I just read this brief article from USA Today about gender/sexuality and identity among youth. There are a couple of problems.

First, the article is a little misleading. Although titled "Young adults 'don't want to be defined by gender, orientation'", the content of the story seems to suggest that this is only true among those who would have identified as LGBT. Second, the write-up suggests that the gender/sexuality rules are more liberating for girls than they are for boys:

"Today, girls are free to do sports and be competitive. No one thought they had to play dumb to get a boyfriend. The women's movement has done great things for middle school girls," she says.

"It's another story with boys. I feel like we're in a time warp. We have not dealt with men and masculinity in a serious enough way," she says.

"Boys police each other. There's no room not to do anything not traditionally masculine."

I agree with most of these points but only in specific contexts. Women's genders/bodies are policed more than ever. Further, as far as romance and wanting to be attractive to boys, I can't even begin to start listing the "rules" girls follow with regard to their identity and presentation of self to be seen as a dating commodity.

THIRD, and finally, one person is quoted saying that:
"we're living in a "post-gay world" where gay celebrities can hawk products that traditionally have been marketed as attractive to the opposite sex. He suggests that society has advanced to the point that companies don't worry about anti-gay bias when seeking spokespeople for products. As examples, he mentioned openly gay actor Neil Patrick Harris as a spokesman for the traditionally male Old Spice deodorant and lesbian talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who is a spokeswoman for Cover Girl cosmetics."

Is this really true? When I think of The Market and issues of identity, I think of how the market uses gay identities as vibrantly defined categories in order to market to certain audiences. Ellen and NPH (particularly Ellen) have wide appeal, but I still think they have gay appeal. What do y'all think?

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