Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gender Roles

Boys play with trucks.
Girls play with dolls.

Boys are firefighters.
Girls are homemakers.

Boys wear blue.
Girls wear pink.
Gays wear purple. (or rainbows).

Boys go camping.
Girls play dress-up.

Boys have short hair.
Girls have long hair.
Boys are tough.
Girls are gentle.

Boys play football.
Girls play hopscotch.

Boys wear pants.
Girls wear dresses.

Boys wrestle.
Girls have tea parties.

Okay. Obviously there are millions more gender stereotypes. There are a lot of things that people associate with being strictly female, or strictly male. But, what are the purposes of these associations? Do women naturally gravitate towards the color pink? flowers? ribbons and bows? dresses? Are men born to play with trucks? watch football? wrestle? What does it really mean to be feminine? Or masculine? And are these terms even necessary?

A lot of people seem to think that gay men and lesbian women go against the gender norms. If this is truly the case, then is it the fact that they're homosexual that makes them defy gender roles, or are they homosexual because they assume the "wrong" gender behaviors?

What an odd question.

For as long as I can remember, my oldest brother had long hair. He's straight.
My sister has always loved camping and hiking. She also never wore make-up (mostly because she never needed to--she's pretty already). She's straight.
My best friend likes to longboard, rockclimb, play sports, etc. She has short hair and often looks like a teenage boy. She's straight.
My supervisor has long hair, wears pink, and gardens. She's lesbian.

I grew up catching snakes and lizards, playing in streams, building forts, and terrorizing the neighborhood on my bicycle. I had boy friends and girl friends all my life. I wore dresses to church on Sunday and even let my sister do my hair. I enjoy dressing up and looking "girly" sometimes. But, I don't wear make-up because I don't have time for it. I don't wear high heels because they're not practical and they hurt my feet. I like to wear skirts and leggings. I own a lot of pink things. I don't feel like I've ever conformed to any particular gender restraints, neither have I intentionally rebelled against them. I just don't see the importance of saying that boys get to be firefighters while girls have to stay inside and bake. I'm not very good at baking. I prefer to be outside. Is this because I'm lesbian? I really don't think so. There are plenty of women who like to be outside and do "manly" things and they're straight. What do they have to say for themselves?

~live your own truth~


  1. A motto that my wife and I hold (and I love that we do) is: "We don't prescribe to traditional gender roles."

    She's the provider, I'm the stay-at-home dad (with a part time job). She often says how she wants to have cars and toy trucks for our daughter to play with, as well as traditional dolls, etc.

  2. @ "Lucky Jake" I love it! that is a great motto to live by. :) thanks for reading and commenting!