When I was in college, I took a course called “Feminist Philosophy.” I found myself looking through some old essays and projects when I came across a hypothetical scenario that asked us to describe what society would be like if gender neutral was adapted as a social norm. I remembered this day in class, the other students proposed their ideas of what it would look like considering that gender norms would no longer exists, how women and men would now be viewed as human instead of gendered, how the fashion industry would change, how economics and politics would change for both the better and for worst because some people like change while others are stubborn to it. This one hypothetical brought about a conversation of unity, humanity, and belonging.
The acceptance of gender neutral as the social norm could change the world as we know it. It made me wonder if we would become more humane or if we would just find something else to disagree with.
Society has this ridiculous way of setting a standard for all types of individuals to create a sense of unity and community within a nation. However, the main problem is that no one person is actually the same. It’s ironic to think about it like that considering that capitalism prides itself on being strong, big, and unified as holding the same values and standards, yet shuns communism which is actually a government that supports it’s people with strict ideals of sameness. There is no room for unique values or mindsets within communism but when you really think about it, is there any room for uniqueness in capitalism? People here in the U.S.A. argue every day about civil rights violations, financial obligations of the country and its’ people, social rankings and class, and even sexuality. Sexuality being one of the most unnecessary things to argue about, yet it is the MOST controversial topic of them all. When the reality of it is, the state has no place in the bedroom. The government should not be occupying themselves with concerns of people’s personal privacy. Meanwhile, we have a national debt crisis that just increased as a result of corona virus, African-American’s suffering from police brutality, drug crimes, immigration regulations, bail reform and the problematic leadership of President Trump.
With that, I’d like to go on to say that gender neutral ideals, fashion, attitudes, and even toys for children is not a bad idea. Some people get butt hurt and say things like, “I don’t want my son playing with dolls” or “I don’t want my daughter playing with trucks”… When the truth of it is that those parents are so stuck in their own gender roles and fears of having a child that is LGBTQIA that they would take away their child’s happiness to play with whatever toy they want because they think they’re enabling behavior that does not fit within the means of being a “boy” or being a “girl”. And that folks is the real reason why people distance themselves from their parents or family as they get older. Not because they’re a responsible adult who can take care of themselves. They’re tired of putting on a charade for the people who should love them unconditionally but are too selfish to do so.
Here’s some food for thought. Would you rather your son grow up playing with dolls and knowing what is it to be a child and have fun and be a happy, healthy human being? Or would you rather they grow up playing with trucks and potentially end up having fragile masculinity or misogynistic tendencies? I know that may be an extreme hypothetical but it’s not impossible. Your son can play with trucks and be raised to be normal and on the other spectrum, your son could play with dolls and grow up a pedophile… You never get what you think you want by conditioning your child to be a certain way. Psychology is a tricky thing and most of us didn’t go to school for it so why do we think we know so much? I’m not saying to let your children do whatever they want, run over you and grow up being a disrespectful ungrateful person. I’m saying that you should let your child be a child. Let them experience different things and be happy. That’s the only time in their life that they will experience real joy and you can be the reason that happens for them. Be the parent that your parents weren’t.
By giving your child the opportunity to have the best childhood experience, you are doing your job as a parent to make them productive and compassionate adults. The next generation has a chance to understand things about the opposite sex, same sex, themselves and the world around them better than anyone of us ever has had. With the resources of technology combined with the unconditional love of their parents, they will be the ones to create equity in this country. They will not to discriminate against other human beings based on race, class, or gender, if we teach them to be themselves and to accept others for who they are. ~ Namaste ~
RESOURCES & FURTHER INFORMATION
- LGBTQ Youth Resources, CDC LGBT Health
- Talking to Doctors & Medical Providers, Human Rights Campaign
- Resources for Transgender & Gender Nonconforming People, NYC Health
- LGBT Directory of Organizations & Governmental Resources, NYC Up & Out
- Transgender Organizations, Atlanta