Assigning sexual tension

Connect the Dots

I think girls are hot.

Because I think so, a classmate who I unknowingly led in the wrong direction suggested that I might be sexually confused, or “trapped in the closet.” Walking through campus on a sunny day celebrated by short skirts and ethereal blouses, my obnoxiously masculine utterances are almost inevitable when trying to dissuade a new friend of the opposite sex from developing smitten delusions.

Growing up with three older brothers who had a notoriously charming reputation as “The Huerta Boys,” my acknowledgement of women’s beauty is not desperate objectification, but rather one of my many unfiltered quips meant to steer aimless conversation. Though I lack the charm of my brothers, I possess the same shamelessness.

It’s a fact that men and women are two variants of the same species, though the mentality of both has been reduced to the dualism of “masculinity” and “femininity.” Women who stray from the standard of high heels and retail therapy are thought to be more masculine, while men who express their emotions to the point of tearing up are thought to be more feminine. Each dualism results in a general consensus of being unattractive and abnormal.

In spite of the general consensus, however, there exist outliers. While docile, made-up dolls swim through the mainstream of wet dreams, there are others who don’t keep up with the current. Whether these men lack the conditioned desire or corporate ability to manufacture fantasies, outliers in turn romanticize the independent woman to be looking for a prince charming of her own.

While Rosie the Riveter flexed her bicep with an androgynous hairdo to pull World War II’s housewives into the depressed workforce, her presence faded at the return of America’s wounded and decorated heroes. Rosie’s influence was limited to the economic independence of the lonely woman who longed for her honey to come back home.

Though they flaunted their independence with their newfound purchasing power, they were also limited by it. The independent woman was still confined to the home as housewives climbed the social ladder with the standardized glamour of kitchen appliances and fashion magazines. Their honeys came home to the American dream, but it was a dream that lacked the substance of reality.

Gender roles are as natural as butter dripping off a thawed, hot biscuit. Westernized societies are not alone in perpetuating such dualisms, as they prevail in hunter-gatherer tribes and isolated mountain societies. However similar the limitations of gender roles are, the difference lies in how each sex is expected to act and react.

Our perception of each sex has remained static because of the underdeveloped sexual revolution. We still measure a man’s maturity by the number of women he’s slept with. While Shakespeare’s Ophelia lost her mind with the loss of her lover’s trust, we measure a woman’s stability by analyzing her age and marital status.

Today’s feminism reaches the masses with the music of sexed-up divas and the dictation of women in power who are nonetheless as corrupt and heartless as their patriarchal predecessors. Women are empowered as long as their status neglects their repressed individuality.

As the Food Network’s culinary crafts and Michelle Obama’s presidential-approved modesty continue to symbolize the scent of a woman, such women continue to lust after men who reciprocate their normalized behavior. It’s the all-American men, who can pick them up and save their souls, who hang on the walls of aspiring pin-up girls and college-educated women.

Passing the test of time, the idea of masculinity versus femininity continues to prevail in the media’s collective mindset that the likes of Beyonce and Justin Bieber personify — it seems as though one’s sexuality is defined by how much one desires such expressions of beauty. Overlooking intricacies of human nature leads to the hopeless infatuation of such aesthetic perfection.

Whether you want to be a man, or act like a lady, know who you are before you make a commitment. In a world where men are teased for enjoying “girly” cocktails like Pina Coladas and women are praised for playing video games, it’s no wonder that 50 percent of marriages result in divorce. We commit to such romanticized norms of the perfect lover that any kind of distinction is seen as an extraordinary quirk.

I forget the feminist in me each time I look a girl up and down, but why do I feel silly when I do the same with men? I have two more years of collegiate experimentation to test my media-determinist hypothesis, but something tells me that my appreciation for beauty is beyond salivation.

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