As Long As Men Can Cry Over Sports, I Can Cry Over A Boy Band

As Long As Men Can Cry Over Sports, I Can Cry Over A Boy Band

This double standard is rooted in sexism.

A large chunk of my life has been spent learning about and listening to the music of my favorite band at the time, and those bands have always been boy bands. Even though my music taste is wide-ranged and I enjoy discovering new artists from different genres, I have never been able to connect with a band as much as I have been able to with a boy band.

In Elementary school, I was a fan of the Jonas Brothers and Big Time Rush, but I did not reach a deep level of love for a band until I found One Direction. They completely changed my life. I felt at home when I watched their interviews and listened to their songs, but there was a bitter truth that I had to face as a fan. Throughout the years of me supporting them, I had to listen to countless people make fun of me for it.

I was told to “get a life” because One Direction would never know I exist. I had my taste in music bashed because their music “had no substance.” And when One Direction decided to go on a hiatus, I was laughed at for being heartbroken.

My experiences are not unique because this happens to every single woman that is or was a fan of a boy band. We have our intelligence questioned and are ridiculed for forming an emotional bond with the members. We are seen as pathetic in finding comfort in a celebrity, so why are men allowed to find comfort in a celebrity athlete?

I have seen men scream and cry over the athletes and sports teams they look up to, and I have seen the exact same reaction from women, except it was towards a boy band. Both situations involve celebrities that will likely never meet you, but it is only seen as acceptable for men to spend their free time loving a group of celebrities.

Sports are seen as inherently masculine and boy bands are seen as inherently feminine, which is why men are praised for having an interest in sports. Anything related to femininity in our society is looked down upon. If you partake in an activity that is labeled as extremely feminine, like being a fan of a boy band, you are belittled.

The difference between how society treats men that are fans of sports and women that are fans of boy bands was one of the first instances of sexism that I recognized in my own life. I always noticed how some people’s perceptions of me would change when they found out that I was a fan of One Direction. It was as if I was no longer as intelligent or powerful because I was embracing an interest of mine that was supposedly only for weak women. I could not understand why something loved by mostly women was trivialized when the things loved by mostly men were highly respected.

Now as an adult, I realize that is it because we have been taught that anything associated with women must be avoided. Women are seen as being unable to comprehend complex hobbies, which is why most people assume that boy bands cannot create songs with deep lyrics or teach their audience important life lessons. I also think that this is why so many girls that grew up liking boy bands force themselves to grow out of it and look back at that time of their lives as foolish.

Even the women that enjoy watching sports or participating in them are still subject to being mocked because once again, sports are seen as “too complex” for women. Men cannot imagine a woman being as talented of an athlete as one of her male counterparts, nor can a woman understand the sport as much as a man can.

The same idea works against men that are fans of boy bands. They are teased for enjoying music that has been deemed simple and worthless. They are also told that they are gay for being a fan because the band is made up of men. Clearly, this logic does not hold because most men that like sports root for teams made up of men, but they are never called gay for it. The men that support a boy band are only called gay because society assumes that women only support boy bands because we find them attractive, so the men must feel the same way as well.

I will never be ashamed of the time I have spent as a fan of One Direction because their music touched my heart in a way that few bands can, and I think that is beautiful.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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