Are we really free? Philosophers would say yes, attesting that thinking alone would give us freedom. However, when looking closely, we can notice that tiny habits and hidden social rules crawl into our everyday life and keep us from being real.
Everything begins with gender differences: have you noticed that most of cleaning products or infancy commercials are with women, and those about cars with men? Have you ever been told you acted “unladylike” since you were really young?
Maybe not, since this is an unconscious normality being degrading for both genders.
If the commercials and magazines show a reduced image of what men and women are, it means society has not evolved yet, because popular culture and society influence each other. If the world changes little by little, commercials will change too. Then, let us stop telling our children there is toys “for girls” and toys “for boys,” that pink is a girlish color and blue a manly one. How about we let children be children, driven by their imagination alone and why do we feel like we have to intervene in their apprehension of the world ?
But this invisible cell is not limited to gender. It is also a plague into our intimacy, our sexuality, our personality. A “promiscuous” woman will be judged, an outsider will be humiliated on TV sets on cover of a condescending interview or forced to hide. Those with unusual clothes will be mocked or discriminated. Why so much hostility? Why are we so sure that things should be a certain, unique way ? Because we forget that normality is only normality because it is majority. It would be interesting to imagine a world where most of people were goth or homosexual to see who the weirdos would be. There would be new borders, new taboos, new outsiders.
This hypothetical show us something about us: we stay in line because we are scared of rejection, but this is because people cared to destroy norms that this world became better than it used to be. If we scream who we are, these new patterns could be part of our new norm.
You are all free not to understand the way of life of your neighbors, but you are not allowed to judge. Because you cannot know what choices you will have to make in the future.
Be daring, be accepting, be challenging.