Well the people who know me will tell you that I obsess over the tiniest of details and that the most oblivious of things can bring out my philosophical alter ego. So the same thing happened this time when I was talking to a friend about shoes. Yeah, I know – shoes!
What happened was that I was talking to this friend and somehow the conversation turned to shoes. So she immediately looked down at my feet and told me that I have lovely shoes and that my feet just look pretty in anything I wear. And the gloomy Gus that I am, I said, “nah not really. My feet are really manly looking.” I do not really remember what the rest of that conversation was about but that comment I made suddenly struck me on my way back home. Manly looking feet? What is that supposed to mean? Yes, my feet aren’t entirely soft and pinkish. But does that make them manly? Does that mean that in order to be a woman I should have pretty feet or that in order to be a man I shouldn’t? Isn’t that putting people in a straitjacket all over again? Where does that leave women with rough feet or men with soft ones? And this is something that came from me – a self proclaimed feminist. So do these small comments make me a sexist too? Am I biased too?
We have so many norms about how men and women are supposed to be. How they should dress, behave, eat, walk, talk, etc. Of course, I do not have as many conditions as others, but I have begun to realize that even though we think of ourselves as open minded and modern human beings we still do carry a lot of unintentional prejudices. Like the waxing thing, for example. If men wax their chests – they aren’t manly enough. Chest hair is a sign of manliness. And women always need to look prim and proper. Though I’m not exactly the prim and proper types, I still go to the parlour at least a month to ensure I appear hairless on the surface; because God forbid that anyone realized that I too was a natural mammal with body hair. I am not blaming other people for having these views against me – no, I am surprised that I have a lot of these views myself. Also, I can be completely honest about the fact that I find men who wear nail polish creepy. Isn’t that a form of bias in itself? Because men and women have the same nails! So honestly why does it make a difference to me? Am I a sexist then? Even though I’m the type of girl who does not expect a guy to open a door for me, pay for my meals or take care of me in any way – am I still a sexist? Are we all then? Or is there a level of prejudice that is acceptable?
We cannot change the fact that we all do see men and women differently; each of us creates a difference between the two sexes in their own way. But, it is always there. So are we all still sexists then? Or is there a difference between us and the rest of the close minded people?