Gender Norms

Alright, let’s talk gender norms. What led me to this? Well for those of you who do not know, I identify as a female who happens to have very short hair and sometimes, people think that I am a male. The day before last, I was walking to somewhere and was stopped by this teacher. She rudely said “What is this? You are in uniform and that includes your hair. Have you seen the haircut rules? You better get it cut by Monday or we will do it for you.” Then she proceeded to give me a look and walk away.

I have a problem with this for many reasons. Even though I told her my name, she still thought I was a male. I checked the rules and only males were meant to have a completely clean cut. I have no problem with people thinking that I am a male, it does not bother me. What bothers me is that this woman was so rude about it and she invaded my privacy by touching my hair and the shirt I was wearing.

This leads me to the fact that society is so strange and if something is not the “conventional” way, the reaction it earns is explosive. What if I have confidence issues and this was the only way I felt comfortable in my skin? What if I had an issue that required me to have a cut like that? What if I actually identify as male and I am in the process of changing my physicality? But no one takes that into consideration. How does it matter what I look like and what I identify as? It is like when a baby is born and it is a girl, the colours blue and pink respectively, are already allotted. Why is blue associated with masculinity and pink associated with femininity? Why can’t they be interchanged? We’re already dictating how they should be and how they should sink.

In clothing stores, you have a male section and a female section. The female section is always more colourful than the males. But why? I prefer going to the male section to pick up a shirt rather than going to the female one. I understand in certain circumstances it may be required but why does a male wearing pink or a male putting thought into what he looks like, a big deal? Why does it have to be one? On the other hand, why does a female who wears large clothes be termed a “slob”? If males have long hair and females have short hair it is seen as they are having an “identity crises.” There are so many aspects we can get into when we are talking about gender norms but it would have me sitting here for days.

Why should it matter to anyone what I wear, how I talk, who I love or how I present myself? The only person it should matter to is me. This divide that is created between people should not exist at all. I would put all blame on society but in the end, it is all of us who make up society. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of hearing “you’re a girl, you are supposed to behave like one” or “you are a boy, man up.” What does that even mean? Just because the majority of a gender acts in a specific way, does not mean that anyone who identifies as that gender should have to live up to the stereotype and if they do not, then it makes them “less of a man” or “less of a woman.” How foolish.

What led me to this was my hair but over the years, people have asked me ridiculous things concerning my ethnicity, religion, nationality and now, my gender. We say that we are open minded and that there are no boundaries and we can be “free” but let’s be real, it’s not like that. If one fails to fit in, they are alienated. Why do we have to establish anything? Can’t we all identify as human? We all are human beings made out of the same stuff but with our own touch of individuality. My point is that us as a society have to actually think before saying something that results in someone feeling down. Putting someone down because they are different should not happen and only if we stop making other people feel miserable because of who they are, we can truly function as one unit.

So cut your hair or grow it out. Wear whatever you want, identify as male, female or another species. Love whoever your heart desires and believe in the craziest things. Who cares about what people think? At the end of the day, it is your perception of you that should make you happy. If anyone tells you that you are wrong, they do not matter. You do not need that negativity in your life. Forget about gender norms and the conventional way of living. Normality is overrated any way.


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