Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Trying to Peg Everything

Since I nearly got beat-up by the Freshman football team in high school when I was a sophomore (I talked them down, actually). I have realized that people try to peg, categorize, pigeon-hole and make clichés of others using easy to identify symbols.

The football players shouted out "Fags" to me and my friends who were on our way to a French club party dressed, as we always did, in our long trench coats with long highlighted bangs (1985 or so?). To me, wearing a trench coat was just a way to be self expressive or at least to fit in with my small group of friends. It had nothing to do with being a gun toting punk and nothing at all to do with sexuality since we were all mormon virgins who wanted hot girls who hated us and shunned probably hot girls who were too accessible to be desired. None of us was ever gay in our lives but we sure took some abuse for that team. Enough to appreciate what actual gay people might go through, if only in some measure.

I like to think that high school stupidity, heaping flack upon anyone different, was from youth and inexperience. Yet, somehow the attitude often carries over into adulthood.

There are so many inane ways in which people try to identify lifestyle like McCarthy sussed out communists.

Things I have heard that are supposed to indicate that people are "gay", "liberal", or "right-wing cowboys" or "assholes" are just way off. Maybe some people just mean "different" by those labels. Still, there is little openness to difference in some attitudes of those who even feel like they are "just kidding around" while they propagate and reinforce silly ideas.

Popped collars? Gay? I thought maybe it just meant "Douche Bag"? Pardon me while I also make a cliché of people!
Cleanliness? Is it godliness or godlessness that it is closest to. I think people should make up their minds.
Driving a small/big car? It would be a good thing if all big tough belt buckle-wearing men were all homophobic and drove Mining-Dump-Trucks so no one would mis-read their sexual intentions. The premise is so ridiculous.

I hear things like that a lot. "Girl Car, boy car, old lady car, gay car, dork car, cocks-drive-this-car" etc.

I saw a sticker that said "Silly boys, Jeeps are for girls".

As a rational being I have explained to many that an automobile is an abstract device that takes feet, hands, brains and eyes to drive...the genitals are not relevant and (hopefully) not involved in controlling the vehicle.

Maybe some of this is just women wanting to assert their touch upon a segment of the world to make it feel like they can have it as their own, not just borrow it from male-ness. That transition is acceptable I suppose, though some day we must finally be rational and accept no one else as worth more than ourselves no matter how their collar is placed or even what color the collar is.

Anyone can drive anything. Anyone can like anything and it doesn't have to mean some secondary thing. This is what women have been fighting to tell us since the 60's. A woman who likes sex doesn't have to also be a slut etc. A mexican doesn't have to also be saddled with every cliché ever invented about Mexicans without any compelling interest in the individual.

"You drive a girl car"... I have heard before. My Dark Blue german sedan with awesome v6 power and 5 in the floor that can cruise at 139 mph is a girl car? People are nuts. My car is also a Mexican by birth, by the way. It still doesn't like mariachi music, but if it did it would be perfectly OK.

It's all in good fun on one level, but in the process we really do try to impose an equally ridiculous standard of behavior on people who's diverse behavior, no matter how seemingly different or ridiculous, is really personal and not really any of our business.

Generalizations can be destructive. 100 a day are spouted on T.V. (Especially on those daytime talk shows and guess who watches those! Don't be tempted to generalize!) Some people cause real harm trying to socially impose them.

"Gingers have no soul" is funny to an adult, but it can be a reason for violence to children. Perhaps no one has a soul, but just because that hip guy at work is wearing a pink oxford doesn't mean he drives a jeep (or whatever nutty conclusion you'd like to draw).

Labeling is just cruel...Not all bitches are stupid :) Not all douche bags are wealthy!

I think you get the point. Cars are cars people. We should all stop thinking you can dissect people without getting to know them. Besides, we can't let gay people be the only ones who like beauty and dress well.

Pop your collar at your own risk, especially in your european convertible! (Now I'm doing it too! Make it stop!)


1 comment:

Lauren said...

Have you seen the new Jeep ads that cater to women? Goes perfectly with this post.