ehowton (ehowton) wrote,
ehowton
ehowton

Gender Neutrality?


Outside sociopolitical institutionalized identity, gender neutrality proposes disallowing biology to assign gender. People who are born with male body parts may not necessarily be men, and those born with female body parts may not necessarily be women (acknowledging the identifiers, "men" and "women" can also be perceived as offensive to some). While its true that aside from plumbing there are other biological differences in the way men and women are comprised (chemical, for example) the entire spectrum of gender-specific action/thought/behavior is never as cut and dry as as sociologically believed; not all women behave stereotypically female, and not all men behave stereotypically male. Often we find people in general don't act/think/behave as we expect them to, even without the chemical or biological differences. This expectation of course says far more about us than it does about them.

As the world continues to become a more diverse place we often hear about the struggles of otherwise marginalized people, which almost always elicits a kneejerk reaction. Few of us can automatically synthesize new information and separate it from our own societal indoctrination without first being challenged - that challenge is what allows those who think, the ability to conceptualize ideas in completely new ways. When facing these challenges of diversity it is very easy to compare it to known quantities - comparison can be a powerful tool to illuminate inequality - which has the potential to result in unintended perspectives. "Same sex marriage isn't gay privilege, it's equal rights. Privilege would be something like gay people not paying taxes. Like churches don't." ~Ricky Gervais

Even if we don't agree with gender equality, and prefer to cling to traditional gender roles, gender-specific pronouns, and gender-specific books and clothes and jobs and education and careers, the least we can do is try to understand the other point of view. We all can endeavor to understand something without embracing it. Which confuses me when those who are transgender start dressing opposite to their biology. Not wanting to ever lump together an entire group of people (as we are all still individuals regardless), how does a female-assigned biological male wearing women's clothes not promote women's clothing as being for females? Or male-assigned biological females wearing traditionally men's clothing? Doesn't that just reinforce the very stereotypes those who are spearheading gender equality wish to dismantle?

So I asked around and as it turns out, not so much. What I learned was how ignorant my question was. Clothes don't actually have a gender, and stereotypes look very different from within the community they apply to. There are men and women both who, at different times and for different reasons, want to identify as one, the other, neither, or both. In fact the only common denominator I could find was in how little anyone cared about what anyone else thought. Basically, my question managed to lump them all together anyway, ignoring humankind's varied and sometimes very different individual opinions. Just like we all have.
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