I’m a big advocate for equal rights. It’s said that equal rights for others doesn’t mean fewer rights for you, and I feel that wholeheartedly. In this fight for equality, we tend to focus on women, because let’s face it guys, we’ve been feeding women a shit sandwich for a long time now.
Equal rights for others doesn’t mean fewer rights for you. It’s not pie! — author unknown
We force women to deal with a lot more crap than we as men have to deal with. Admit it! But, that’s not what’s stuck in my brain trap today. I heard a story on Facebook about a face painter at a carnival. She talked about a little boy who wanted a butterfly on his face. His mother threw a fit and forced the painter to put a skull and crossbones instead.
It got me thinking about my whole life and the times I’ve come face to face with toxic masculinity.
The male standard
My parents were wonderful. I was a weird kid, no doubt about it. I was emotional — I cried a lot. I tended to keep to myself. I didn’t need other kids to play with; my imagination was good enough.
I played with anything I could get my little hands on. Sure, I played war and shot other little boys in the cornfield, but more often than not, I would be at the next-door neighbor’s house playing with Barbies. I’ve attended quite a few tea parties in my life, and girls have used me as a model for their makeup skills.
None of this seemed weird to me because my parents never forced masculinity on me. If I wanted to wear a pink shirt, I wore it. I remember my dad had the most wonderful pink dress shirt and tie. I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to wear it.
Pink is a beautiful color.
I cried at the drop of a hat. I did it everywhere — at home or in public. Never once did my dad seem embarrassed by a son who expressed emotions differently. He never told me to shut up.