As a social community we are bound to the idea that gender influences everything we do. Whether you are a till cashier in retail, asking the groomed gentleman before you if he’d like a gift receipt for the dress he is purchasing, and assuming it’s for his female partner – or the passenger being nosy on the train, thinking what a thoughtful birthday present those season tickets the girl in front of you is looking at for her lucky boyfriend are going to make.
Why do we do this? It’s not necessary. It’s not protocol. It’s simply societal conditioning.
When you think it out, gender really doesn’t have to be in the question as often as we put it there. Biologically, sure, sex is a thing. Anything else – not so much. Gender is a social construction after all. Why is it that fashion designers and cosmetic branding feels compelled to designate their product to whichever market they consider the fairer gender? Really we should be at a millennial standpoint where gender is unimportant as it is innate. Fierce decades of protestors did not bring us into new history only to have their work dismissed and equality forgotten. I really do feel that we place far too much emphasis on gender than is healthy. Got long hair and a penis? Man, you must be a little effeminate. Following a genuine interest in a new lifestyle and deciding to grow out your armpit hair or not shave your legs? Girl, you’re wilder than any boy I know! Thankfully not everybody thinks like this.
From the youngest of ages, we are now taught that progress and acceptance is what counts. Positive reinforcement is given every time we excel in a class or are rewarded with promotion. Though interestingly enough, an arched brow is raised and a disapproving mouth pursed when a girl steps out in a non-figure flattering item of clothing. You mean she’s not wearing the kind of garment you’d expect although you’ve never met her before? Shock horror, gasp! Even now, even with the passing of Scene kids and Myspace addicts, a query still forms in our subconscious when we swipe on Tinder and see a guy in jeans, tighter than Netflix’s mystical memory (ssshh, I’m not ready to believe that my best friend isn’t a person).
In Bem’s 1974 Sex Role Inventory, it was found through questionnaire that the participants who lent most towards the androgynous end of the scale had healthier psychological adjustment.
“Straight men did not find me attractive. I think they were scared of me because I was different. I’ve always asked, ‘Why? Why do I have to do that? Why do I have to look this way? Why do I have to dress this way? Why do I have to behave this way?'”
Blue is for boys and pink is for girls.
Sometimes, just sometimes, I think that we are not the colors we wear. Wouldn’t you agree?