My father bought his first purse in 1979 when I was a high school student in a college preparatory school in Louisiana. Suffice it to say, other fathers wore plaid and button-down Lacoste shirts. Not black leather.
It was completely embarrassing.
But now, as an adult, I see things differently: a purse (or shoulder bag as my father likes to call it) is practical.
It may not be my preferred aesthetic but I also think it’s none of my business.
Maybe my thinking is skewed because I know, and adore, some men who get manicures (buff, no color), who arrange flowers and who cook: once for women only.
The term metrosexual was coined in 1994 describing a man who is meticulous about his grooming and appearance.
The word comforted straight men, classifying them, so they wouldn’t be judged pejoratively for doing traditionally feminine tasks.
It was revolutionary that you could be a straight male and like things that women liked.
But why all the labels?
Can’t we just like what we like?
Which of course brings me to Caitlyn Jenner. And all I have to say about her situation is…
I don’t care!
Let me correct myself.
I care a lot that she has the right to be whoever she wants to be.
I care a lot that she can look however she wants to look.
When I say I don’t care, what I really mean is, it’s none of my business what Caitlyn does or what she wears.
Who am I to judge or decide how someone else should live?
Or how they should look.
We are always classifying things, trying to come up with solid answers about how things should be.
Maybe things aren’t so clear-cut. And maybe they don’t have to be.
The fact is there are men who have long hair, get manicures and carry a shoulder bag.
There are men who are emotional and prefer a flower show to a boxing match.
Why should we care?
I’ve pondered the difference (or lack of difference) between men and women before. But this topic has taken on new momentum with the hype around Caitlyn Jenner.
Feminists are infuriated by the publicity around Caitlyn’s display in Vanity Fair, and criticize her for flaunting herself in the image of a male fantasy.
Some believe she has undermined the feminist movement.
We live in America, the land of the free and home of the brave, and whether gender is determined by our brains being wired differently, anatomical, biological, emotional, aesthetic or spiritual differences, again, feels like none of my business.
Why do men get manicures, arrange flowers or dance ballet?
Maybe it’s because while men may be from Mars and women may be from Venus, people are from Earth.