Our society thrives on oversimplification. It just seems much easier to put people in boxes and strip away their unicity. Especially in the profit-orientated nature of the media, they just wish to appeal to what is commonly perceived as the majority, at the risk of perpetuating rather toxic beliefs.
But if we really want to change common perceptions, we need a movement that tackles a very widespread idea.
We need Revolianism.
Revolianism is a movement which states that heterosexual men and women shouldn’t be pressured to conform to gender stereotypes and gender roles in order to signal their attraction to the opposite sex. It is commonly believed that the normal dynamics in a heterosexual relationship are strong male – delicate or passive female and that there should be no deviations from these established rules.
It is also believed that people have to look a certain way, to “send the right signals,” therefore, there is a lot of pressure put on straight women to be hyperfeminine and straight men to be hypermasculine and again, there shall be no deviations from that norm. Thus, straight women must, as far as stereotypes are concerned, have long hair, wear makeup, revealing clothes, and just perform what is known as “socially constructed femininity.”
Disclaimer: if a woman wants to do all of this, she should, of course, be able to do just that.
However, if a woman feels uncomfortable with these expectations being imposed on her, she should be allowed to be just the opposite (no makeup, baggy clothes, even short hair) if it makes her feel like herself. And that shouldn’t come at the cost of people thinking that because she is not rather feminine, that must mean she has no interest in men.
Same goes for men: if a straight man wants to wear makeup or have long hair, take care of his skin, or just be very fashionable and not conform to the masculine stereotype of the “alpha male”, it shouldn’t be seen as a controversy, but rather, as a normal thing.
The movement is made to give more visibility and media representation to revolians (a word made to describe straight men and women who don’t conform to gender roles and stereotypes), while also educating people about their existence. The media never represents them, because quite frankly, there is a thick layer of sexism in the industry.
The rather misogynistic producers perpetuate the stereotypical idea of femininity and masculinity because they want to maintain the traditional beliefs that women must look nice, while men must be tough and take action. And if women want to “be tough,” they still have to be feminine while they do it. And if they are not feminine, then they will just be depicted as not having any interest in men- so that women learn that if they want to attract men, then they must exclusively be feminine. In this way, entire generations get socialized into these beliefs. In the same manner, men are expected to be overly masculine if they want to attract women, right now this means being very muscular, no makeup, showing little to no emotion, etc.
And if somebody who is straight does not identify with these depictions of straight people, they might just feel like they don’t belong, or that they are flawed, or even outcasts. And in a society which prides itself on being inclusive to everybody, nobody should be made to feel like this anymore.
The reason why misogynistic producers or content makers want to maintain this outdated view of heterosexual relationships? They’re not open-minded to new possibilities. They fear change, essentially. Or maybe, they want to maintain their privilege in relationships.
Regardless of all that, we need Revolianism, as a movement that aims to change sexist views of what heterosexual people should look like and what they should act like in relationships.
Because traditions and social constructs are meant to be challenged.
Words by Ana Badea.