Tuxedo Ask

« April 2015 »

Memo to Patrick Taylor: YOU'RE NOT HELPING.

In the sum total of human history, exactly zero fucking good has come from enforcing traditional gender roles. In the sum total of human history, there's been a lot of enforcement of traditional gender roles. Which means, mathematically speaking, the bad to good ratio of endorsing traditional gender roles started at infinite and has been getting larger ever since.

I've never heard an argument for enforcing gender roles that didn't boil down to making other people unhappy so that assholes could feel comfortable. Even when they say it's for people's own good, they don't say why. It just is taken as a given that girls are happier if they act like tradition dictates girls act, and boys act like tradition dictates boys act.

Real happiness, of course, comes from being able to act the way you want to act, as long as you're not hurting anyone else by doing so. And I'm talking about real hurt, not the fake hurt weirdos say they get when they see a girl in a tuxedo.

Which brings us to Monroe, Louisiana, and a principal, Patrick Taylor, who is insisting on a dress code that is preventing a gay student, Claudetteia Love, from wearing a tuxedo to prom. And so Love won't be going to prom.

Forget, if you can, that Love is gay. It's relevant in this case because, well, this is Louisiana and apparently there are a lot of homophobic teachers at Carroll High School, but all that's doing really is affecting the amplitude of the reaction, not the reaction itself. The dress code exists to prevent girls, straight or gay, from wearing tuxedos, because...?

It's not shocking. Victor/Victoria came out 32 years ago, and it wasn't even really shocking then to see a woman in a tux, we just all pretended it was because the woman was Julie Andrews and because we were big into Reagan-era neoconformism back then. We now live in a world where Lady Gaga's meat dress is a passé punchline. A tuxedo is NOTHING.

Love's mother says Principal Taylor told her that "girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes and that's the way it is". Which is three separate lies, which, even if they weren't lies, wouldn't make for a particularly compelling argument. The principal may well be uncomfortable with women wearing tuxes because he is a retrograde pigfucker. The staff of the prom may well be uncomfortable for the same reason.

But allowing retrograde pigfuckers to remain comfortable is yet another example of the harm that enforcing traditional gender roles does to people and society. Either they'll get over the minor discomfort and realize they were being retrograde pigfuckers, or they'll spend the rest of their lives in a state of mild discomfort over what this world has become. This is known as a win/win.