Out of the Gender Box
Dear ‘the media’,
Thank you for giving me an identity that I didn’t have to think about or ask for. I must commend you on your skills of creating identity ideals, more importantly your creation and maintenance of the gender mold.
Through gender, many things in the world have happened. There are now men and women with a clear divide between them. Sure some of the original ideals of gender have been lost, like women now have the ability to work a “man’s” job and hypothetically it is acceptable for a man to show his feminine side, but the divide is still there. Little girls now know what ideal women believe in, and little boys now know what kind of man to be. Has there ever been a time without gender?
A few things about your idea of gender concern me, however. Why do you never talk about the non-gender specific? It’s not that you don’t accept them, but it seems that to you they don’t even exist. The concept of gender is also entirely unnatural. Once upon a time women and men were clothes-less hairy people. Now we have clothing and societal ideals that are supposed to give us identity. All of my life I have been “identified” as feminine, but now that I am thinking about it I don’t know how much o f the feminine image I actually identify with. I don’t shave, does that make me manlier? I don’t do it to be more like a man; I do it to celebrate life. I don’t feel entirely comfortable showing that part of my identity because of everything you have taught me about what it is to be feminine. Should I be ashamed of this part of my identity? Is identifying with a gender even necessary?
Take for example the woman who wants to identify as a woman but doesn’t want to be associated with any or all of the things society says are womanly. Would she still be identifying as a woman in that case? Or what about the man who feels human and wants to have a safe place to cry?
Another place I think we have differing opinions, Media, is your sexual representation of gender. Gender is not a sexual thing, though you’ve exploited it as such. I suppose though it is up to you, the creator of gender, to define this, not us.
I think the main issue here is that whether we like it or not, gender has got it’s claws wrapped around the necks of each individual in society. It puts up walls of fear and isolation. It is an issue not just for those who identify as non-gender specific, but it is also an issue for all of us who are ‘represented’ through you, Media. In fact, I think society could have avoided many catastrophic events if gender had never been invented.
Let’s face it: this society is hypocritical and you are a tool of society. It is through you that we create this criminal box of gender. In a society that claims to accepting and a safe place to express yourself, boxing people in with gender is unacceptable. “Equal but different” applies to the gender issue as well and true equality will not be reached until gender is dispensed. Media, you advertise equality, you advertise embracing identity, but none of us have our own identities. Why, I’d even go so far as to say that you’ve stolen our identities!
Media, you should be ashamed and disgusted with yourself. But wait, aren’t there people who are boxed in by gender behind you? Why do we allow this oppressive force to destroy communications and progression into better times?
In closing I would like to say goodbye to gender with hopes of a diverse and androgynous society and request for it to be created through you.