Thursday, November 21, 2013

Playing a Sonata of Humanity on Two Keys

"And it is incredibly, outrageously, mind-numbingly frustrating that, because of traditional gender roles, everyone--not just women--is being forced to play a sonata of humanity on two keys. I don't know that it's the textbook definition but, to me, feminism is about treating people as people. Regardless of gender. And affording them the same freedom of choice and respect that we would want for ourselves."

Personally, I was both a pretty, pretty princess AND Pretzel Face. I was the shopaholic and the tomboy. I was the girl who rolled around in the muck and mud while wearing crazy-colored painted nails and skirts. I was the girl who obsessed over strange science stories like Dolly, the cloned sheep, while also loving the musical sound of Shakespeare and dancing ballet in the frilliest tutu I could find. I was the girl who loved makeup and high heels and fashion, but who also shoveled junkfood by the fistful into her mouth-hole at every opportunity.

Personally, I still am. 

And I see nothing wrong with that. It never seemed strange or novel to me. That I could be both, all, and everything I wanted to be. And it wasn't until I was older that I realized that people--of both genders, feminist or sexist or staying the hell out of the debate--had a problem with it. That the things that existed completely harmoniously in me were two sides of a gender game that the rest of the world was playing.

Too often, we're told to pick one or the other. And, like the video points out, more times out of none, it's the traditionally feminine side that loses. That's seen as a loser.

Don't wear pink; it makes you look weak.

Don't wear makeup; it's just society telling you that you're not good enough.

Don't wear sexy clothes; it reduces you to a body. 

Don't read, write, watch, consume, or enjoy stories--or, god-forbid, porn--that portrays or even enjoys traditional gender stereotypes; because admitting that some people relate to and enjoy the standard somehow negates the fact that some people don't.

Personally, I find extreme awe in both the aesthetic capability and artistry of my body as well as the gritty, earthy functionality of my fleshy bits. I find profound meaning in the creative and wondrous nature of my mind as well as its off-the-wall, goofy antics. I love the hell out of the parts of me the world deems masculine as much as the parts people see as feminine. Because, in the end, they're all a part of me. And I don't think that those should be sides. I don't think that those things should be--or even makes sense--gendered. Because, no matter how hard a person tries, those parts likely exist in all of us. And should.

I believe that all those things together is where a person--again, regardless of gender--finds a sense of self. And, if you can't accept and enjoy them--for their limitations as well as their excellence, whatever those may be--you, the great and grand scheme of YOU, is incomplete.

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