Finally, we aren’t relying on a politically conservative publication to warn our culture against propagating the wars of the sexes with thoughtless memes. Writing for Psychology Today, Dr. Mark Sherman eviscerates “the future is female” t-shirts (and one assumes also onesies) and fights back against the notion of his grandsons’ implicit “white male privilege.” He comments:
I have particular trouble when Woolf says, that the T-shirt “doesn’t threaten a boy who understands his privilege.” A boy’s privilege? When so many cartoons feature female hero figures; when teachers are predominately female; when everyone is aware that girls haven’t done as well as boys in math, and so many have worked hard to change that, but so few are aware of the larger gap in language skills favoring girls, and so little is done to change that; when far more young men are incarcerated than young women—is all that his privilege?
Sherman rightfully observes what Denver Post columnist Dottie Lamm first did in 2014: “in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood, our boys are now at greater risk than our girls.” But, our culture is too obsessed with a 1970s lesbian separatist slogan to give a damn about the boys. If only a male punk rocker had worn a shirt saying “The Future is Male” maybe then we’d think it was hip to be concerned about the growing rate of academic failure among boys. Or the growing rate at which they’re being prescribed ADHD medication. Forget worrying about gender stats in STEM; boys are already being drugged onto the sidelines.
Chicks man, they fight dirty. Which is probably why memes win over statistics every time. Sherman is right to note that advocates for boys and men are continually sidelined by their louder, flashier – dare I say sexier – counterparts. Pop culture isn’t helping our boys. It’s telling them to be softer, gentler; to play with dolls; to wear makeup; to don dresses and attend tea parties. In other words, pop culture is totally okay with femininity when it is expressed by men.
Girls, on the other hand, are being told to trade in their princess crowns for lab goggles; their skirts for pants; their dolls for science kits; their charm for rage. What’s more, as they grow older they are expected to wear their reproductive organs on the outsides of their bodies while demanding they not be used for their original intent and purpose. In a complete act of gender role-reversal, women are to claim the primary biological gift that separates them from men – the ability to bear children – as their primary source of repression.
Culture demands that men take on the femininity that women throw out in order to be more male. It’s a sick and twisted nihilism that passes for liberation only because of the way in which it is marketed: As the future. We are always in pursuit of the future, the next best thing. We’re a Jetsons culture, only we’re looking more and more like The Flintstones all the time. Primordial, pagan, defeatist. Those who proclaim “the future is female” should recall that god was originally a woman. Then again, that’s a hard thing to remember given that those cultures no longer exist.