My Take on Gender Identity

Our culture doesn’t define gender too widely: it defines it too narrowly.

We attribute too much to gender. We attribute certain qualities to men rather than to women, just because they’re male.

“Men are logical.”

“Men can’t express their feelings.”

“Men only want to fix your problems.”

Fact: Men and women aren’t the same. Not physically, mentally or emotionally. They are different. But how they’re different isn’t perceived correctly.

Think of it this way:

If a man knows a lot about his car or about a sport, what do we think?

“He’s such a guy.”

What if it was a girl who loved those things?

We would think of her differently, right? Not a normal woman.

Perhaps as “masculine”.

There are stereotypes for a reason. Men do tend to care about sports more than women in general. Guys are more interested in cars. But the problem comes in when we say, “It’s a guy thing.”

This isn’t fair.

I want to understand how my car works. Not because I’m manly, but because I like to be independent, and I like to take care of what is mine. It’s my responsibility. 

That desire doesn’t make me manly or masculine.

Because I have a pixie cut, people have assumed I’m a lesbian. They assume that I’m a diehard feminist, and a progressive, liberal thinker. Fun fact: Before I got my hair cut short, I was told that I came across as feminine in my expressions and gestures. Now that I have a pixie cut, those same motions originally labeled as feminine are now called masculine. I am now being stereotyped.

Why do we think this?

Why do we make these assumptions?

Maybe because it’s easier to make an assumption about someone, their personality, and their own expressions than to get to know them for who they are.

And because certain attributes have been contributed to men for so long, it’s hard to understand that a woman can be that way too. But they can.

Men can appreciate beauty.

Women can enjoy dirt biking.

Men can get emotional when they see something that makes them happy.

Women can have difficulty expressing emotion.

These are not “gender” things. This isn’t what makes you a man or a woman.

I don’t like dresses or skirts. I don’t wear makeup. I prefer having short hair because it’s easier to deal with.

I’m better at giving advice than offering emotional support.

These traits are usually thought of as from a guy. But they’re not. They’re a personality thing. A human thing.

Can we just agree we’re all human, and we can express that however we like?

We’re men and women: Let’s be men and women.

And let’s not put so many labels on what that means.

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