I have now spent my last two-hour-shift painting nails on the camping. I have painted nails, mostly on young girls. As i sat there and had them in front of me I came to think of how great of an opportunity it was to ask some questions. Just to see how early the patriarchy begins to really affect our life-choices. Most of them were between 6-13 years old.
When I asked what they wanted to become when they grew up the most common answers were things like, doctor, police, scientist etc. Big dreams and jobs that unfortunately are male-dominated, just like the majority of jobs that exist. And when I asked what their favourite subject in school was most of them answered math. Then tell me why jobs that require a high level of education in math are male-dominated? Why isn’t it equal if there, obviously, are girls out there with these big dreams and love for math as well?
The patriarchy slaps us in the face as soon as we are born. We are all raised by a society that expect different things from us, what is expected is decided by what we carry or lack between our legs. (A little side-note: Have you ever realized that the girls are the ones who lack a penis and not the boys who lack a vagina??? It’s because a penis is what you should have to be on the top of the hierarchy in this society, and the ones on top set the rules.)
I noticed how some boys looked a bit curious at what I was doing and I looked up and always asked if they wanted their nails painted as well. I was met by a laugh and the commentaries from the group of boys behind “that’s just for girls”, “don’t be a sissy”.
Their parents form them and they form each other into this stereotypical “macho man” and they are hurt by the patriarchy just as much as the girls that stood, big eyed, behind me and stared at what I was doing. They, just like girls, get pushed into stereotypes filled with expectations and shoes that some of us just cant fill.
I told the group of boys, leaving my table in the sun “I know a lot of boys that wear nail-polish, it’s really cool for everyone to wear it.” They just laugh a bit louder but one boy looked back at me for a millisecond, but then one boy nudged him on the shoulder and they both left. I said behind them “Boys wear nail-polish too.”.