Hot Take: a piece of commentary, typically produced quickly in response to a recent event, whose primary purpose is to attract attention.
This blog is named Caffeinated and Opinionated, mainly because I have many opinions, and I have a lot of hot takes. Which I have previously been really nervous about sharing them on here, because I didn’t want to have to deal with any potential backlash.
But then I realised, I’m allowed to have opinions, and you’re allowed to have opinions, and we can agree, disagree or have a discussion about them.
So this is the first of a potential series of ‘hot takes’.
Liking traditionally feminine things is not inherently worse than liking traditionally masculine things
I want to start off by saying that I think that putting almost every aspect of life (career, fashion, identity) into two very binary ideas pretty restrictive at best, and dangerous at worse. The devaluation of traditionally ‘feminine things’ is not new, Virginia Wolf said; ‘It’s obvious that the values of women differ very often from the values which have been made by the other sex; naturally this is so’. Yet it is the masculine values that prevail. Speaking crudely, football and sport are ‘important’; the worship of fashion, the buying of clothes ‘trivial’. Womens interests, particularly teenage girls interests are viewed as ‘cringe’ by greater culture, and therefore less valued than ‘serious’ culture that men and ‘serious’ people like, and its not fair and its not true. Let women and girls like things.
‘ Feminine’ cultural interests like relationships, pink, fashion and friendship are considered trivial, and ‘masculine’ interests like hunting, finance, and sports are considered more valuable. We can even see this in movies, superhero movies, which the buff, ripped, aggressive guys (basically a male power fantasy) are seen as deep and interesting. But movies about relationships, with a gentle, approachable guys and well rounded female main characters or plots that focus on female friendship are relegated to ‘chick flicks’. This kind of thinking can make people ashamed of their passions, make these areas unworthy of ‘real comment’, and by extension, real criticism.
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, but it’s largely unregulated and unexamined. This kind of thinking can also push men away from fantastic interests, and force them to push down any feelings or interests that are not considered sufficiently manly.
Liking rom-coms, fashion, make up and romance novels is just as valid and culturally important as liking motorbikes, military history and sports. You don’t have to be a specific gender to like these things, and they both hold unique and important value. Let people like things
‘Skinny’ does not equate to ‘healthy’
I feel uncomfortable talking about this, but I think it’s an important stereotype to discuss, just because some is slim, it does not mean they are healthy, and just because someone is fat, it doest mean they are unhealthy. Body weight has a really difficult relationship with health, and because of this stereotype, overweight people often find it harder to get medical treatment. Body weight is clearly an important health factor in some respects, but it is not everything, and by treating like that, we are doing people a disservice.
I am conventionally skinny, and I have an autoimmune disease that means I am at a high risk of colon cancer and other fun diseases, and no one ever questions my health or my life choices. I have a fat friend who eats really healthily, exercises regularly, and is at her natural, healthy weight, which is a larger than average. She is always questioned about her health choices, with faux concern for her wellbeing.Yes, I know that access fat can have a detrimental effect on your health, but it is by no means the only indicator of a healthy life. We should just let people live, your body is no one else’s business.
‘Nice guys’ never get the girls:
Girls LOVE nice guys, guys who are courteous and kind and respectful, we love all of that. Nice guys are wonderful, but being ‘nice’ is a minimum requirement in a relationship and if you are complaining that you’re not getting girls attention because you’re too ‘nice’ maybe you’re not as nice as you think you are. Men who complain that they don’t have good luck with partners, even though they are ‘such a nice guy’ weaponise basic human decency makes people uncomfortable.
- Use shallow kind gestures with the sole plan to seduce women
- Believe that the only reason that the above plan is that ‘women like bad boys’
- Believe that basic human decency and manners make them ‘nice’ and therefore deserve an award.
- Complain about the difference of what women claim to want and what they actually want.
- They blame the other person for their relationship issues
- Lash at women when they are not rewarded for their ‘nice’ behaviour.
- complain about ‘friend zoning’
The friend zone is not a real thing. If someone complains about being in the ‘friend zone’, it means they don’t value you as a friend, but as a sexual object who he ‘deserves’, and if she rejects him, it means that the blame is on her for asserting her boundaries.
By approaching women (and any other potential partner) with an attitude of respect and curiosity, you will create a better relationship based on mutual respect and interest, even if a romantic one does not eventuate.
Of course, this does not include the genuinely wonderful nice guys and girls (and non binary friends) who don’t weaponise their kindness, and are genuinely cool. People are allowed to have preferences, you’re allowed to have preferences, and we are all required to respect other peoples preferences.
What are your hot takes?