Two cents on acceptance
Lately I’ve run across a lot of rants about gender and sexuality, ranging from Revanchist’s “Sex & Gender Roles in Modern Video Games” to Transfinite’s “deviantART, binarism, and transphobia” (and the related dmarling’s “Genital Essentialism and Trans Erasure”) to Nerdy Apple Bottom’s “My son is gay”.
Having read all the above articles along with a variety of comments I felt the need to put down my own thoughts on the subject.
When I were little I guess I were like most “girls”, I loved dresses, pretty shoes and horses. As I got older though I stopped wearing dresses, I hated skirts and I would rather have a pair of sneakers than high heels. The rest of my interests started gravitating towards the more “male” designated areas as well, with computers, programming, video games and the likes. In school I’ve just about always preferred to hang around with the guys rather than the girls for various reasons but mostly because they shared more interests with me. All in all I suppose you could say I grew to be a “tomboy”.
Now, as far as my genitalia goes, I’m female. Far as my mind goes, I couldn’t honestly say and frankly I don’t really care if I’m female, male, transgendered or what have you. Which brings me to my point, why do gender/sex matter? The labeling may have served a purpose in ages past, but what does it matter now?
We are all individuals and individuals are complex creatures. If I use myself as an example, my genitalia says one thing, half my mind says the same while the other half says something else. According to current “labeling rules” I am by all accounts female, but to be honest I don’t necessarily feel female. That said, I don’t feel male either. All I know and feel is that I am me, I got traits that are “typically female” and “typically male” and I don’t really feel at home in either camp so to speak.
As for the sexual aspect, while I do have female genitalia I don’t see why I shouldn’t be socially allowed to say dress like a man or try to grow a beard or whatever. It’s a tad hard being on the female side of the fence, seeing as women dressing as men isn’t really a “problem” in today’s society. It’s worse for the people with male genitalia who happens to like putting on a dress. Why can’t people be allowed to dress the way they want? What is it that’s so wrong about someone defined as a man wearing a dress?
For me it all boils down to ancient labels that really doesn’t have a place in our current society. People are people, get to know the individual rather than shun someone because he/she/it doesn’t fit the norm.
I’m probably going to get a lot of flak for this, but really now, if we so desperately need to cling to labels then we really aren’t such an advanced society as we would like to think. Throughout our history we’ve clung to religion and superstition to explain what we don’t know and to me, the way we are clinging to labels now is the same. We’re so scared of things we don’t know that we have to put people into small, neat boxes to be comfortable and if someone challenges this and breaks out of the box, they are shunned by the masses who (generally) pretend to fit into the box to avoid having it happen to them.
And really, the whole gender debate isn’t just about genders and sex, but it boils down to if we are to tolerate people not fitting within our age old norms or not. It’s hard trying to shed old ways of thinking, after all they’ve been there for centuries. Just look at the whole feminism and equality debate, for the longest time women were considered inferior to men and we still haven’t quite shed that train of thought.
From my point of view, it’s up to every single person to take their stand if they are going to be accepting of the individuals or if they want to keep the hivemind way of thinking.
To me, the way we are in some ways shedding our gender and blurring the stale old lines between them is like evolution, but rather than evolution of our bodies, it’s one of the mind. If we are to become more accepting and learn to think not outside, but without the box then we have to have more diversity in the first place. Society grew stale within the social walls it set up, so to break free individual diversity came to be. Diversity has always been there, but now it’s ripe to actually make itself known. We don’t really need to cling to old walls now, do we? I mean, we are supposed to be the supreme life form on this planet after all. The least we could do is actually stand on our own two legs mentally as well and be accepting of our differences in such basic things as who we love, how we dress and who we consider friends.
That turned out longer than I first intended, but hopefully it still makes some sort of sense. It’s been a while since I voiced my opinion and thoughts in this manner.