This weeks topic is, Queer Theory. The way I see it, queer theory is a matter of deconstructing ideals of what is conceived as ‘normal’ or ‘natural’, in relation to gender and orientation and theorizing how they fall on a spectrum rather than their category. It is, in essence, breaking the hetero-normative mold and fundamentally arguing that the stunted views of society need to be changed in order to better support said society. This theory can be used in relation to consumerism, entertainment, and politics and to be frank, any form of popular culture. A few days ago, I was advised to check out Factual Feminist on Youtube. The host, Christina Sommers has apparently taken some public backlash for her perhaps, ‘unconventional’ feminist ideals. While I have not yet looked into her channel or videos extensively enough to reflect on this opinion itself, I will gladly comment on the connection of this week’s topic to the one video I randomly happened to click on as it coincided quite perfectly. The video, titled “Are gender specific toys a hazard to children?” addresses the topic of gendered toys in terms of production and advertisements. In this video, Sommers agrees that while children should be encouraged to play with all toys, there are simply generalized differences in toy preferences between little boys, and little girls that cannot be ignored. While to a degree, I understand this viewpoint, I am left wondering if it is really as simple as she states. Today’s children are being raised by yesterday’s children and so on; would it not stand to reason that the trickle down effect can be paralleled with gender roles? Perhaps we are still somewhere mid-trickle and the children of today are still thinking in a way that has been impacted from earlier years.
Queer theory takes a fully unique stance in rejecting the notion of sexuality’s automatic relation to gender. – Judith Butler
Maybe, like everything else in life we need to loosen our ideas and understand that while there are unarguable differences between men and women, we are still in the process of breaking up centuries worth of influence to better determine what they may in fact be and along the way, better equipping our children to find their own path regardless of the gender they were born into.