For one, if you are wondering about the pic at the top here, yes that is a Hot Wheels car. And it is in the colors of the Green Bay Packers…which was not on purpose. It just happened that way…saw it at the checkstand over at the Kroger serveral months ago. And it was a wow to see this…in that when I was younger, my favorite cars were of that vintage, the MoPar muscle cars…..Dodge Chargers and Plymouth Satellites [which in their racing/sport config were called ‘RoadRunners’]. But for some reason, Mattel who makes these toys seem to now have them colors akin to some NFL teams. Yes, there is even a Tangerine Dream coloured Charger which are the original colours of the Pirates of Pewter Pants, I mean the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However the reason to start this post with the aforementioned pic is to say that these are the colours of the team that will win the upcoming Super Bowl…
Well that is one of the reasons. There is another and it dovetails on what was mentioned on a newsprogram this past Friday. Called ‘What Would You Do’ [an offshoot of the ABC ’20/20′ franchise], on this particular Friday, they featured a piece about gender stereotyping. The setup for this was what would folks do in a toy store if they saw a boy who was showing an interest in getting a Barbie doll or a girl who wanted toy cars, against the parent’s objections . The ‘planted objections’ by the parents [who like the children were actors] were that this is not what boys or girls play with etc. But some of those in the stores were much more progressive in their responses; to then this was not a big deal. Let them play with what they want to play with, it does not make a difference as to whether or not said child is a bad person or not. Play is play. However this was done in a controlled environment, so whatever viscosity could be generated by remarks of others were at a minimum. In other words, these were mild.
One of the problems with modern society, in particular here in the US is the fact that we have revelled in the stereotypes, so much so that those who live down to that [yes I did say that folks as opposed to those who live up to their better selves and being a better human in the process] are rewarded, coddled and held up as role models.The experiment in that newsprogram would have been parsecs different if there were no cameras and if there were two different stores. Same franchise, but let’s say one in the burbs, another in the central business district or other urban core. Reason why I say there would be differences is that there is a tendency for there to be a little more understanding in the burbs, i.e. where the parents tend to be a little more educated on issues, a tad more liberal and would see let’s say a 5 or 6 year old boy’s interest in a Barbie doll or a 5 or 6 year old girl’s interest in Hot Wheels or model trains as not being a big deal. In the urban core, the boy who shows an interest in Barbies would be called very derogatory terms, humiliated and worse [this sadly is especially true if the child is of color, if due to the fact that a male child is expected to even at an early age to be amped on testosterone so that they are into cars, sports…and what follows with same as they get older]. And there is a very ugly tie-in to this, if later in their life said child is identified as being transgendered.
The connection is that the gender stereotyping is so deeply ‘enforced’ that one is considered to be legitimate if they were to be into the entire female attitude [if one is M to F]..with Barbies or dolls, being into pastel colours, clothing, a hatred of sports and if they are old enough and active in an intimate vein having more partners than Howard Johnson’s had flavours of icecream. And heaven help the person if they are TG but do not go along with the company line, because they will be ostracized, ignored considered an unperson….which is no better than what would happen to an urban kid who likes dolls, cooking and is more into non-athletic pursuits [or even lower if the ethnic background is not akin to those who would …let’s say live in Homer, Alaska. Not picking on Alaska, but this is an illustrative point] . Real progressive, ain’t it????[As irony has it, those who are F to M do not have it as bad, after all when they do their thing, being into cars, sports etc is welcome, so while there are problems with the transition they are not as severe or possibly same]
If one wants something else to chew on, consider this:if gender stereotyping were really enforced and in vogue, then the women who are respectively the head of Xerox, the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the VP for Player Developement for the Cincinnatti Bengals would not be female. Or the male doctors who are working on ways to reduce if not severely mitigate illnesses like breast cancer would not be there. There are many other examples of what would be lost to the world if this rather stupid caste system of sorts were to propogate [again this also goes for those caste systems that exist due to race as well. While they are not official, regretably they still exist, still encoded, still rewarded in many ways]
How this relates to that telvision program I mentioned before is as follows: let the person be, for crying out loud. Let’s not enforce confining ideas on a person, which in turn will not let said individual reach what their potential is.[For those who are in the gender community, learn to extend to other the same level of respect you would like for yourselves. Being a person is not for some and for others for it to be denied] As I have told my dear, dear friend over the past couple years, if one sublimates their potential for others or to live down to the expectation of a society that may not have their best interests at heart…whatever fire that did exist in that person will slowly but surely die out. Or worse would be subject to what Howard Beale in the movie ‘Network’ refererred to as ‘mass madness’ [meaning that of being all the same – sans any individuality]