“They Asked If I Was Going To Let Him Out In Public”: Mom Defends Son’s Decision To Paint His Nails Against Grandparents’ Homophobic Comments
You’d think that in this day and age, nail polish wouldn’t be so controversial. The post “They Asked If I Was Going To Let Him Out In Public": Mom Defends Son’s Decision To Paint His Nails Against Grandparents’ Homophobic Comments first appeared on Bored Panda.
You’d think that in this day and age, nail polish wouldn’t be so controversial. Unfortunately, some people still think that something as innocent as painting your nails is a sign of the end times. And it can hurt a lot when you realize it’s not just some strangers who think that, but your own family members.
Redditor u/LevelDonkey6674, a mom, opened up to the AITA online community about how she strictly limited how much she’s talking to her parents after what they said about her son, who’d decided to paint his nails. According to the grandparents, the OP was supposedly “forcing a homosexual agenda.” You’ll find the full story, as well as how the internet praised the mom for being a great parent, below. Bored Panda has reached out to u/LevelDonkey6674 via Reddit, and we’ll update the article once we hear back from her.
Some people are so rigid in their understanding of the world that they can’t stomach the idea of a man doing something ‘girly’
Image credits: KYNASTUDIO (not the actual photo)
A mom shared how her own parents criticized her for supporting his son’s decision to paint his nails
Image credits: LevelDonkey6674
Image credits: Nikoline Arns (not the actual photo)
The mom made it clear that the grandparents’ attitude had consequences
According to redditor u/LevelDonkey6674, her own parents believe that she was somehow encouraging her son to be homosexual. At the time of writing, the OP explained how she limited her interactions with her parents, and started monitoring her children’s chats and calls with their grandparents, to make sure they weren’t “exposed to negativity.”
There are two main issues at play here. The first is that the kid’s grandparents seem to believe that there’s something ‘wrong’ with having a non-traditional sexual orientation. The second problem is that they appear to associate nail painting with homosexuality.
Painting your nails is a superficial activity that doesn’t tell you anything about someone’s orientation. However, people who cling to old gender norms believe that it does. For them, nail polish is something ‘girl’ and ‘unmanly.’ As though a single activity defines who someone is or hopes to be. And if you look further back in history, you can find proof that painting your nails used to be something some men used to do. Norms and what certain behaviors mean change over time.
Some men painted their nails in the ancient world as well
The Guardian points out that men painting their nails has been a thing for thousands and thousands of years. For instance, a 2018 paper from the University of Rochester Medical Center found that, in 3500 BC, Babylonian warriors “adorned their nails with ground minerals as part of a pre-battle ritual designed to intimidate their enemies.” There’s also evidence that men in ancient Egypt and China used to paint their nails, too.
In the same vein, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with enjoying cooking, gardening, flowers, baths, dancing, singing, or wearing fashion-forward clothing. These are all ways to express yourself and enjoy life. Unfortunately, some people have such a rigid understanding of what men and women ‘should’ do that they’re blind to the nuances of modern life. Or they’re unwilling to put their family’s needs ahead of their pride and desire for a ‘positive’ reputation.
Toxic and healthy masculinity look nothing alike
A lot of these attitudes towards painting nails and similar activities are linked to toxic masculinity, the understanding that men ‘have to’ behave a certain way. Men who embrace toxic masculinity tend to have a very negative perspective on women’s rights and also have homophobic attitudes.
This toxicity stems from the idea that men should never be seen as weak, or soft. Instead, they’re expected to always be competitive, aggressive, and avoid being vulnerable when it comes to their feelings. On the flip side, healthy masculinity means embracing your emotions instead of repressing them, being self-reflective, having no issue with others’ challenging your opinions, and being tolerant of others.
Some areas of life are still chock full of traditional gender norms. For instance, sport is a field where men have very little freedom to deviate from what society deems acceptable. A 2006 study done by The Pennsylvania State University found that women have more freedom to participate in masculine activities than men do.
“Girls and women are at less risk for gender stigma if they pursue masculine activities than boys and men if they pursue feminine activities. This may be due to a higher social value and status assigned to masculine activities and the efforts on the part of girls and women to gain respect by achieving in a traditionally masculine field,” the researchers found.
The post “They Asked If I Was Going To Let Him Out In Public": Mom Defends Son’s Decision To Paint His Nails Against Grandparents’ Homophobic Comments first appeared on Bored Panda.