I did it! I finally finished my military service which means… colourful nails! I missed the freedom of choosing the perfect colour to express feelings or just match my outfits throughout each season. For this special occasion, I decided to paint my nails in red. This was probably one of the most exciting moments I had this week. I know that I share this feeling with many of my girl friends but this does not apply to my guy friends, why?
When I ask guys about men painting their nails I almost immediately get answers like “nail polish is for girls” or “only women care about getting their nails done,” which might have been true 20 years ago but not anymore. More than that, even those who are interested in applying nail polish wouldn’t say anything about it so that their friends would make fun of them. Our society have changed so much and for some reason it seems like when we talk about some basic actions that defined femininity and masculinity in the past are still applicable in the present. This is true to other aspects as well: clothing, home chores, sports, occupation and even education. Gender roles and gender inequality are not supposed to be a thing in or lives and the question is what can we do to make this gap a little smaller?
First, accept people’s way of expressing themselves, regardless of their gender or identity. If we give each other a safe place to be who they are, we’ll get a community that all its individuals can freely and safely express their true selves.
Second, raise awareness! It is great that each one of us has mad a step towards a safer community but that’s not enough to make a change. T o make an actual change we need more and more people to progress. The best way is to talk about issues regarding gender roles and norms with friends, family, neighbours or even share content on social media.
Lastly, educate! In my opinion, this one is the most important one to actually build a stable community. To make sure a change isn’t just a temporary change we need to make sure that next generations understand this as well. It is so important to talk with young kids about this because they eventually will become the adults that teach their kids and so on. Moreover, if from a young age we make sure that kids know that gender roles are only imaginary roles, it will be so obvious for them that they can do whatever they want and become whoever they want (with hard work and dedication of course)!
This is, like many other changes society had faced throughout history, is a progress. It will not happen tomorrow. With that being said I hope that soon our global community will be a safe place to all its individuals, regardless of gender, identity or ethnicity.