, I noticed this picture (embedded in this post).
Yeah, ha ha, very funny. It even reminds me of the “Death to All Juice” protest sign. Hilarious.
However, it occurred to me: generally offensive caricature aside, why are these Jews portrayed as male?
When you Google Image “Jew” and skim the results, almost all of the pictures are of white Ashkenazi-looking Hasidic males. The few pictures that aren’t are mostly anti-Semitic or anti-Israel; women and non-Hasids make up a small minority. When you Google Image “Orthodox Jews,” it’s the same (except for the much-loved Tefillin Barbie).
Props to my English professor for sending our class this video with the commentary: “(This) definitely got a “really?” from me…I find it hard to believe that they can get away with these kinds of gender stereotypes in 2011.” I concur. Really, Tide? REALLY?
I know a lot of people – gay and straight – who believe that bisexuality, specifically bisexual men, exist about as much as they believe that unicorns exist. It seems that there are people who believe that only women can be bisexual and that women are more fluid than men when it comes to sexuality. They believe men can’t be bisexual, but are either gay or straight. Hell, a few years ago I didn’t even believe bisexuality was real and now I identify as bi.
I have big problem with this, and I mean a BIG problem. You might ask, “Why? You’re a woman, why should you care about bisexual men?” I care because I think the gender stereotypes and gender roles that trap men are wrong.