The End of Discriminatory Gender Divides

ZumaGwen Right wingers went nuts back in April, when retailer J. Crew's catalogue shared a picture of designer Jenna Lyon's painting her son's nails pink.

"Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink," said Lyons at the time, which prompted conservatives like anti-gay psychiatrist Keith Ablow to decry the image as a "dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity."

I wonder if Ablow and his allies will have the same reaction to shots of Gwen Stefani's toddler-aged son, Zuma, getting his nails done while dressed as Captain America. They probably will.

For the rest of us, though, little Zuma's beauty adventure shows that even "masculine" heroes like Captain America can indulge in their "feminine" side; or, vice versa, even men who like to be pretty can be "masculine".

Either way, the gender divides are disintegrating. If you need more proof, consider an ABC News report from July that details how male children see the color pink as perfectly acceptable, rather than blue, the color traditionally deemed "masculine."

This is, to quote Martha Stewart, a good thing.


  1. LiamB says

    All things are cyclic. Before the 40’s pink was actually a boy’s color, as it was considered aggressive, while subdued blue was for girls. It was purely a marketing decision that changed the color schemes for kids.

    Heck, even before then it was common for all kids under 6 to wear dresses and not have their hair cut. Funny how conservatives bluster about being traditionalists, but their traditions aren’t even 100 years old.

  2. Nat says

    “For the rest of us, though, little Zuma’s beauty adventure shows that even masculine heroes like Captain America can indulge in their feminine side; or, vice versa, even men who like to be pretty can be masculine.”

    Men have worn forms of makeup and beauty products for most of human history. There’s nothing inherently feminine about it.

    Rather than continuing to arbitrarily encode mundane cultural activities as ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’, how about we recognize the arbitrariness and work to eliminate it? How about we make our own choices about what will constitute our identities?

  3. Dback says

    Other cultures in the world–especially in Asia–may favor having boys over girls; however, I remember reading an interview with someone from Australia who’d traveled a lot, and said that no other people besides Americans were so obsessed with knowing a baby’s gender in advance “so I know what color clothes and accessories to buy.” Gee, I dunno–how about yellow, green, purple or orange? (For the record, I have friends who painted their daughter’s room pale yellow with Winnie-the-Pooh touches before she was born; she’s now a vibrant, chatty 4-year-old who loves the color pink, but is also obsessed with pirates. Go know!)

  4. says

    My only reaction to Ablow’s comment is “So what?” I can’t see the benefit of those “trappings of gender identity.”

    I suspect he has a huge emotional investment in nonsense like that, which is sort of sad. I see it as just another way of classifying people without having to find out who they really are.

  5. Leo says

    Expect Rick with his effeminophobic-misogynist-conformo-gender-fascist rant on this comment thread in the next few days.

  6. Bryan says

    What’s “feminine” about colored toenails?

    It’s remarkable what gender conformists gay men have become. At what point did we just stop thinking?

  7. Rocky says

    @ Bryan

    Its been my experience that the homos making such a big stink over other gay men being the masculine or “str8-acting” types,tend to be the biggest domineering,bitchy flaming queens in the room.

  8. Lexxvs says

    People are so ignorant and easily deceived about history that if in 70 years from now it is decided that tattoos are girl’s thing and it’s always been that way, people will sustain it at the traditional natural genetically programmed feminine thingy. Gosh, some people need some lessons in anthropology or at least sociology. It’s not like men are becoming feminine for adopting –or not caring- about liking whatever color, neither are women more masculine for the same reason. Even many LGTB buy the tale, logically because they receive the same culturally ingrained information. What is crumbling is a model where one gender is supposed to hold the last word and be the prominent provider towards a model where both genders are supposed to cooperate. But that’s another story.

  9. Rick says

    Predictably, the article was written by a woman with a feminist bent, the individuals quoted in it were women with a feminist bent, and the individuals painting their sons toenails were…..women with a feminist bent.

    America has done a fantastic job of destroying its boys over the last generation, which is why they are under-achieving in school and in very bad shape in other ways….largely thanks to their having grown up in single-parent households without a father…..and it is hardly surprising that man-hating, diva-worshiping gay men of the sort that predominate on this site should be thrilled about it.

    The resulting social dysfunction, however, is destroying the country, which is why it is rapidly being eclipsed by patriarchal societies with intact family structures, such as China and India.

    The form that dysfunction takes, though, will be increasingly to your disliking–as much as some of you would love for men to become little wards of women, walking behind them and being nothing more than helpmates and social accessories to them (in other words, exactly what many gay men have for decades been to straight women), that is not the form the dysfunction is taking…..instead, it is resulting in the proliferation of violent gangs who seek out effeminate men to bash them…….

  10. Derrick from Philly says

    You couldn’t resist it, could you, Rick? If it’s not the Coloreds, it’s the effeminate males and women bringing down America.

    I hope you live to see a President Garcia or President Hernandez in the White HOuse, and I hope he wears a pink tie…with an ear ring.

  11. David B. says

    a bit fin de siecle — but fashion and mores follow the culture rather than are created by it — Western culture falling Eastern culture is rising more economically and politically over the past ten years. Mores follow….

  12. Leo says

    Hahahaha like clockwork – who called it? I just have to laugh at Rick’s rants at this point because I don’t have the energy to argue them anymore.