Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Getting Bent Out Of Shape On Gender Stereotypes

So we're going to keep this short and sweet today but I wanted to share a small slice of serious pie with you.

Lately I've been stumbling across a few videos from (mostly female) vloggers claiming that they are "bad women" because of various reasons.

Let me clarify this a bit because I realize this could sound like something sexual and that's not what any of us mean at all.

What they are saying is that they do not fit into the "female stereotype" and apparently this makes them a bad example of the female gender and this honestly breaks my heart just a bit.

"I never have perfect nails," one said.

Another cited loving video games (which I don't think should ever be considered a gender-specific quality) as to why she made a bad woman.

I occasionally see this confusion of "rejecting gender stereotypes" with "rejecting gender" in men but society tends to put this weird stress on not admitting when you aren't "manly".

Yet there is also this bizarre prestige in admitting you aren't a "girly girl". Like being a part of that gender is wrong or undesirable.

Both genders get kind of screwed over in this weird battle for identity vs your gender identity...

So I'm going to state this as stupidly plain as I can.

First, there is more to gender than the two cookie-cutter ideas we have carved out.

Second--and most importantly--the only thing that makes you one gender or the other--is it's what you identify as. 

That's it.

And there is no wrong or right answer.

You can be a man who likes decorating--this does not make you less of a man.

You can be a woman who loves sports or only shaves her legs once every five months. You are still a woman.

You could even be born as one gender but identify as the other--what you were born as does not change who you are now.

You're you. You're something to be proud of.

Unless you're an asshole. Then you may want to work on being a bit kinder to those around you.

But seriously. Kick stereotypes in the teeth and don't let them ever feel like less than what you are.

6 comments:

  1. Its sad that this is even an issue in our society.

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  2. It depresses that an idea like this still needs to be verbalized to this day to be honest.

    It is completely absurd to think for even a second that by virtue of choices you make, what you enjoy and/or how you look or act that you are less of a woman/man.

    However, what actually worries me is when you see an external force asserting that by virtue of these things or generally not fitting THEIR perception of how a particular gender should comport itself you are a detriment to that gender.

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  3. Hear, hear! This gender role bs has really started to get old. Whether you are talking about this whole preposterous "fake" geek girl thing, or larger issues in society as a whole. I think that so many people are starting to openly push the boundaries of these "accepted" roles, that the push back from people who are uncomfortable with them changing has become more fierce.

    This is especially upsetting stuff to see from groups or cultures you would think should be more open. I mean you would expect to see the sort of clutching a straws of gender bias with the more conservative base. However I'm occasionally quit shocked when I hear these ingrained stereotypes being parroted by people who should frankly know better. For example the whole "fake" geek girl thing. You would think to see people be more open in kind in a community made up of people who have struggled with acceptance and the ridicule of others. What people are, and what they are like is not purely dictated by the gender, and it's so shot sighted to think that way.

    Being a man I know I don't have a lot of room to comment on what struggles women may face. I always do my best to empathize with your position though, even if I can't truly understand what you have to go through. However I have certainly felt the constant pressure to "be a man" and that being vulnerable or emotional is weak. A lot of people ostensibly say that men are more allowed to have an emotional side now. However in my own experience this is still looked down on in the back of people's heads from the ingrained gender roles. I had a relationship with a woman who was very much about transcending the female gender stereotype and yet our relationship eventually ended because I wasn't "manly" enough.

    So I guess it's just weird how much of this stuff persists in the back of people's minds, even if you would think they should be able to move past it. It's hard for me to wrap my head around honestly but I hold out hope things will get better. I would love to see people being accepted one day for who they are, and who they want to be; rather than who someone else thinks they should be.

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    Replies
    1. You. I'm giving you a big electronic hug - not even a manhug - because screw gender stereotypes.

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