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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Fox News: Pink toenails are an example of abandoned gender identities

Sometimes when reading Fox News, one has to check and make sure one didn't stumble onto The Onion website accidentally. Such is the case with this week's "scandal" caused by J. Crew Director Jenna Lyons painting her son's toenails pink in an innocent editorial for the store's website. 

Fox columnist Dr. Keith Ablow was sure to offer his own commentary on the newsworthy event, calling it "a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity — homogenizing males and females when the outcome of such ‘psychological sterilization’ [my word choice] is not known."

I hate to break it to the columnist, but gender "identity" is a product of social construction. Girls don't emerge from the womb with a pink bow wrapped around their precious heads. More importantly, his column exemplifies a societal value system we project. In our society, girls are free to be tomboys or like the color blue without any ramifications. However, whenever boys take on any feminine characteristic, like favoring pink nail polish, they are usually ridiculed. 

This is simply another version of sexism, where anything feminine is automatically equated with a weak or negative definition, and anything traditionally masculine is glorified. This is nothing new. We are told to "man up" but to "stop acting like a girl" (or other variations I'm not allowed to print here). 

The J. Crew example also illuminates a larger point that I want to end this blog with: Feminism is not prescriptive. No matter what you think about raising children, you shouldn't parade your anti-pink nail polish views on others. No matter what your take is on the right to life or appropriate gender roles, don't limit others to the same viewpoints. I'm looking at you, Congress. 

As the semester is ending, this is my last post. To all readers who followed me on my semester-long journey of feminism, politics and other fun stuff, thank you! Look for me next semester in the same place, and good luck on finals.

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