Blurred Lines: Gender Equality


“I really need a mani-pedi today,” my boyfriend said on Sunday. It’s something I introduced him to that he now loves.

When we walked out of the salon his first time, he started skipping down the street saying “I feel like I’m walking on air! Look how clean my hands are!” This was exactly the response I’d expect from a manly man who finally submits to pampering. This man is a six-day-a-week hardwarian, a term he created for his 10-hour days as co-owner, operator and manager of his family hardware store, which involves a lot of dirt, grime and heavy lifting.

Most nail salons charge more for men than women. My nail specialist said it’s because there is more area to cover, but at the same time, I was thinking that my man is not getting polish, a base coat or top coat and needs no dry time, so doesn’t that equalize the p(l)aying field?

On the price difference, my boyfriend said, “That’s so sexist.” It is, right? Then I had another thought: Men make more than women for doing the same job in the work force, so perhaps they should pay more for their maintenance. Plus, women have a lot more maintenance practices than men, being that this is a man’s world and we are often objectified and defined by our looks above all else.

But then what about this? With the LGBTQIA community in mind, how is a salon to decide who is a man or a woman? What if I was born a man but identify myself as a woman? Which price will I be charged to get a mani-pedi?

I don’t get this country. At all. American citizens should pay the same prices for the same services, and we should be able to choose where we get those services. It’s one thing to offer a discount for a child, senior citizen or a veteran, but quite another to be charged based solely on gender (or paid solely on gender). That’s not cool.

There is still so much more work to be done.


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