In Biology the other day, we were talking about natural selection. Our Professor asked us to come up with analogies that could be used to describe natural selection. I came up with the analogy of shoe shopping. Shopping for shoes is like favoring traits in an organism. The ones that are awkward sizes or old trends or are just plain hideous are not selected. Gabriel, who sits next to me, also loved the idea.
After coming up with these analogies, the professor asked for the good ones. People started raising their hands and suggesting “Dodge ball” and other mediocre analogies. Clearly I had the best analogy, but as we talked amongst out little circle of friends, it was determined that neither I nor Gabriel could suggest the idea because we were men, and how would that look? Instead, Amy shared the idea. The Professor praised her for her ingeniousness and went off on what a great analogy this was.
I remarked to everyone that I was upset that I didn’t get the credit for such an amazing idea, and that I should have had the guts to raise my hand and give the analogy. Amy’s response was, “Um, no. People would think . . . [dramatic wrist flip] GAY!” Everyone laughed.
I wish I would have done it. I’m sick of gender stereotypes that conform us to acting a certain way. I break that mold when I’m with my friends, but its amazing how much I bend to it in class. What do I have to loose? What do I have to be afraid of? I’m not going to be kicked out of BYU for suggesting shoe shopping as an analogy for natural selection. Why should I be afraid of others suspecting the truth?
Contrast that to one of my print making classes in which one of the girls is dating another Moho. The other day we figured it out and started talking about everything Moho, and I was so dramatic. I acted like I wanted to. There was no restraint. I am proud of who I am and how I am, but I still feel this need to hide it in some settings. What is it that makes me want to stay hidden in a large 100 level Biology class, and feel open in a small 200 level Art class? Hmmmmmm.