Today one of my classes dealt with gender construct; how society expects people to act certain ways in accordance to their gender, or else. Sometimes the punishment is light, in the form of criticism, sometimes it’s extremer, in the case of transsexuals being beat and murdered all over the world.
Anyway, what I find interesting about gender is how I often define myself by it, positively or negatively. If I don’t know how to do something, I’ll often joke “I’m a girl! We don’t do that!”, even though I don’t like stereotypes and consider myself the equal of any male – I just have the disadvantage that I wasn’t taught technical stuff growing up like many boys are. And I, along with some of my friends, sometimes feel the need to assure people that “I’m not that kind of girl”, meaning, that I’m not very feminine in a girly way. Sure, I like shoes, but I don’t spend all my time shopping, don’t squeal at every little thing, and I don’t mind getting my hands dirty.
But why do I feel that I’m not feminine? When I think about it, I realize that there are many different ways of being feminine, and that wearing pink is just one of them. And I don’t want to be a man, even if being a woman in a man’s world is kind of confusing sometimes. Yet I hate the fact that I sometimes confirm female stereotypes – I really cannot read a map to save my life, I don’t really know what I’m doing on the computer, I don’t like the dark…
Did you notice those all are negative statements? I could just have easily have said that I like to take care of people, live in a clean environment and am in need of regular communication with those around me. These are also seen as female ‘things’. Yet the first things that lept to my mind were negative.
Hmm. This is turning out to be more random than most of my posts, but these are some things I”ve been thinking about lately. Respond if you think I’ve made sense, and if you’ve thought about these things yourself. I’m wondering how (and if) other people think about gender. And I realize there are many things to be said about it; maybe I’ll write about it again another time.