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And for once I was SuperMom

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gender Bent

Sometimes when I like a song I wander on over to youtube and listen to the song when I need a fix.  If the video doesn't look too offensive I'll watch it, so yesterday I stumbled across this little jem. At first when Ingrid Michealson came up I thought, 'what, another Sarah Palin imitation?'  Then as I watched the rest of the video I realized it really was an homage to Robert Palmer's 'Simply Irresistible.'  I mean, that is what the title says, buuuuut then, I knew it was true.
I laughed a bit, watching men sally around in spandex is always a little funny.  I didn't quite know what to do with it.  From what I can understand the song 'Girls Chase Boys' is about the games that men and women play in relationships.
When I clicked over to watch Robert Palmer's video, I realized just how multi-layered this homage is.
(If you haven't clicked on all the links, I'd like you to take a moment now and click and watch.)
Done?
Okay.
My reaction to the first video was to giggle.  Why would men want to dance around like that?  Why would they shake themselves in front of the camera?  That's so silly.  The dance moves just looked odd with male bodies performing them.
Then when I watched the original video I realized that I was not shocked at all by the video.  Seeing women prancing about in spandex and performing provocative little shimmies seemed almost normal, kind of tame, really, by today's standards.
When I showed the videos to Scott he called 'Simply Irresistible' gratuitous.  He's right, having women bend over and wiggle their cleavage  in front of the camera is a bit gross.  Or zeroing in on their wiggling bottoms is a bit gross.
Maybe men are wired different, and because of sexist paradigms in the entertainment industry this sort of filming has become next to normal.  Maybe men are just told that they're allowed to ogle and that they should and that they can't help themselves and women are told that they're not wired like that.  I don't know.  Nature vs. nurture?
But that's not what this is about.
Seeing men perform dances, that we've almost come to expect of women, makes those dances seem silly. Then why are we expecting women to do them?
Why is it so funny to see men act that way?
A friend of mine pointed out the other day that some people get all upset when their daughters attach to the whole Disney princess machine.  But we're okay when our sons attach to standard male stereotypes.  We're so proud of our girls when they're tomboys, but a little sheepish when they love ballet.
Because 'female' is bad.  Anything that is considered generally 'female' is bad.  So when a man dresses as a woman we giggle.
'Why would he want to act like a woman?'
I've heard so many women say that they wished they were male.  I am proud to say that I've never wished to be male.  That might be the tiny part of me that is logical popping up,
'I can't be male, so why wish for it?'
Might as well make it awesome to be female.
My eldest daughter is into the princess thing.  We've kept the princess toys and books to a dull roar in our home.  I have a number of reasons; the actual probability of her becoming a princess is pretty low, in most princess stories there is an overemphasis on beauty and falling in love.  And clothes, lots of dresses.  Life is really so much more than that.
Scott told me that while reading a book my eldest starting asking where all the 'girl kitties were.'
If you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up she always says, 'Doctor.'
I am hoping that for her and her world it will be awesome to be female.



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