What is Gender?

Recently, I took my final exams for the semester.  Because of exams, I got to leave school earlier than usual.  I went home, ate lunch, and walked back to school for track practice.  I had rehearsal for a play afterward, so I brought along a bag for my shoes, water bottle, script, and other miscellaneous items. It wasn’t a sling bag or backpack, but a special “tote”-type bag some friends brought back for me from their trip to Boston.  Some kids I encountered on the way to school decided to laugh at the bag because it looked really feminine.  That got my gears turning…

Gender isn't an exact science.

I am male.  I was born male, and will always be male.  But what does being male really mean?  The first things that come to my mind are physical traits: longer limbs, broader shoulders, a deeper voice, and all that.  With some further thought I realized that besides physical traits, the only things people use to distinguish between male and female are materialistic.  Makeup is for girls.  Baseball caps are for boys.  Statements like those aren’t only false, they’re judgmental and limiting.  Some girls totally rock the baseball look, and many boys have discovered they like the way they look with a bit of makeup.  Society has drawn a borderline separating the sexes, a line that neither gender is “supposed” to cross.  Why not?  People are judged by society-generated stereotypes and are told how to be a man or how to be a lady.  It’s not natural.  Doctors don’t tell the sex of a baby based on whether it pops out of the womb wearing a skirt or a jockstrap.

I don’t see why it’s bad for someone to express bits of both masculinity and femininity.  I’m am definitely not transgendered; I am perfectly comfortable being male.  I do, however, have a feminine side that I am equally comfortable expressing.  I just cannot wrap my head around why that’s such a problem.  I’ve observed that people are even harder on boys (that might be because I am a boy…what do you think about this, girls?) when it comes to stepping over the gender line.  Boys seem to do it less, so when one does it’s seen as a huge deal.  It really shouldn’t be.  If you ask me, it’s worse when one chooses not to express oneself out of fear than when one does so in a “controversial” way.

In my eyes gender is a physical thing.  I don’t think stupid things like makeup, clothes, mannerisms, and tastes can force the soul into a gender mold.  People may try, but it’s wasted effort.  Expressing yourself in ways more commonly associated with the opposite sex doesn’t make you homosexual, transgendered, or weird, it makes you a multifaceted, true-to-yourself person.  Be yourself.

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7 thoughts on “What is Gender?

  1. I think it’s hard for both genders… I just hate the borderline, I think it also makes it difficult for younger kids to make friends with people of the opposite gender because people are all like “no, don’t play with them, they’re too rough” or “oh, don’t spend all your time with a bunch of girly-girls”.
    And why are there movies called “chick flicks”? I’ve known boys who watch them. And I’m a “chick” (actually, I’m a spider) and I HATE those movies.
    And what’s up with “great books for boys”? My friends and I read Alex Rider, and we’re kind of, um… FEMALE.
    And the whole “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” thing is getting kind of old. This is the 21st century!!!
    And by the way, there is NOTHING weird about the fact that I play Assassin’s Creed and various online stick shooters.
    And also, gender stereotypes are really IDIOTIC, not all girls are stupid, not all boys are crazy about football (or soccer if you’re American).
    I can’t believe we even have to bring up this issue, it’s STUPID.
    Yeah. Sorry about the super-long comment, it’s practically a reply post. xD

    • Thanks spidergirl,
      Don’t worry about length–I agree with everything you said 100%. The fact that this issue has to be brought up IS really sad. It’s the 21st century, after all.

    • Thanks for reading, pobersonaibaho!
      There are a lot of unwritten restrictions for people out there, which is really unfortunate. Let’s keep pushing for change!

  2. Pingback: Happy International Women’s Day (what?) | TheCobwebOfTheWorld

    • Hola! Thanks again! I actually made the image myself a couple of years ago using clips from around the web. I’ll see if I can provide some sort of citation. I’m glad you like it!

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