Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Knock, knock...it's the Gender Police

While I’m no reader of weeklies, I do happen to be someone who walks into stores occasionally. And, even rarer, someone who stands in line at cash registers to buy things. Thus, there are few ways to spare my retinas the disasters that spew over the covers of tabloids, and when I saw Life & Style’s most recent attack on Shiloh, daughter of actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, I couldn’t help but think it: blog post.

Although I must admit that I have not read the contents of this particular article about the "destructive" path Angelina Jolie is "forcing" Shiloh to tread, I have to wonder why the hell so much “concern” should be sparked for the child of two multimillionaires over, not child abuse, not drugs, not neglect, but a haircut. While the children of celebrities are expected by the mass population to be as fashion-forward as their parents (which is a ridiculous notion on its own), Life & Style's use of shock and scare tactics in order to ignite public disapproval over a child’s haircut is…dismaying, to say the least.

To me, this is a clear example of the extremes to which society as a machine will go to in order to further strengthen the gender binary. The idea that children “need” to be indoctrinated into a system of two and only two genders for their own “protection” and “health” is not new, but this policing of public figures in order to uphold the rigid definitions of masculinity and femininity is a strange (perhaps not new, but new to me) creature.
*photo credit unknown

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