Thoughts on Gender

I don't think I've ever really liked being treated as my gender. When I was young, I was forced into dance lessons, and although I didn't really like it, it seemed like the only option open to me so I did it. I enjoyed dresses because of the fashion, style and extra comfort, but I didn't associate those ideas with a gender until I noticed women wore dresses and men didn't. Do I care if men wear dresses? Nah, as the wizards going to the Quidditch Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire expressed, more breathing room between the legs! The only thing that makes sense to me is that our ideas of gender come from pre-conceived notions; centuries of social "morals" instilled on society.

What made me the most interested in investigating gender was reading about Germany's allowing a third gender on birth certificates beginning November 1, 2013. Parents in Germany may now allow their child to be "indeterminate" instead of "male" or "female." I would like to consider this idea objectively. I personally like this approach, because it allows me to meet a person and consider them as a person, and not as a gender. Think about it. How many times have you been on a date, and felt the most shy or unease at the fact that it was the opposite sex you had to entertain? Our society puts so much pressure on what is male and what is female, God forgive if a man puts on a pair of heels! Or if a woman gets a buzz cut! And what is most condemning, is how our society makes these outliers out to be weird, when they are only expressing themselves. The fact that society has a "wrong" and "right" way to behave forces individuals with unique tastes to feel ugly and insecure. It is alright for a woman to be emotional, but if a man cries in public that is socially unacceptable. Why? Isn't crying a normal human behavior, regardless of sex? Why can't both men and women feel deep sadness, and express that sadness? It's better to let it out than bury your feelings inside, so I'm told. If a man is very confident in himself, that is beautiful, because the fact that he is confident in himself in such a condemning world is admirable. Same for women.

So, I offer another approach. What if, instead of gender, we viewed our peer as a group of experiences? Stay with me on this one... isn't there a famous proverb that states to truly know someone, we need to walk a mile in his/her shoes? If you truly want to know someone, don't look at their sex, but look at their personality. If you are meeting up with a man, and he is a man that is truly confident in himself, he won't need to be complimented on his muscles or wooed by baby talk, he would just want to share in the special moments that make her or him laugh and smile. If we're going to be honest with ourselves, we don't go on dates to boost our egos (or we shouldn't), we go on dates to feel less alone, and to make a worthy connection. It doesn't matter who the man or woman is, both want to feel worth and respect. Thus, I don't like being treated as a "woman" because frequently I meet people who have the wrong notions of what a woman is, or have these ideas that are just wrong about me. When you meet me, don't treat me like a "woman," whatever that means to you. Treat me like a person, treat me how you like to be treated. No matter what you consider your sex to be, all people yearn for the same things: company, respect, worth and kindness, to name a few. It's not your sex, but your character, that determines your personality, and too many people have forgotten that.