Semi-Free Association

So, there’s a big controversy about an ad showing the President of J. Crew and her son. It depicts the boy wearing pink toenail polish. The ad says that pink is her son’s favorite color. It wasn’t long before the Conservatives got word of this, and denounced it, in the words of Erin Brown, as ” blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.”

I wonder if they think playing video games as a character of the opposite sex makes you transgendered, too. I ask because right now I’m playing through the game Fallout: New Vegas again as a female. Last night, I got to the part where Caesar explains his philosophy. (The famed “Hegelian Dialectics” scene.) He says–and I’m paraphrasing here–that the individual must be subordinated to a “single, unifying culture”.

This, in turn, reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s quote: “Classicism is the subordination of the parts to the whole; decadence is the subordination of the whole to the parts.”

Back to the case of the pink toenail advertisement. In essence, the Conservatives are quite upset that the ad because it seems to glorify violating strict gender norms. But why do they care about that, anyway?

The answer, I believe, is that some of the Conservatives care about things like this as means of organizing society. They hold certain ideals of each person’s role in the society according to their gender, among other things. What makes it odd is that half the time, they are complaining of too much government intervention and going on about how individualistic they are. The other half, they’re complaining about things like the wrong people painting their toenails in the wrong colors.

Now, before I get carried away and go calling them hypocrites, I must note that none of them, to my knowledge, have actually called for government intervention to stop unauthorized toenail painting. So, this isn’t a contradiction, exactly. But it is nonetheless odd.

I think it goes back to the “Nationalism/Materialism” thing. The Materialistic side of the Republican party wants to be free to make vast amounts of money. The Nationalistic side, although they pretty much go along with this, don’t always see things that way. They believe people ought to conform to their idealized society.

(Hat Tip to Thingy)


  1. I just want to know why they feel the need to place everyone in a certain mold? It's impossible and certainly not realistic. How many times have we seen people use that 'box' ie; the good church going married man who on the side likes to sit in public bathrooms cruising for boys.I saw the ad as sweet and full of love. Others saw it as dangerous and foreboding.I'm sure I have said it before, but I will never understand why they think the way they do.This was a very interesting post. Thanks.P.S. Do you feel different playing a role as a girl?

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