Last month, clothing retailer J. Crew ignited a firestorm. A promotion on its website featured creative director, Jenna Lyons, painting her five-year-old son’s toenails with pink nail polish. The caption read: “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink.” Yeah. Lucky.
After a Fox News story, protesters wrote to J. Crew denouncing the ad; supporters set up a Facebook page urging people to join “Pink Toenail Polish Day.” It didn’t take long for liberals from academia to weigh in – arguing that kids should have the “freedom” to “explore, sample,” and break out of stereotype gender roles.
An AP story on the hubbub took it to the next level. Apparently, girls have it easier than boys. That’s because “the norms of femininity have expanded much more than the norms for masculinity – a lot more androgyny is allowed for girls.” So says Judith Stacey, a professor at NYU. “With boys, it’s not seen as OK to wear skirts, play with princesses’ wands,” she observes. “There’s still a lot of anxiety about being sufficiently masculine.”
Who do you supposed is to blame for that? Easy. Dads! Fathers hurt boys by keeping them in gender straightjackets … “telling them the worst thing they can be is a girl.”
So. The new American male should paint his toenails pink, want to be a girl, and his evil father should shut up about it – or risk stifling his boys. Yes, folks, it has come to that.
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