April 24th, 2012 19:35 EST
Boy Meets Girl: Redefining Gender Identity
Gender Identity is typically programmed into us the moment we are born.
We even color code gender: pink for girls; blue for boys.
Illustrated by yin and yang, masculine and feminine traits are considered categorical and distinct.
Women are soft and passive; men are strong and active.
Gender identity if contrived into stereotypes. Like actors associated with a particular role, we become type cast by into male or female assumptions and expectations of behavior.
We are allotted only two options, male or female. We cannot be both. We are not supposed to have characteristics of both.
But like the erroneous deception of our two party political system in America, this illusion is false dichotomy.
Gender identity is not necessarily an absolute either/or proposition. The issue is much more complex and diverse than we are led to believe by the simplistic conceptualizations the mainstream prefers.
Why are some clothes deemed and designed as gender specific? Why is it thought inappropriate and unacceptable for males to wear dresses or panties? Why do males and females get a separate style and fabric of underwear?
And yet, hypocritically and contradictorily, it is now ok for women to wear men`s clothing.
We conceive toys and interests to be gendered. Science fiction and comic books are still considered by the mainstream to be for boys, not for girls. We perpetuate the delusion that males must innately like sports, cars, s[e]x and violence... and that women intrinsically like fashion, shopping, food and babies.
Such attitudes are not only misinformed, but become self-fulfilling prophecy.
But what about those who don`t fit into male or female check boxes? Gender identity is not defined merely by what s[e]x organs we are born with. There is a varied spectrum between male and female that includes transgender, hermaphrodites and homos[e]xuals.
Throughout human history. These forms have existed, but we`ve preferred to pretend they don`t. And while these alternatives may be exceptions to the rule, they are actually much more common than most of us are aware. More than most of us are comfortable acknowledging and accepting.
What about females who are born with males genitalia? What about girls who are interested in boy things ", or boys interested in girl things "? What about boys born into girl bodies and girls born into boy bodies? What about boys in touch with their feminine side, and girls in touch with their masculine side?
In doing this, are we not engaged in a form of gender bullying?
It is time for us to recognize gender identity for what it is: obsolete, irrelevant and detrimentally divisive.