Boys — It’s not a woman’s job to look pretty for you

When actress/writer/producer/singer/gamer Felicia Day cuts her hair, that’s all some guys can focus on.

So here’s my anti-sexism two cents.

I see it frequently in the comments sections of various websites, most often YouTube. A video features a pretty woman displaying her talents — whether it’s singing, acting, magic, whatever the case may be — and the comments become a forum on her looks. Boys discuss to what degree they would or would not “do” her, and they find no other aspect of the video sufficiently noteworthy to comment. It’s the digital equivalent of catcalling.

They act like they’re somehow owed beautiful women to ogle. They lament that a particular woman isn’t hotter, and meanwhile they haven’t exercised all week.

Remember this, boys: It’s not a woman’s job to look pretty for you.

I understand most males are genetically hardwired to appreciate a woman’s beauty. “Appreciating” is fine when done with respect. “Objectifying” is not. And in every woman, there’s a lot more than beauty to appreciate.

Now please direct your attention to the Bangles. Yes, the Bangles from the 80s. Hopefully, the sheer randomness of the example will stun some sense into you.

Watch this video of the band rocking out to “Hazy Shade of Winter.” Look beyond their appearance. Observe their eyes and how much fun they’re having. Pay attention to their talent. Notice the charisma they exude as they do what they love and excel at it. And then love them for it, regardless of whether you find them attractive.

That’s the key here. You have to love people.

Love doesn’t have to be romantic or mushy, and it shouldn’t be reserved solely for people you want to sleep with. Love is simply appreciating people for who they are — an unconditional acceptance of another person’s humanity.

Next time to you see an attractive woman, whether in person or in the media, pay attention to who she is (without any creepy staring, of course).

You may appreciate her physical beauty, too, but only as you would a work of art — and you don’t want to fondle or catcall art, right? But remember this about art: there’s always more going on than you can see. More layers of complexity exist than you’ll ever know. So much goes into the making of art — lots of good days, lots of bad days, lots of sacrifices, lots of compromises — lots of hopes and dreams — just like a lot went into making you who you are.

You’re a work of art. She’s a work of art. You’re a person, so she’s a (surely you can fill in the blank by now).

Appreciate the whole woman. She’s not there to give you pleasure. She’s there to strive toward her own dreams.

And think: If someone brightens your day — if a woman’s charm lifts your spirits — how do you return the favor? Become a man capable of brightening a person’s day. If you’re not in a position to do it for her, then help out someone else.

Going back to the whole Felicia Day haircut incident…You know what’s great about Felicia Day?

She’s found a way to earn a living doing what she loves, and she’s accomplished it with a do-it-yourself attitude. She made The Guild happen. She made Geek and Sundry happen. She’s an entrepreneur who has created things that bring joy to people. Her stuff might not be for everyone, but there’s a segment of the population out there whose lives have been somehow enriched by her efforts. Could be she’s given them a laugh or she’s let them know, “Hey, it’s okay to openly enjoy these geeky things.” And it looks like she’s enjoyed doing it.

That and more make her an amazing person. Not her haircut.