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On Friday, laurie_robey and I were at Barnes & Noble when we happened to overhear a young couple shopping for a present for someone. The man of the couple had picked up a "Build Your Own Darth Vader" kit and said, "This is pretty cool." The woman slapped him on the shoulder and said, "Stop it, she's a girl! Put that down." She then dragged him off to some other part of the store.

My response was, "Girls can't like Star Wars?" Laurie's was, "Hey, I dressed up as Darth Vader for Halloween when I was a girl!"

Cut to Saturday, when my art student (an amazing girl), wore a very geeky t-shirt of Luke Skywalker standing behind a pack of stormtroopers with the caption "Photobomb." Laurie pointed out what an awesome shirt it was, to which I agreed. My student's mother agreed as well, and said that my student had a friend at school who loved the shirt and wanted to know where to get it. When my student told the girl that it was readily available at Target in the boy's section, her friend looked crestfallen and said, "My mom won't let me shop in the boy's section." And that, apparently, was that.

Seriously. -.- What the fuck.

There's a certain tendency to think of gender oppression as something done by men to women; but that's an incomplete picture at best. When they've bought into it, frankly there's no more rigid gender cop than a suburban mom. :-`

-The Gneech

(Edited to clarify the final point.)

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
haikujaguar
Jan. 12th, 2015 02:23 pm (UTC)
I'm a suburban mom, you know.
the_gneech
Jan. 12th, 2015 02:36 pm (UTC)
There's nobody who instills values of openness and charity better than a suburban mom, either. It all depends on the suburban mom in question. :) My art student's teacher is an awesome suburban mom.

Sorry for sounding like I was trying to slam all suburban moms. How about, "there's no grammatical construction more annoying than a vague syllogism"? ^.^'

-The Gneech
rowyn
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:07 pm (UTC)
Human beings routinely buy into ideas that harm themselves/their own group. Like all the writers who got angry at the indie writer movement because they were "doing it wrong". "I had to go through the old gatekeepers so obviously that's the way it's SUPPOSED to be and anything else is WICKED."

And toxic masculinity is enforced by men: few women 'joke' about taking away 'your man card'.

Basically, most members of society will enforce societal norms, even when those norms harm the members enforcing them. This is a good thing with most norms (like 'don't steal' and 'don't kill' and 'don't scream at random strangers for no reason'). It's less good with all the bloody stupid norms that have been floating around for generations even though they have negative practical value. -_-
the_gneech
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:42 pm (UTC)
Definitely true. Toxic masculinity is something I could write a whole series of rants about, except I value my sanity. XD

I don't know why it bugs me so much more to see women acting as gender cops than men doing it; I guess it's my own cultural expectations kicking in.

-TG
mooncat
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
I was fortunate to come into a line of women who didn't really care too much about "how girls should act". Mum rode a motorcycle when she was nursing in England (granted a small one, not a harley, but still), and grandmother never limited her girls to what society expected of them, and made sure to teach her boys how to cook and sew. (and this was in the 20's and 30's, in Ireland)

So yeah, I played with dinosaurs, pulled the heads off my sister's dolls and was quite content. :)
the_gneech
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:43 pm (UTC)
Awesome! :)

-TG
mooncat
Jan. 12th, 2015 04:11 pm (UTC)
Granted, mom would occasionally entreat me to dress nicer, but never said that I always had to wear dresses, or the hated pink, because I was a girl, or anything of that nature.
the_gneech
Jan. 12th, 2015 04:40 pm (UTC)
What parent doesn't want their kid to be a natty dresser? ;)

-TG
mooncat
Jan. 13th, 2015 01:47 am (UTC)
Hehe, or at least not perpetually in t-shirts and jeans like I am now :)
kylet
Jan. 12th, 2015 05:33 pm (UTC)
FWIW, my niece's toy collection was equal parts pink dolls and boy's cars.

"my art student"
Wait, what?
the_gneech
Jan. 12th, 2015 07:07 pm (UTC)
I have an art student! :) Daughter of one of Laurie's co-workers, and generally awesome kid. :)

-TG
kylet
Jan. 12th, 2015 08:48 pm (UTC)
When did this happen? :-D (if you tell me I should know because you've talked about it on Twitter, I will nosebeep you to death at FC!) Rockin!
the_gneech
Jan. 12th, 2015 08:58 pm (UTC)
Well, I have talked about it on Twitter, but I wouldn't expect you to know it from that, Mr. I Don't Like Twitter. ;) My memory is that our sessions started last spring sometime, but I forget exactly when. It's basically an hour every two or three weeks as schedule allows.

-TG
kylet
Jan. 12th, 2015 09:46 pm (UTC)
Wow, didn't know it had been that long. Awesomesauce!

Wish you lived closer...a high school friend was looking for an art teacher for her daughter, and I am terrrrrible at that sorta thing.
kyyanno
Jan. 13th, 2015 06:17 pm (UTC)
You should know, because he's talked about it on twitter
*sits back with a smug grin and a 7,000+ mile safety margin* ;3
kylet
Jan. 13th, 2015 08:54 pm (UTC)
I do have the power of the pen, you know!

Edited at 2015-01-13 08:54 pm (UTC)
kyyanno
Jan. 14th, 2015 07:16 am (UTC)
The pen *may* be mightier than the sword, but it's no ICBM :P
sirfox
Jan. 12th, 2015 08:23 pm (UTC)
It's one of those Common Human Conditions to urge others to conform, but an examination of how valuable/harmful that forcing to conform is... is less urgent in our species' consciousness.
javarod
Jan. 13th, 2015 06:59 am (UTC)
Hey, do you have a Tumblr i can reshare this from? If not, you mind if i screen shot and share it?
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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