I Need Not Cook Because I Have Breasts #GenderFluidity
Who gets to decide what is man and woman? You know the gender roles which go beyond our biological capacity. The dos and don’ts decided by the society. Gender roles are not innate, they have been washed down our psyche drawing clear lines between “manliness” and a “woman’s job.”
Let me begin by accepting that gender is a complex topic. We can’t really negate the fact that women are blessed with certain biological features. One very important aspect is childbearing which tremendously changes a woman’s body and her responsibilities too, to a large extent. Then again, the same applies to men.
There are so many factors in play here when we talk about gender as it is one of the important facets of our identity. At least we are acknowledging that there are genders others than the male and female. In a landmark judgement Supreme Court recognized Transgender as third gender community. Now this is a way forward to a more gender inclusive society. But we still are far off from the utopian era I am dreaming of. Gays, lesbians and bisexuals have not been recognised as part of the third gender community. By definition:- Transgender denotes or relates to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.
The fact that so many people since eternity have been conforming to the gender rules, like; kitchen is off limits for men, household cleaning is a woman’s job, spending money is a man’s responsibility and so on. The roles are clearly defined and rigid. Check out the most common stereotypes. To a guy: “Don’t wear pink it will make you look “girly.” To a girl: “Don’t wear sports shoes all the time, it makes you look manly and boring!”
Thankfully there is a rising awareness and acknowledgement of the fact that people can be different. Whether they accept it or not, it’s a different story altogether. I would have to write another post to deliberate on that. TIME magazine's cover story "Beyond He Or She" celebrates gender fluidity and the changing perception of gender among American teens.
Let’s fix our attitude towards men and women and their perceived gender roles. Human race is divided into two halves, man and woman, this is the biological reality, but not a drawback. The watertight compartmentalisation of roles has not been helpful to both the genders.
One of classic examples given is that, a man works out of compulsion and as a responsibility to tend to his family’s needs. On the contrary, a woman works out of hobby. Men are expected to ‘man-up’ and take responsibilities as they go on to become heirs and heads of their families. Whereas women are expected to take care of the household chores and raise a family as they are the natural caregivers. I can say this for sure that the concept of a sacrificial mother is highly romanticised and frankly speaking, a mother’s role is glorified at the expense of a father’s. Not taking away the hours of pain taken by our mothers to bring us in this world, but let’s not downplay the vital role our fathers play.
Being a single parent, my father never overlook my concerns. It was not like he was left in lurch and he did nothing to fix that. There is nothing a free, no holds barred communication can’t fix. So in my experience it is all in our heads. We just have to change our perception and fix our attitude.
Likewise, if you think it’s your mother’s/wife’s/sister’s/girlfriend’s job to clean up after your leftovers post dinner, then my friend you need to transport back to the stone age. If you strongly feel that dusting or cleaning up your house,or entering the sacred boundaries of kitchen and cooking a meal for yourself or your family, will make you less of a man, please stop calling yourself modern, right away. YOU ARE NOT. Just because I am a woman I won’t have a duster cloth in my hand 24/7, ready to wipe the dust off of the floor.
Similarly, if you feel your man is not able enough because he’s not taking you out on frequent trips or showering you with clothes, jewellery and shit loads of make-up. You are judging your husband/boyfriend/brother/or a friend because they cook, or cry, or love watching romantic and mushy movies, or talking in a certain manner or tone. Newsflash: YOU ARE NOT SENSITIVE OR CARING AT ALL. Stop riding on the privilege bestowed upon you due to years of skewed gender demarcation.
It gives me immense pride to see my brother and his wife, setting relationship goals by not conforming to these outdated prescriptions. She works-he cooks-she cooks-he works-they both work-they eat out-they clean-they shop. That’s how the chain of responsibilities fall into each one’s lap. No hard and fast rule applies here.
SHEROES is set to release a report at the Men's Conference on changing gender roles in the household. Why don’t you fill out this survey to know your gender fluidity meter.
A far fetched dream, but is it not a more happy and better way of living. Recognizing each and every gender, and giving them the space to grow beyond their gender.