Girls and boys are introduced to gender stereotypes at a young age. Girls are encouraged to be prim and proper, dress nice and talk sweetly, whereas boys are encouraged to play with trucks, wrestle and be “tough.”
All girls can poop and all guys can cry. I mean, that’s pretty much all we do for the first few years of our lives. They’re normal functions of the human body that have become stigmatized by a culture based on the foundation of gender stereotyping.
During the weekend, I was with a few friends and the topic of poop came up (I have some interesting friends).
One of my guy friends looked at me and said, “You don’t poop. You’re a girl, pretty girls don’t poop.”
Really? Veiled compliment aside, I got defensive. Just because my face looks nice sometimes, that means I physically can’t process a bodily function necessary for survival and common across the human species?
No, guys. What really happens is, the Poop Fairy comes whenever we eat too much Chipotle and leaves a pink sparkly turd in the toilet that smells like roses and bubble gum.
I know my friend was joking, and I know he’s aware that, yeah, girls poop, but saying only pretty girls don’t poop is wrong. I promise you, Kate Upton , Angelina Jolie and Gisele Bündchen have taken their fair share of dumps. Sorry, guys.
Well, no, I’m not sorry. Defecation isn’t the most pleasant subject, but it happens. Everyone poops, if the children’s book can be believed. If everyone would just open up and talk about it instead of confining poop to “ugly” people, women wouldn’t have such a hard time with breaking out of the gender stereotype.
If women can poop, we can be managers, CEOs and, dare I say it, legitimate sports fans, too.
Confining individuals to their gender stereotypes stunts their growth as a person. Girls obviously know they poop, and the manliest man has shed a tear, but women and men are pressured by what society expects from them.
Men experience the same level of emotional awareness as women, but are taught from a young age to “nut up or shut up.” Telling boys that crying is unacceptable is saying that the way they feel is unacceptable. A man’s tear is just as taboo as a lady’s bodily waste.
Sure, tears are acceptable when a guy’s favorite team loses a major game, but professional sports themselves typically are associated with manliness and high-emotion, high-stake situations.
What about when a man loses his job, or his girlfriend breaks up with him? Men can get sad, but crying isn’t an acceptable way to externalize that sadness.
If a guy’s buddies find out he ate a pint of Ben & Jerry’s while watching Lifetime movies after being dumped, he might be met with emasculating and embarrassing comments from his friends on top of trying to wrangle with his emotions.
Take some advice from Disney’s “Frozen,” guys, and “let it go.” Crying is healthy and natural, and there is nothing that proves it makes you less of a man. Many girls even appreciate a guy who’s in touch with his emotions and is passionate about something.
Realistically, we’re never going to live in a truly “equal” society. Every individual person is different, and that’s what makes the world an interesting place, but it’s also why people vary in success and acceptance.
The point I’m trying to get across is, you do you, as long as you’re not hurting or belittling anyone else in the process. Accept people for who they are.
Pretending girls don’t poop because they need to be perfect, or boys don’t cry because they need to be real men, only will deepen the stereotypes that we’re trying to challenge.
Emily Jenks is a State News reporter. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.