Whelp, I covered the Glee gay kiss causing an uproar, so I think I should at least make comment on this event, even if it IS a bit late.
So. For those of you that live under a rock like me, please watch this:
Or, for those that don’t like watching videos (I know I don’t most of the time) here’s the quick rundown: A J. Crew ad sent out to consumers via e-mail contained a picture of woman laughing with her son, who has pink painted toe-nails. The quote underneath (the ad is shown here) says “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”
Some “psychologists” are “slamming” (as the news outlets so love to say) this ad. According to some, it is “transgender child propaganda.”
Let me explain something to those not well versed in psychology– Nothing MAKES anyone gay or transgender. They were born this way, baby. If you believe otherwise, you’re working with an outdated or outright wrong definition of what it is to be transgender.
References to Lady Gaga aside, it is true, at least in the articles I’ve glanced on the subject and classes I’ve taken, none of which I’ve saved, and thus cannot give you as proof. Thus, I will totally understand if you are skeptical on this particular point: transgender brains are actually similar to the brains of the sex they believe themselves to be, for whatever reason. I don’t pretend to know how or why, but even without that particular point to support it, nothing MAKES anyone transgender.
Being transgender seems to me to be innate for two reasons: It has been around throughout history and those that are transgender cannot seem to repress it. One can argue, I suppose, that describing it as something that cannot be controlled makes it a psychosis. However, I would then ask you what the hell heterosexuality is, as it is something that cannot be controlled either. You may really, really want to swear off women and their crazy antics, but you’re just not attracted to men? You can’t control that. You’re great at art, but bad with math? Can’t control that either.
All that said, it is very possible for someone to be a dipshit like me to not realize I can be considered a transgender individual (though I am bi-gender or genderqueer, not the full on “my gender doesn’t match my sex– it’s the opposite” transgender or transsexual person) until late in life. I never knew there was a name for why I didn’t feel like a woman per se, but I also didn’t feel like a man. That said, it is very possible to do what I do (enjoy crossplaying (cosplaying as a character of the opposite sex and try to pass as that sex), idolize males/have male role models) and be completely comfortable saying “I’m a woman!” Identifying as being of the female gender does not say you have to like what “real women” are gender stereotyped as liking. It simply means you say “I am a woman.” It is something self-defined, and therefore, very personal. Some would argue it is simply an opinion or a perception. While this may be true, our perceptions of ourselves are all we have. Actual, factual, untainted, unbiased facts about ourselves and our thought processes cannot be found in ourselves or someone else. Science is getting closer to being able to have some sort of “proof” that someone is gay or transgendered, be it from something that happened during fetal development or due to differences in brain wiring, but for now, if someone has this belief for an extended period of time, it is considered Gender Identity Disorder, which one has to be diagnosed with to be officially, medically considered transgender.
Back on topic here: Pink Toenails do not a transgender or gay son make. And furthermore, Dr. Ablow and accompanying wench: it is not an “attack on masculinity” or a “blurring of gender lines.” No, kids, the gender lines are still there, and as blurry and indistinct as ever. What is being “attacked” by this ad is the assumption that traditional gender roles/stereotypes should dictate if someone should be excluded from activities due to being a biological male or female.
Something about kids I picked up in my stint in a child psych class: As kids grow up, they “try on” different roles to see if they fit them. When my father shaved his face, I tried imitate him with a Popsicle stick and soap. When my mother was making macaroni, I went and found a bowl and started trying to mush noodles and water and American cheese slices together. When I saw the burlesque mouse in The Great Mouse Detective, I spent nights dancing around in a ballet costume on a “stage” made of my fireplace, singing and dancing. Did this mean that I wanted to be a man, or a cook, or a burlesque dancer? No. It meant I saw the role and tried it on like a hat, nothing more.
That is exactly what this kid is doing with pink toenails. Mommy does it, so he was curious if it was fun, most likely. What he likes about it probably has little to do with his favorite colors being on his toes– it has to do with the fact that he gets to spend time with mommy doing what his mommy does that makes her happy, that he probably perceives as being a “grown-up” activity because he’s not allowed to play with nail polish on his own. It is not because he is a “sissy” or in any way not a boy! For those that didn’t watch the John Stewart “Toemageddon” clip, he points out that a pro wrestler paints HIS toenails black. Is this big, burly guy that can win wrestling matches a sissy? Is he a girl? No. Though I have no idea what this wrestler’s personal gender identification is, I’m willing to guess it’s probably masculine. His gender identification is unaffected by the activities he participates in, be it toe painting or wrestling. If he identifies as a man, he is a man. The end. His biological sex has nothing to do with what his personal gender identification is.
As a transgender friend of mine pointed out: “It’s not the fact that Fox News is portraying this as an attack on masculinity. It is the fact it is on EVERY news network and they are ALL portraying this as valid news– that there is some controversy to be had here! There’s NOT!”
So, I thought it was important to address this insanity. This is, in fact, NOT news. A little boy painting his toe nails is not news-worthy. It is not “covering” anything, it is a public attempt at shaming a mother whom is unashamed of her son questioning what he enjoys in life, stereotypes be damned. This ENTIRE new story centers on one thing, and it is what I have already covered in my post on gender early on in this blog: Adult males feel threatened in their gender identity by their sons being allowed to play with dolls and glitter when their father would have beat them for doing the same. It is envy. It is seeing their son’s freedom to choose what they want to be and do without their gender identity being questioned or threatened and wanting to destroy it because these men never had that as children. This has NOTHING to do with this little boy and his mother– it has everything to do with adult men upset that society no longer condones beating up the queers, sissies, and fags to try to make them into “men” as strongly as it once did. It no longer perpetuates this particular brand of rigid gender roles and hatred for those that do not conform as strongly as in, say, the 1950s.
Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen. This is all about trying to tear away the new-found freedoms of our sons and daughters have– which are tiny, tiny victories in the fight for freedom to simply exist and be different, by the way. This kid, if he is gay or transgender, will face hell, just as the prior gay and transgender people of the world did. But for some people, the simple fact that those gay and transgender kids are not beaten severely as they once were for being different makes them feel insecure and upset with themselves and society.
All of this is about one thing: Men questioning if the stereotypes they forced themselves to conform to in order to be accepted are wrong. And if so, if they did force themselves to conform that way when it is different from what they were, if they were forced to suppress who they are, it is now all for nothing. Now you can be a boy and paint your toes.
It’s utterly pathetic that the only news that recognized all of this as the lashing out of insecure men and nothing that should be taken seriously is the fake news, where nothing is taken seriously.