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Boys rule, girls drool

So maybe that sounds first grade, but real life isn’t too far off from the old playground adage. “Boy” things are considered cool and edgy while “girl” things are frivolous and silly. Take an example from the popular gal show “Sex and the City”. All of the girls gush about the movie “The Way We Were” except for Samantha, who dismisses it as a “chick flick”. The scene is meant to be funny, but it brings up a good point. A lot of “girl” things are dismissed while things meant for men get respect. That’s why guys only go to chick flicks on date night, while women regularly attend movies aimed at male audiences. And that’s a large part in why movies aimed at men make more money. It’s cool for a woman to be interested in guy things, but guys can’t show a genuine interest in things for women unless they’re gay. And given America’s problems with homophobia, an issue that has received more attention as people pay attention to the great deal of gay teens committing suicide, most guys are not down with being seen as gay.

This isn’t just a male problem or even confined to just mainstream, sexist society. Feminist circles often operate on the premise that things women like are stupid and should be shunned while guy things are proper and right. Fashion is a shallow study, while any art men excel at is suddenly important. Female writers are slammed for being too “self-absorbed” while male writers who write about themselves are praised for their “coming of age” and “self-discovery”. Sciences that women dominate are termed “soft” and the way for an up and coming woman in the sciences to get respect is to move into “hard” science, or rather those dominated by men.
To be emotional is undesirable, while being logical is encouraged. Never mind that men have emotions too and often express them. It’s women who have to deal with the bad rap associated with being too emotional. Even our genitals are constantly denigrated. Any man who lacks a spine is termed a “pussy”, equating women’s sexual organs with weakness. The male equivalent, to be a “dick”, while not exactly positive, at least connotes strength as it checks bad male behavior. Mainstream society and feminists alike have bought into feminine as bad and male as good without realizing they’re really saying women are less than men.
A lot of people demonizing things for women mean well. Certainly most feminists don’t seek to perpetuate the sexism they look to call out, but looking down on things intended for women does just that: it says that the things women are interested in are not as important or serious as anything that interests men and ultimately that women are not as good as men. We have to leave first grade behind and accept that though men and women often like different things, a hierarchy of importance is not necessary. Perhaps then we can accept that we may be a little different, but we’re still equal.

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