Paint ’em up, Boy

In women studies 101, we discussed the sexual oppression of men—that’s right, I said of men. Especially in our postmodern western society, it’s fine for girls to wear pants, play football, and get down and dirty. Yet it’s not okay for a little boys to play with dolls, take dance lessons, or paint his nails.

If you watched Good Morning America this morning you probably know what’s coming next. J Crew’s most recent catalog featured the creative director and her five-year-old son laughing as she finished painting the boy’s toenails neon pink. A lot of people are upset about this, one male blogger calling it “psychological castration.”

When my cousin Reid and I were seven years old and visiting family in Arkansas, the girl-cousins painted Reid’s toenails a baby pink. His father wasn’t very happy, but he’s turned out—for the most part—psychologically sane, and even heterosexual. So I say this uproar is silly and if my future-future-future son wants to have his toenails painted, who am I to tell him, “No, that’s not for boys.” You wouldn’t tell a little girl, “No, that’s not for girls,” unless you wanted Title Nine to pummel you into the ground.


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