Part of Every Party
For the past week everyone has been talking about Emma Watson’s UN speech. As well they should. Watson’s insightful words, articulated modestly and clearly (go those acting skills!), really pull away at the corners of the “feminism issue”: that it’s not just about women. Equality is something which benefits everyone. I remember years ago in my Developmental Psyc class it was argued that girls can dress “like boys” in jeans or shorts, they can play sports, and most children’s television shows from the eighties and nineties (perhaps even still now) are primarily male dominated, because females will watch male shows. But the same can’t be said for boys. If we empowered the gender norms for women in such a way that boys could dress “like girls” and watch tv shows modelled off Buffy, might we then be better placed to express ourselves, not feeling a need to repress “lesser” female norms?
I feel this is something a lot of LGBTs must confront, because our interests and attitudes too fall outside the scope of typical gender norms. I remember years ago (when I was first coming out) meeting a bunch of gays who were very comfortable with their sexuality. When getting ready to go out bar hopping and clubbing with my friends we would drink cheap wine from a box, watch a chick flick and then spend a good hour putting toner on, changing outfit after outfit while singing poorly to Britney and Gaga. It was kinda funny, we weren’t taking ourselves seriously. But it was also the first time I felt like I wanted to be gay in a stereotypical way. It also brought back memories of when I’d secretly listen to Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Mariah Carey. In finding other men who shared this love I felt validated and liberated. This is something I think everyone deserves to feel about themselves.