Not Just Boys’ Fun; Essay
by Robyn Leigh Windsor
“Blind leading the blind obeying by tradition Veer away all you need is volition” – Wolf Down
When I was rather small, although being a girl, my interests leaned towards all things “for boys”. For example, I never ever owned a Barbie, or anything even remotely related to that of a princess nature. Not everyone quite understood this because, well, I was a girl. I remember one Christmas, two family members (bless their cotton socks) decided to buy me a Barbie, probably in hopes I would “come around”. I remember smiling and saying thank you and all that, whilst thinking “What in god’s name am I supposed to do with this thing? Her accessories include a handbag and a brush”. Needless to say, I have no idea what ever happened to old Barbie, as that was the first and last time I touched the box I never took her out of. I was still confused nonetheless as to why they bought me that hideous thing when they knew “how I was”. I mean, I loved Street Sharks and Beast Wars, Bart Simpson, Lego, Ninja Turtles, and Judge Dread. I hailed Action Man as the king of all things badass, I dressed up as either Michael Jackson or as a clown (I’m not sure why) for any party that required a costume, I played soccer and I won’t even get started on Biker Mice.
As I got older, I was criticized a lot for being the way I was. I remember my sister’s friend asking me once if I “was going to have a sex change when I was older” and laughing at me. My mom owned a hair salon and some of her clients were “very concerned” and asked my mom if she wasn’t worried that I was going to turn out gay (as if that was a bad thing. As if any of these things were bad.)
I became very aware that the way I was wasn’t what people would call “normal”, and it bugged me. I was young and didn’t know any better and it scared me. I didn’t want to be something that was rejected by our oh so ‘normal’ society. Despite feeling pressured on a daily basis to hand over my natural traits for those of a more feminine nature, I simply couldn’t because it was really counter intuitive to behave any other way, because this was what I was like naturally. I could not understand the motivation behind acting and liking things that you should like as opposed to liking them because you just bloody well do. But succumbing to those pressures and not being yourself is just ludicrous and it is not always easy especially for young kids who are surrounded by these pressures. Kids can be goddamn ruthless. If I had a Rand for every time I was asked this exact question “When are you going to start dressing like a girl?” I would have quite a few bucks hey.
I absolutely loathe the way people treat each other today, most of the time without even knowing it. Although things have changed, it’s still very prevalent in our society today, for girls as well as guys. It’s still very apparent. Guys must be big and strong, and carry everything for the girl (If I can carry it I will, as I am not a baby), girls must cook and clean, guys should be exceptional handy men and MUST be the bread winner (how embarrassing if the female was! Can you imagine?! Sis!), guys need to be the prince from all the Disney movies and woo her until she pukes butterflies and shits a rainbow, and it must be a relationship between a male and a female. We both need our careers to be set in stone at the age of 25 with a ring on our finger and a baby or two on our lap in our house we can’t afford.
I am definitely not judging people’s life choices if they resemble the above (I am the product of the lifestyle mentioned above). If your lifestyle makes sense to you and truly makes you happy then that is awesome, but do it for that reason, not because it’s what you should do. That is all. Make art because you love it, not because the idea of being thought of as an artist is pretty darn cool. Get married because you truly love the person and would rather spend an entire day fighting with them rather than not spending it with them at all, not because it’s what you should be doing at your age.
Do things because you love it and it makes sense to you, not for the likes and the Noddy badges.
Categories: Essays, Feminism, Gender