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I read The Unbearable Lightness of Being a year or so back, at the request (the very, very pushy request) of one of the guys I was dating at the time. I didn't particularly care for the way the book was written, but what really pushed me over the edge to outright hating the book was the meaning behind the bowler hat.
For those of you who haven't read it, there's a scene in which the two main lovers are hanging out together, and Tomas has Sabina put on the bowler hat. Pretty sure she was wearing lingerie at that point, or maybe she was naked. In any case, she perceived it as a violent violation of her womanhood to have such a masculine object adorn her body. It was a humiliation for her, and it mocked her femininity.
And then on the other hand, our society thinks it's an insult to tell a male that he's being girly--that he fights like a girl or throws like a girl, and he needs to man up if he shows any sign of hesitation or emotional vulnerability.
Why is it that it's okay to WANT the other sex, but it's not okay to BE the other sex?
How is a man any less valuable if he "throws like a girl" (by the way, I do believe Mythbusters debunked that one), or a woman any less valuable if she lacks feminine gracefulness?
It really bothers me that in a world where we like to think we're so advanced, we still seem to see the sexes as different species--different species whom it's apparently okay to use for emotional, sexual, and lifestyle gratification, but not okay to actually be.
What is so humiliating about having traits of the other sex?
Honestly, when we're so programmed to think so differently about males and females, I have to say...is it really any wonder that violent gender-based crimes are so common?