Steak and Blowjobs

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This is guest post by Dora Meade who is an editor at Shopping Hour Magazine

The month of March is now home to ‘Steak and Blow-Job Day’, a day that claims to make amends for the twenty-four hour onus put on the male population during the 14th February. Valentines apparently entail chocolates, flowers, cards and being nice to your other half – SBJ demands reciprocity, a simple plea for women to give a blow job and replenish some red blood cells.

Having been asked to write a response to those creative enough to think up SBJ and the individuals that presumably enact it, I thought it more interesting to think about the impact that the gender binary, typified by these two days, has on human relationships.

I took an unusual trip to Hamleys toy store before Christmas and was taken aback by the seemingly untouched gender stereotypes on the shop floor. The top level is dedicated to those with XY chromosomes; the present of choice that year was a remote control aeroplane, its most attractive feature being that you could crash it into the ground repeatedly without sustaining lasting damage. One floor below and the choice was a more complex one – miniature hoover or iron? Which doll with which bowel dysfunction?

I hope it would be hard for anyone to visit the department store and, if pressed, not be able to see the correlation between male and female stereotypes and the toys that are placed in the hands of the young. However, beyond the constraining nature of the roles themselves, it is the gulf that this creates between men and women, premised on the assumption that they have different motivations, desires, wants and needs.

Meaningful, fulfilling and healthy relationships between people of the opposite sex – whether a friendship or a relationship – are put under strain whilst gender difference, embodied by the Hamleys shop floors and the Valentines / SBJ dichotomy, are maintained and celebrated. Thus, it is on the escalator between the two floors of Hamleys that the battlefield lies. It is the perceived distinction between men and women that legitimates the often-heard exclamations – ‘bloody men!’ or ‘All women are crazy!’ – it clogs up communication, exacerbates sexual insecurity and leaves people lonely. Whilst the world can pretend that it is only men who enjoy oral sex and women who gain from emotional openness, we are pigeon holed, learning no more about our male/female counterparts or ourselves.

Running in parallel to rigid gender roles and the acceptance that we come from different planets, is the demand that we should marry, reproduce and get a mortgage. How are we to remedy this paradox? Having to spend the rest of our lives inhabiting a small box with a creature we little understand or like. Perhaps it is no wonder that some people have responded by cornering off a day, a mere twenty-four hours, in which they can actually enjoy being in a relationship. The other 364 days must be a struggle.

Comments
One Response to “Steak and Blowjobs”
  1. ian cross says:

    is the picture a steak or a blowjob gone wrong?

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