I was driving from my hometown to my significant other’s hometown and finally ending in Blacksburg in one day. It was an almost 6 hour drive. Before the trip, my significant other and I stopped to buy bagels before departing. While in the store, I ordered my own meal and waited for his to also be made. Because of the dynamic of our relationship, we take turns paying for meals; this time it was his turn. The owner of the shop is a very traditional, old man who made a point of telling my significant other about how he was such a gentleman for taking care of “his woman.”
While waiting to take my entrance exam for my new job, I was in Starbucks studying. A young mother walked in with her son. After ordering and receiving their order, she sits him on a high chair. He couldn’t have been more than 5 years old. He spills over his drink and gets off his chair. The manager and another customer jumped up to aid the young boy, and the reasoning for the mother was that “boys will be boys” at this age. At the time, I was focused on the boy because of how “cute” he was while trying to help clean up after himself, but afterwards I couldn’t help but think of how people seem to always make excuses for little boys, making it seem acceptable to be a little too aggressive sometimes.
Tonight, I went out with a friend before she moves to California post-graduation. We were discussing our recent experiences with members of the opposite sex. She mentioned how she had drunkenly Face Timed a boy she was interested in a week ago. During this call, this young man berated her for how she seems to have a drinking problem because she was “always drunk.” I was shocked about how she drank twice in the span of one week, but he made it seem like an unacceptable act for her to drink “so much” even though they occurred in two different instances (a bachelorette party and a reunion). It was a very shocking thing to hear for me.
I was at a hot tub, and because I have been moving out of my apartment into a different one, I was without a proper bathing suit. Instead, I wore a soccer shorts and an exercise, quick dry, sports bra. Although I was comfortable getting my clothes wet and to be around my male roommates and their friends (of both genders), an acquaintance of mine happened to join us and point out how she thought it was inappropriate. It never occurred to me, having been raised with mainly male friends, that an acquaintance could consider an outfit that I deemed appropriate for hanging out to be wrong.
I went out to a bar for a reunion with some friends from high school. I walked up to the bar and even though I had been waiting longer, when an attractive male walked up the female bartenders attended to him before me. I found it incredibly annoying to have to wait for this female bartender to pay attention to me instead of this guy who hadn’t been there as long as I had.
This assignment has shown me how every moment in life, even in today’s modern society, is still so full of constructs, norms, pressure, and other experiences dictated by society. Justin Hubbell’s blog, “The Ultimate Break Down of the Gender Binary – Why It Hurts Us All”, described very well how in our society, as well as humans, labels are necessary and that without them, we seem to crumble. I believe that everyone in society should be able to live without a label, trying to fulfill a social construct, or anything else.
Hubbell, Justin. “The Ultimate Break Down of the Gender Binary – Why It Hurts Us All.” Web log post.Everyday Feminism. N.p., 24 Feb. 2016. Web. 4 June 2016.