August 14th, 2005


Gender identity?


It's been haunting me recently. What does it mean to be a woman (or a man, for that matter..)? Two X chromosomes? What makes someone a woman or a man?

I don't have an answer, and I'm starting to think there isn't one.

I've always hated gender roles because I felt like I was screwed over in several ways. Often, my brothers would get something cool as a gift, and I would get something totally lame because they are boys and I was a girl. Like that time my brothers got those toys that made lots of different noises (and I really wanted one too!), and I got a dress.

Or how all three of my brothers got fishing poles on their 7th or thereabout birthdays, but neither I nor my sister ever did.

I never wanted to be treated any different than the boys. I never cared about Barbie, I liked Transformers like my brothers. And out of the books I read as a young teenager, I always liked the ones that claimed to be for boys better than the ones that were meant for girls.

When my breasts started growing, I resented not being able to walk around without a shirt anymore.

The things I hate about my body are gender-specific parts: my breasts and my uterus. Sometimes I think that I'd have a much easier time if I had been born male. No periods and the accompanying pain, no worries about getting pregnant, higher alcohol tolerance, get a higher salary than women, run faster, be taller and stronger.. Be taken seriously more often.

In one of my workplaces, I was once told "don't crash the computer" by some guy whose computer I was looking at. You know, because I can't possibly be a pro at that field because I don't have a penis.

I never fill out gender in registration forms unless I absolutely have to, because I don't want to be treated as a second-class citizen.

Not quite sure where I'm headed with this rant.

Many languages are sexist too. The Norwegian word for a Norwegian (person) is "Nordmann" (literally "Northman"). In Japanese, the husband is the main character in the relationship. (Husband = 主人, protagonist = 主人公)
Some marriage ceremonies declare the couple to be "man and wife" rather than "husband and wife". If I get married, I want it to be "spouse and spouse" - I want to be in a relationship where we are equals.

I suppose I should post this before it ends up like one of those drafts that just sit there for months, unposted.