Gender Doesn’t Exist
Gender is something that many people see as either one of two things. This could not be further from the truth. Gender is not something that you can know just by looking at a person. Someone’s gender identity can only come from them. Someone’s physical appearance, speech, and dress are all things that can be seen or heard easily. Many people make assumptions based on these things alone as to someone’s gender. This needs to stop. You cannot identify someone’s gender just by looking at them.
Many people place their ideas of gender into something that is very stereotypical. Certain things are expected from certain genders, or so it would seem. Girls in schools have to obey dress codes that are far too outlandish for high school because it would “distract” not only the boys in their class, but their teachers. They are expected to behave a certain way simply because they are perceived as women. Women are expected to wear skirts, dresses, and heels, while men are not allowed near such things.
Society expects women to bend to the will of men. They are supposed to be submissive to the male’s dominance. If a woman speaks up they are considered a bitch, but if a man does it he’s a boss. There are different expectations in regards to almost everything. Society’s expectations are slowly but surely being crushed. Many people realize that society’s norms and expectations are not valid, right, or a good way to live. There are many people who are pushing back on the expectations by doing their own things and being their own person. These small acts of defiance break those carefully constructed expectations and shatter them to pieces.
Race, culture, and community affect the way gender is perceived in many ways. There are different societal expectations placed on different races and cultures. Even communities place them upon themselves. A white woman is expected to act different from a black woman, as compared to a brown woman, so on and so forth. Black women are expected to change their natural hair to make it look more like a white woman’s hair. Women in the East bind their feet to make them as small as possible. Some women wear rings around their neck and the more rings there are, the more beautiful you are. There are all different kinds of cultural and social expectations placed on genders across the world.
As a white female I have many materialistic stereotypes. I love to go to Starbucks and get a the largest size pumpkin spice latte. I take a picture and I Instagram it on my latest iPhone. I always straighten my highlighted hair. In the winter I only wear North Face and Uggs. I wear yoga pants all the time even though I do not do yoga. Mommy and daddy pay for everything, and that is how I got into college. I am always late with a coffee in my hand.
By changing my “race” most of the stereotypes still apply. That is what is expected of all young women nowadays. However, if you change the race it also adds all the racist stereotypes. Stereotypes are never good but the further you get away from the (straight) white man the worse they get. The straight white man is what the “ideal” is. That is what everyone is striving to be like. The societal expectations all stem from the idea that the straight white male is the most superior being and somehow everyone wants to be like them.
By adding sexual orientation and class into the stereotype mix they just fall down even further and get even worse. Lesbians only like girls because they have never been with a guy before. People only need to get a job and then they will not have any more money problems. Bisexual people are not real, and if they are they are just sluts who do not know what they really want. Gender is constructed in a way that people think there is only male and female. There are plenty of other genders out there. However, society places so many rules, expectations, and regulations that no one can be their true self without being looked down upon. Everyone has to live up to the ideal that does not exist.