Hot Men and Horrible Media (Civic Issues 1)

In our current society, I think it’s fair to say that we like to try to cut ourselves a break. Yes, it’s true, we still try to tackle important issues such as race, equality, etc. However, a lot of us also choose to see ourselves as an already-much-more-free-than-before nation, or in a positive light.

Some might here argumentatively refer to some of our greater moments, when we really gained a leg for equality. Moments such as the black suffrage movement in 1966 or the legalization of gay marriage in a plethora of states just in the past few years.

But while these are obviously very critical and pivotal moments in our history, we must be sure that we don’t start using them as excuses for backtracking, or even standing still in our fight for equality.

Our nation is by no means a sort of magical land where opportunity flows freely for each and every member of our “melting pot” as many seem to pretend that it is.

To quote an article of the N.Y. Times,
“Today, the United States has less equality of opportunity than almost any other advanced industrial country. Study after study has exposed the myth that America is a land of opportunity.”
-“Equal Opportunity, Our National Myth” by Joseph Stiglitz
(Seen here)

As I am a part of the gender portion of the blogging group, I have decided to address the ever-debated and sometimes overlooked issue of gender neutrality.

Now, let’s take a second. I’m sure we’ve all heard this term thrown around before at some point. But what exactly IS gender neutrality?

“There’s a difference between what the term gender neutral means and how it is used. As it should suggest, gender neutral refers to not favoring or centering one gender over another. If something is gender neutral, it isn’t marked as being only for people who identify as male, or female, or trans, or another gender. Instead, gender neutral means that the language in a written or spoken text, the event (like a workshop or a festival), or the facility (like a bathroom) is equally directed to and accessible to all genders.”
– “Gender Neutral” by Cory Silverburg, Sexuality Expert
(Seen here)

And so we come to see that it references more toward what each gender’s role in society should be and what they should do. From work, to home life, and even to sexual preference! It covers a very broad swathe, and can also be a very controversial topic.

Our social and personal opinions on this issue stem from several sources. Our ancestries and race; our geographical location; our upbringing; innumerable factors play a key role in how we view what our gender’s place is in society.

But if we long so much to say that our nation is one of freedom and equity, why are topics like this one still such a huge deal?

Here’s an example.

Recently, heart-throb Harry Styles (of the globally famous pop band One Direction), tread very lightly on the issue of gender neutrality an On Demand Entertainment interview with fellow band mate Liam Payne.

(If you’d like to watch the whole video, feel free! But you don’t have to.)

In this video, the interviewer simply asks them what their preferences are in a woman.

Liam responds, “Female. That’s a good trait.” To which Harry light-heartedly shakes his head, laughs, and responds, “Not that important.”

Not that big of a deal, right?

Surprisingly enough, that’s where you’re wrong. The two band members participated in this interview back in November, 2014. And here we are, very nearly in February 2015, and it’s still being talked about!

Why is it that saying something so simple as gender not being that important causes such a massive stir that people can still be talking about it nearly four months later?

Granted, Styles is a hugely famous star. But the fact that our society still makes such a tremendous to-do about a little offhand comment such as this one is just blatant proof that the problem is still very much alive and breathing.

Why is it that men or women shouldn’t be able to say or do as they see fit, regardless of societal mold?

This blog plans to take a much deeper look at this issue, highlight the societal deficiencies, and hopefully at its end, show just how normal gender neutrality should be seen as.

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3 Responses to Hot Men and Horrible Media (Civic Issues 1)

  1. auto quotes says:

    Hello! I’ve been reading your website for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

  2. Gabrielle Faith Romeo says:

    This was a very well thought out post, and gender neutrality/equality is something that our modern day world could stand to be more conscious of. However, I am a bit confused regarding Harry’s comment. When asked what he looks for in a woman, Liam’s response of “female” was understood by me to be an attempt at a light-hearted joke in place of fully committing to giving an answer to this potentially embarrassing question. Harry’s response to this confuses me, because “what do you look for in a woman” pretty much necessitates the person be female. And as I stated before, I really do not believe Liam was trying to be insensitive to the issue of gender and identity, but merely make a joke. I know this video clip is just a supplemental part of your post and not the main argument, and it made at an interesting addition as well as tied your topic to pop culture. I in no way intend to criticize your use of this media! I am just a bit confused on Harry’s angle.

  3. Alicia Marie Van Den Heede says:

    I find this to be a very interesting and overlooked tie in to our gender issue. While most people think of attraction in terms of one’s gender, many do not comprehend the fact that the thoughts people have and their personality can be the most attractive aspect. I feel as a society it is less a matter of people not wanting to accept this concept, but more an issue of people not understanding how someone can live without an absolute, so to speak. For instance, people are usually labeled as gay, straight, bisexual, etc. Labels make things more finite, more black and white. I like this or I like that. But in situations like gender neutrality, there is no black and white. It is impossible for some people to comprehend. Good subject, man.

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