April 19, 2012

Gender, Gender Everywhere

I stumbled upon this picture in a brand-new catalog the other day. It struck me, not because it was a surprise, but because of how extremely explicit it is:

Boys wear these clothes, have this haircut and use blue things.

Girls wear these clothes, have this haircut and use pink things.

It's no wonder why people who don't fit into those boxes feel weird. And it's also no wonder why people who DO fit into the boxes don't understand people who don't. Cisgendered people are only emulating the pictures. They are fitting into the norms that society dictates.

That works well when your brain matches the pictures--when the body you're born into lines up with the image reflected back to you by our society.

We aren't given instructions or guidance for thinking or living outside these boxes. Gender is everywhere. In our catalogs. On television. Outside our bathroom entrances.

What is your experience with seeing gender norms around you in your everyday life? How do you feel when you see them?

What steps have you taken to step outside these norms for yourself or for your child?

In what ways have you defied gender norms in your everyday life? How do you not match the pictures being presented to you and what changes can you effect within your current circle/community?

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