Lifestyle and fashion.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Saying no to gender norms

I can't bite my tongue anymore. I'm saying no to gender. It has gone on for too long and it's just another unnecessary social construction that is really not needed. Why do I disagree with it so much? Because it's damaging. Gender has existed for as long as I can remember and it does more harm than good. To be clear I'm not talking about sex, the biology that defines if we are man or woman. I'm talking about gender the social construction that defines what a man or woman should be.

Pink avocado socks with hearts all over. Yes, worn by me a man.
The problem with gender is that it tries to force people into a category and who really wants that? To be categorised as the same as everyone else, what a boring world that would be. We should be celebrating our differences and enjoy the diversity between each man and each woman. Gender says we should look, act and be a certain way to fit the social construction of man or woman, but if we don't fit into it what does that make us? Where do we belong? Gender in this way is more reclusive than inclusive. Is this not damaging by making people feel less than what they are?

As a man myself I like to think I am no different to my male peers, but according to gender norms I am. I am not fit or muscly. I am not butch. But I am into health and beauty and gardening. So what does this make me? Well obviously not female, but sure as not masculine. But I reject this. I will not allow gender to limit who I am or make me feel any less masculine. This is where I draw the line because labels and categories don't help people, instead they make them feel lost and unsure of how they fit into this world. We're all trying to find our feet in this big'ol place, we don't need gender making things even harder and confusing for us.

But who's to blame? I say the media. As good as this industry can be, it's a money making machine and gender generates profit. Credit to the media, this social construction has made them a very wealthy sector as it's a genius idea, but ethical? No. It preys on our fears of feeling less of a man or woman if we don't buy that 'pen for females' or 'bedding for men'. Silly really, but we all have our pride of owning who we are so we submit to this construction in the hope of finding some gratification. Pink for women, blue for men, perfume for women, cars for men, we've heard it all before. But what if we went against these norms, well, we'd find equality. We would buy things we actually want to buy. We'd do things we actually want to do. We'd forget our pride and enjoy life a little bit more because does fitting into gender really make us happy?

Let me paint you a picture. I once saw a mother tell off her son for picking up 'girly' looking glasses and he cried. I also saw another woman tell off her daughter for buying a blue book instead of a pink book, again the child cried. What if we let children and adults do what they want? They would be happier because those things they want they could have instead of listening to gender which limits them. And surely they'd be more confident as they wouldn't be thinking is this appropriate for my sex to buy, they would just do it and not feel less of themself for going against the norm. Sort of nice, isn't it? Doing what you want, not being tied down and owning who you are.

We can change this. We just need to reject it. Allow your boy to buy a pink pen, allow your girl to buy an army doll, treat yourself to those 'manly' looking shoes if you're a woman and treat yourself to that girly looking sweater if you're a man. Forget the terms masculine and feminine because you are you and nobody can define you. Sure if we were all the same it would be easy to use these terms but none of us are so let's stop being anchored down and pushed about. Own who you are.

What do you think of gender?


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