North Texas Daily

Gender expectations are dead

Gender expectations are dead

Gender expectations are dead
December 07
16:56 2017

Ladies, has anyone else ever tried to write something, maybe an emotional ballad or, our favorite, a grocery list, but found the large, masculine pens too cumbersome to manipulate? I know I have! That’s why I asked my husband for permission to leave the house and went to the store to grab some Bic “For Her” Ball Pens. They are slim, lightweight, and come in soothing pastel colors to match all my modest yet flattering dresses. No more regular man pens for me!

Do companies really expect this reaction of consumers when they unnecessarily gender products? They’re pens, Bic.

Assigning genders to objects is just one of the many ways society assumes things about gender. But in recent years, these assumptions have reached the point of being laughable and obsolete.

People are breaking the molds of gender now more than ever. A few weeks ago it was announced that Violet Chachki, winner of the seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, will front a new lingerie campaign. Decades ago, drag culture was ridiculed and pushed into the margins of society. Today, a man in stunning drag with artfully drawn eyebrows and a cone bra is the face of a mainstream lingerie line.

No matter how uncomfortable it makes your conservative uncle, deconstructing gender norms is progressive. When we expect people to act a certain way because of their gender, we’re stereotyping. At some point, we have to realize the harm in forcing young people into a box they don’t want to be in. Not every boy wants to be a quarterback and not every girl wants to be a ballerina.

Which leads to the idea that gender is a binary concept, which in and of itself is problematic. But due to the complex nature of that explanation (people can spend literally an entire semester, or more if they choose to master in women’s and gender studies, learning about it) so I’m going to save that for another day.

Obviously, if you’re a man and you don’t want to be a drag queen, that’s fine. If you’re a woman and you really do want to be a stay-at-home mom that bakes cookies, that’s completely up to you. You’re not obligated to help dismantle traditional ideas of gender. However, you are obligated to respect those that do.

Who decided what is “feminine” and “masculine,” what toys we are supposed to play with, how we should wear our hair and what clothes we have to wear? Was it corporations? Your mom and dad?

Don’t let any parent, friend, or business make you rethink what kind of pen you should use. You can use any kind of pen you want.

Featured illustration by Max Raign

About Author

Rachel Herzer

Rachel Herzer

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