One thing I like about the Internet is that it helps get more ideas to more people. But on the other hand, information being so readily available means that some of it washes right over and doesn’t stick. Still, it makes me happy when an issue that I find worthy of discussion seems to be on many a lip in the last couple of weeks. Firstly, a pair from NPR:
The End Of Gender?
Gender Is Dead! Long Live Gender!
Firstly, I’m going to join in chuckling with one of my friends who commented that NPR seems to have it out for the concept of gender lately. I don’t think that’s true, but the fact they’ve had two different pieces this week does make it seem like they might have an agenda. I think at this point it’s more about educating people – we’ve had 500% bullshit fed to us for the past couple of decades on what sex and gender are, and how they’re the same (they’re not, obviously). I think one could argue it’s about belonging – if there is a distinct them, and a distinct us, then everyone belongs… right? No, not so much. And it’s just so naturally to easily label and be labelled that it’s a hard habit to break yourself of, like biting nails.
Of course, it doesn’t help that we’re all stuck in the marketing trap. People always try to pretend that advertising doesn’t effect them, but come on… it’s there, it’s pervasive, and it does everything to get your attention. Whether it’s you laughing your ass off at something ludicrous, or something fuelled by sex and iconography, it gets in your head. What’s the use of denying it? And we are, frankly, lazy and fallible – it’s easier to take what we’re spoonfed by the media as 100% fact than to do our own checking. Which is why pieces like this are so damned important:
A neutral future for guys and dolls
As it states in that piece – we’re sold very firm ideas on what male and female are and should be. And while there is nothing wrong with feeling comfortable in those stereotypes, it’s horrible that the rest of us who don’t wish to be dollies (whether they be Stretch Armstrong or Barbie) should be bullied into conforming as well. It’s all about freedom from, as well as freedom to – if we can remember that, and my usual message of being excellent to each other…
Anyways, suffices to say that I’m happy to see more discussion about these things. It continues to give me hope that my child won’t be tricked into thinking she has to like pink to fit in (which even bit me slightly in my childhood; I compromised on lavender before ‘graduating’ to purple), and that I won’t have my brain melted by people calling her princess. Now, if only children’s clothing didn’t seem to think that girls shouldn’t have proper things to play in…
Have a nice day!
…freedom to, as well as freedom from…