Throughout my years at BYU-Idaho, I have found myself in a lot of conversations with other college-age young men.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but a frequent topic of conversation for these young men is young women.
They talk about whom they are dating, whom they would like to date and whom they would never date.
These conversations generally tackle such hard-hitting topics as females’ hairstyles, makeup usage and clothing choices.
On more than one occasion, I have heard distraught young men lament something like, “Why can’t girls just stop cutting their hair short?” or, “What is it with girls wearing too much makeup?”
These and questions like them show a problem in the way men think and talk about women. Looking good for men is not the only purpose of a woman.
The women of this school are going through the same stresses and pressures the men are. They are taking difficult calculus and physics classes. They are working their way through school and struggling to keep up with car payments.
I hope we men can find it in our hearts to forgive these women if they don’t have time to do their hair just the way we like it every day.
This, obviously, applies to society as a whole, not just BYU-I.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a Facebook status asking for advice from other women on the pros and cons of a short pixie hairstyle.
In the middle of an in-depth Facebook conversation on the merits and disadvantages of the hairstyle, a few “good men” decided to throw in their comprehensive expert advice on women’s fashion.
“No no no no no,” the first man commented.
A supportive “No” from another man immediately followed.
These men interrupted someone else’s conversation to let this young woman know that she should make the decisions in her life based on, above all else, what men find attractive.
They feel their personal preference is more important than any other factor in a woman’s life.
I guess they think it’s time for women to finally realize that whatever they want to do comes second to what men want them to do.
Most of the men I’ve known at BYU-I, even those who say these generalities about women, are good guys who want to be respectful to everyone.
But women have been forgotten and marginalized for so long that we don’t even notice when we’re doing it.
This is obvious in the way the media treats female public figures.
Female celebrities are the subjects of countless articles wondering how they lost their baby weight and got that new beach bod’.
While men like Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt are allowed to age gracefully, women are constantly reminded how old they now look.
This attitude isn’t OK.
I know we all technically know this, but women are more than what they look like.
We men cannot expect women to make their decisions based on what we want, even if they go crazy and want to wear overalls or something.