Getting ready for work this morning, I discovered I was out of soap in the shower. No worries, though--my wife had a fresh bar at hand, only it was pink and smelled of flowers. I would have preferred a bar with something gritty in it that smelled of pine or something, but beggars can't be choosers. Fortunately, my boy bits didn't fall off right there in the shower. As best as I can tell, despite using a feminine bar of soap this morning, my manhood has made it through the day intact. The soap aisle has become an odd place of gender solidarity these days. I don't think it used to be that way, but maybe it's just that growing up we always used whatever soap was cheapest.
Today every personal hygiene product imaginable comes with the gender of its target consumer clear. There's a section of soaps with hues ranging from manly blues to masculine browns, and then there's a section of soaps with colors beginning at feminine pinks and extending to girlie lavenders. They have scents to match. On the very bottom shelf you can find a few cheap bars that are white or maybe green.
I don't know how it is that gender conformity pushes our buttons so, but I do know that I prefer my manly man soap, even if there's no good reason. I wonder sometimes if this gender-based soap segregation isn't a result of our increasingly, but certainly not perfectly, gender-mixed society: since my my profession no longer uniquely identifies me as a man, I damn well want to use a soap that screams with masculinity.
I'm not willing to track across the bathroom dripping wet to scream my gender, though.