Viewpoint: Stereotypical topics bad for all

By Maleesa Johnson

I have never been much of a feminist. In fact, I generally laugh at females that are self-declared feminists.

If a guy wants to open the door for me, awesome. Be my guest. While you’re at it, go ahead and pay for my meal. I really don’t mind.

However, recent situations have fueled a feminist fire within me.

I was at the pool having a good time with my friends and we started talking about college football.

Like any Baylor Bear might, my friend started trash-talking Johnny Manziel.

Someone rose to his defense by emphasizing that he was the first true freshman to get the Heisman Trophy.

In the heat of the moment, I refuted that Manziel was a redshirt freshman.

This earned me a stare from the argumentative man followed by my favorite challenge: “prove it.” My friend looked it up on his smartphone and said I was indeed correct.

I smiled, expecting the man to walk away in defeat.

My expectation was wrong. Quite wrong. His response was an eloquent “compliment” that amounted to how “hot” I was for knowing that.

I’m not sure how he expected me to react to that.

His not-so-well-versed quip resulted in me scooting away and avoiding him for the rest of my time at the pool.

I will be the first to say I do not know everything about football. I accidentally said Andre Johnson was the quarterback for the Texans a few days ago.

Honestly, I thought the fact about Manziel was common knowledge.

However, I will also say how obnoxious it is when guys overreact to a girl talking about a topic that is supposed to be known as “guy talk.”

Before any male reading this gets upset, I will also say females do it too.

However, our reaction to boys talking “girl talk” is often a more negative reaction.

If a man knows his way around a department store, what colors complement a certain skin tone or takes good care of his nails, females are too quick to find him odd or speculate about his sexual orientation.

This is just as wrong and sexist as the first scenario.

This being said, I would like to establish that there is no “guy talk” more than there is “girl talk.”

Stereotypically, yes, there are topics that each gender will discuss more among themselves. I’m fine with that.

However, I do not think it is too much to ask to let opposing genders in on these conversations without calling her hot, or calling him gay.

Normally, I would let the pool incident slide.

However, this behavior is not limited to football. It is also not limited to the unintentionally derogatory attempts at compliments.

When a female tries to join a discussion about sports or cars, it is not unusual for her to be belittled and treated as though she was out of her element.

This was not meant to be a feminist rant. Rather, I would like it to be seen as a request.

Men, let us join your discussions. We might actually have good input. Ladies, let the guys have their say as well. We can’t act offended for being stereotyped, then turn around and do the same thing.

Maleesa Johnson is a sophomore journalism major from Round Rock. She is a staff writer for the Lariat.