The Sixth Post – Thoughts about Gender Roles

Hello Everyone,

At the start of writing Misophonica, I didn’t really know myself.  That wasn’t too long ago actually.  Something that I don’t talk about in the script, but I do find myself being frustrated with daily, is gender roles.  The idea that men and women need to exist within predetermined boxes that highlight masculinity and femininity is so dumb.  And then a man or woman steps out of his or her respective boxes and suddenly he/she is too girly, too manly.  Now you’re gay or weird or whatever.  It’s such an archaic perspective on humans.  Makes me a little sick.

I see it a lot in clothing.  My older daughter is big enough to wear cool clothing, and being into comics and stuff, I want her to wear awesome nerd clothes.  She has a Captain America shirt, but of course it’s pink.  That’s fine.  I love pink.  I wanted her to have an Ant-man jacket from the Disney store, but it’s only sold in boy’s and it’s cut for a boy instead of something unisex.  We got her a Baymax pajama set made for a boy and the cut is all boyish.  Just make shit fit everyone the same, they’re kids.  Why’s a 3-year old need to be feminine or masculine?  Just make the shit the same for everyone.  It’s the same with Star Wars.  Trying to find a goddamn Darth Vader or Storm Trooper set of anything for a girl is impossible it seems.

This is 2017, but I felt these things in the 90s too, when I was a kid, and just liked what I liked without thinking about why I liked it.  I don’t remember the entirety of my childhood, day for day, but I remember moments.  And I distinctly remember a moment in 4th grade when we were talking about our favorite colors and mine was pink.  I didn’t wear any pink clothes, I doubt they made pink boy’s clothing back then, but I still loved the color.  I still love it now.  I also loved the fluorescent colors.  Man they were cool.  As I grew up, life was never about chasing girls or expressing my manliness.  My friends and I played D&D and Magic: the Gathering in dimly-lit basements with bags of snacks, boxes of Little Debbie’s, and 2-liters of our favorite sodas.

Back then we used the word gay as an insult.  “You’re so gay.”  “That’s gay.”  Not to justify the usage, I’m just saying that’s what the 90s was like.  It makes me think back to some of my favorite movies and I cringe.  That’s another talk for another day though.

I find the general avoidance of people not conforming to gender roles a little disturbing.  The fact that mainstream media needs to stay in these boxes to make money just sucks.  I know Amazon and Netflix are gaining a more mainstream presence, but shows like Transparent and Sense 8 only really get traction on these “Off-Off-Broadway” platforms.  I don’t like it.  (Broadway being Network TV, Off-Broadway being other cable channels like FX).

I have a hard time understanding the inability to get over stuff like this.  I know why.  Americans have been brainwashed with the socially acceptable Manly Man and Womanly Woman figure since forever.  Men go out and make money and get their feet rubbed and grill on the manly grill and smile as their petite little wives care for the children and then he goes out and spreads his manliness around the world blah blah blah.  And women stay at home and get banged and subjugated etc…  I don’t understand why we, as a country, haven’t moved on from this mindset and realized that we all can do anything.  Nobody has to do what their gender dictates.  Isn’t that what freedom is supposed to be anyway?  Can’t a man stay home and get banged and subjugated?  If he’s into that sort of thing.  Anyway.

Tangential off-shoot

This might be a tangent, but I’ve never understood why women insist on wearing high heels to… well ever.  When these women who are already beautiful without wearing death-shoes are at the red carpets looking like giant monsters walking on sticks, I just don’t get it.  I’ve always felt like heels were women staying inside that box of femininity.  That’s why I feel like Gal Gadot wearing flats to whatever was a huge deal.  That was an important moment for women to maybe wake up a bit and realize you don’t have to live in the man’s box that he made for you a hundred years ago.  Gal starred in a successful superhero film where she kicked the shit out of dudes and saved the day and then she was like, fuck your heels, I’m wearing some damn flats that feel good on my feet.  I think Gal is the type of figure that could start something.

For the record, I don’t like radicalism of any kind, I think it’s counterproductive, and while I don’t like Trump in any way, I don’t think the march on Washington and everywhere across the country did anything for women’s rights.  Yes, it showed unity, which is awesome, but I still think it was counterproductive.  Trump didn’t give a shit where anyone marched, he was still going to piss on the ACA, especially the parts that are supposed to protect the rights of women’s healthcare.

But my point is just this: Gal Gadot took a step on a red carpet in flat shoes, no heels, and she didn’t back down on her decision to do so when she was asked about it.  Maybe more women who hate heels will do that next time.  Maybe this is the small voice that is needed to make a real difference in the fight for equality.  If you don’t like those heels, stop wearing them, ladies.  If you like them, go for it, but don’t ever feel like you need to fit into an antiquated standard of what a woman should be.

End Tangential Off-shoot

So back to the main point I’m writing about.  Gender roles are dumb.  I like pink stuff.  I’ll wear pink and purple and whatever.  I don’t care.  Nobody should care.  My sexuality and identity will be the same whether I wear something pink or blue.  I want the world to have that perspective, but I worry that we’re a long way away, especially as a country.  This piece is like over a thousand words, so I gotta stop it there.

Acceptingly yours,

Matt

The Fifth Post – Rewriting an Old Short

I’ve got loads of writing.  A handful of it is completed and most of it is not.  Even the completed stuff, I’m never totally satisfied with.  But that’s really the reason I need to consider it completed.  If I read and reread all my old writing, I’d always find something to change.  But I did it today.  So here’s one of my first completed shorts.  Reread and rewritten.