Monday, June 21, 2010

Oh, brother

I thoroughly enjoy my brother. As in he is probably one of my favorite people. Given that we both tend to be a bit esoteric (incorporating my GRE words!) I enjoy him all the more. We both became feminists at the same time, and whenever we are together we often will discuss the problem with The Man, capitalism, or some other social problem as Matt has one of the best sociological imaginations ever--fun times! Matt always has interesting things going on as he is an activist and he lives in Portland, both things of when combined will lead to very interesting stories. My favorite thing is to tell people that my brother is a bike riding feminist vegetarian Women's Studies major from Portland, OR because they often do not know what to do with this information, because he is very a-typical for what a "stereotypical" or "generic" white guy "should" be (this is a long explanation and I am thinking of a particular passage in a Michael Kimmel book, but I shan't elaborate), which makes me enjoy him all the more. Oh. And my brother is hilarious and probably one of the most witty people you will ever meet (in my humble opinion).

Matt and I were discussing gender as usual given that this is a high area of interest to us both, and one of my favorite facts to share with people is the *shocking* fact that colors for boys and girls are SOCIALIZED (we teach kids to identify with these colors) in--gasp--boys don't like blue coming out of the womb and girls don't "naturally" like pink. It's true. In fact, in many cultures, men wear pink, and only in America do you find men so reviled by pink (and, I don't think it's that horrendous of a's just light red, geez). It also irritates me to no end because girls can wear blue but if boys wear pink they're like, "totally gay," or something--it's only because it's considered "feminine," which is insulting to girls and women (and gay people!), frankly. BAH. But I digress. If I remember correctly from my Intro to Sociology class, we actually used to dress little boys in pink up until the war where we were fighting the communists (or "pinkos"), and you cannot send troops over who are wearing pink to fight the pinko commies--hence let's put girls in pink and boys in the opposite color-blue (though technically on the color wheel the opposite would be green I suppose--Christmas all year round!). I love telling people this, because they usually don't know what to do. Their world caves in a little bit, which is always fun for me. Anyways, Matt and I were chatting online the other day. Matt works at the Mac store and at the end of our conversation he said, "Well, I need to go to bed so I can wake up and serve a capitalist system tomorrow. 'Which i phone case should I buy?'" he said, mocking Generic Customer. "Oooh just for funsies you should suggest pink i phone cases to the men just to see what they do," I suggested. Being a person who understands things like socialization, and given that he's a bit sassy, Matt went on to tell me that he did indeed do this already. "What do they do?!" I asked, knowing the answer already because sociologists can predict these things, you know (it's really fun). "Oh they either get really uncomfortable, defensive, stop talking to me, or say 'uhhh aren't those for girls??' to which I respond 'Hmmm it doesn't say that on the box...'" This was absolutely hilarious (and absolutely ridiculous) to me from a sociological standpoint on so many levels. Oh the constraints of masculinity, how they are just SO fascinating!!! Minds are so fun to play with.

This is my brother. He is neat.

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