Oh this is going to be rage-y.
Gender roles and gender norms and gender assumptions are a social construct. The idea that all little girls only like Barbies and glitter and no one else counts is a social construct. The overwhelming assumption that all women want to raise children and be mommies is a social construct. The ridiculous amount of allowance we give men to act like neanderthals is a social construct. That does not mean all of gender is a social construct.
If gender was entirely a social idea we would not have trans people. If gender was entirely based on this magical socialisation all people have in common we would not have this entire group of people who exist across cultures and races and socio-economic levels that stands up and says I AM NOT THE GENDER I WAS RAISED AS. We would not have effeminate trans men or butch trans women because we would fit into the predominant gender role construct.
Beyond that, not everyone is harmed by the way gender roles are enforced. There are many, many people who fit in perfectly with the predominant mode of thought. There are women who do like wearing makeup and getting dressed up and want to raise children more than anything. There are men who honestly do want to work with their hands and play football and don’t feel the need to show much emotion. There is nothing wrong with that. Their ability to fit in with 1950s ideas about how people of particular genders should behave does not make them any better or less than the flamingly gay guy wearing a skirt or the butch woman in flannel or the genderqueer person who wears glittery tops with ripped jeans. It just makes them different.
Does this mean we should simply accept gender roles as they are now? Of course not. Just because some people aren’t hurt by them doesn’t mean they should stay exactly the same. Society evolves, it changes, it becomes something that people who live 100 years in the past or future can’t recognise. That’s what’s happening now. We had a giant revolution in which women who wear pants were no longer considered scandalous, now we need one that allows men to wear skirts and people of all genders to behave in whatever manner they see fit so long as they aren’t hurting anyone. That has shit all to do with gender identity and everything to do with gender expression.
“There are many, many people who fit in perfectly with the predominant mode of thought. There are women who do like wearing makeup and getting dressed up and want to raise children more than anything. There are men who honestly do want to work with their hands and play football and don’t feel the need to show much emotion. There is nothing wrong with that.”
I have been waiting for someone to say this - what’s really hard is when you are straight and cisgender and want to support because you have several friends who are trans or genderqueer, yet you get this overall feeling that you’re less of a person than they are because you’ve *~*succumbed to the societal norms*~*
I would love for gender stereotypes to be abolished, yes - but I also would like to be a stereotypical girl without being ridiculed.
YESSSS OMG THANK YOU
I came to the realization recently that I am really not effeminate. I don’t need to call myself effeminate because really I’m not. I’m hardly queeny or anything. I dress like the typical Asian Pacsun-shopping dude. Half the guys in my English class wear the same damn kind and color of pants that I do. Sure, I look weird ‘cos I dress kind of punkish or whatever, Doc Martens, all that shit, but that doesn’t make me girly.
I think I wanted to tack a label of “femmey” or whatever onto myself because I wanted to justify the fact that yes, I make fannish squeals at Doctor Who, I cry, I like small adorable animals. But then again, so what? I don’t have a naturally effeminate persona. One or two “girl” behaviors doesn’t automatically make my gender expression variant.
Just.. All of this. Read it.
I can see where you’re coming from, and I just wish to point out a couple of things:
“If gender was entirely a social idea we would not have trans people.”
This statement assumes that by “social construct” we’re talking also about our personalities, likes and dislikes. It also assumes that those things were constructed by society absolutely on us as blank slates, so that there is nothing of ourselves to begin with. (Basically, making the argument that gender identity is separate from gender in a significant enough way to warrant the need to qualify what we meant by gender.)
Those things become gendered but themselves are not gendered to begin with. Even ones choice of clothes or colors isn’t gender. Gender is a collection of norms and positions within society, defined through what they are not. A girl is not a boy. Etc.
If there was no gender (no social construct to categorize people) we’d not have trans people because trans is an explicit reference to gender. So is cis. We wouldn’t have any *gendered people at all. We also would have nothing in the way of the norms and taboos of society in relation to gender enforcement.
Without gender, you can be whomever you want and you are treated as you are, rather than as the boy/girl/whatever that people take you to be. It’s one’s identity, as opposed to one’s gender identity. You’re now your own self, an individual, as opposed to being necessarily a member of a group.
You can still be a she or a he or a ze, but the terms become more convenient placeholders than a normative role one is cast into. A girl isn’t shamed for being the victim of rape because there won’t be a gender she is supposed to be which would set her up to be shamed.
Obviously, some people fit into current gender norms, or at least closely enough that they don’t notice or care about the ways they bend the rules. It’s the people who lie outside those gender norms who feel the normative, dangerous, force that gender holds over us.
There’s no need for anyone to defend their desire to be a girly girl or an androgynous boy or a butch older woman. That’s exactly the point for the destruction of gender: be who you want to be.
(via divinityphotography)Source: liquorinthefront
Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Breaking the Male Gaze | Fatshionista
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To put it another way: to be a woman is to be seen. You want to be a woman? You do these things so that your appearance is sufficiently designed such that you are a woman.
That bit about wanting a man comes in a step or two later.
Submitted by owldeermaybenexttime:
I attended an awesome seminar the other week, where I spent a week hanging out with a lovely bunch of queers and debating. What’s even better is that I got this tshirt!
[A person with short, messy brown hair and glasses is standing with one fist raised and the other arm out-of-shot. She’s wearing a green tshirt with a vintage-style line drawing of a woman in the same pose. Written on the tshirt is “Not gay as in happy, but queer as in fuck you.”]