Gender roles are a lot like stereotypes for what kind of reproductive equipment someone’s got, and it can be a pretty touchy topic these days. A master mechanic pops the hood of a car and is swarmed by helpful men, because she’s a woman. Helpful women materialize like fairy godmothers around a crying baby in a grocery store, because the little one is strapped to a man’s chest.
To me, they seem almost like constructs that were invented so people could pretend they knew something about one another automatically, without the whole actually “getting to know” part. Or maybe it was just to make an easier job of deciding what color the nursery should be.
Women have sought equality for… forever, really. Fighting for their chance to live a life without the strangulating boundaries of deep-seated, social expectation and restriction based on their sex. Gender issues are parallel, but different than an issue solely of equality, though. Men are generally considered the freer and more privileged of the sexes, but a man can still be victimized by gender roles and get dragged by his parents, community or culture into being something “manly” like an athlete or lumberjack, when all he may have wanted to do was paint or press wild flowers.
I found this series of Disney female characters dressed up in their male counterpart’s clothing to be a wonderful and whimsical chance to look from a new vantage at the concepts of gender roles, and examine some of the ingrained expectations we can sometimes have without ever really being aware we have them.
Special thanks to the artist, Haruki Godo (godohelp on deviantart.com, for permission to present his artwork. Thanks also for being amazing.