It seems to me that we are very busy humanizing humans.
- Muslims help Hindu man run over by bus.
- Watch these vegetarians opening their home to beef eaters.
- Study shows refugees are hard working people too.
Faith in humanity restored, so on, so forth.
[Any resemblance to actual news bulletins is entirely coincidental.]
Do we need constant reminders to remember that people are…people? Like you, like me, for the most part. One could argue that I am not the best candidate to endorse this way of thinking, seeing as how on most days I cultivate an active dislike towards human beings in general. [Must we monopolize the planet so? Must we be consistently inconsiderate?] Is it too late to say labelling and categorizing work best for three ring binders?
I learnt a phrase.
- Not conforming to traditionally held gender identities or roles
Or, as Raising My Rainbow puts it, she was raising a boy who liked girl stuff (too much).
The more I read about this phrase, the more I relate to it. At the risk of burdening you with too much information, it must be said that the first time I decided it was alright to be friends with a girl, I was ten.
Why, you ask.
Short answer: I didn’t like girls (until then).
I found them annoying, playing the most inane games. They liked the wrong cartoons and spoke about unbearably boring things. They sat down a lot and they wore frocks. They weren’t like my first friends in life, G and S, who ran around with me mimicking rifle shots and fighting over who would be Police in the next round of Police-Robber. They didn’t climb walls and they didn’t want to jump from said walls.
Or you could say I was a girl who liked boy stuff (too much).
I remember how I cried when an aunt tried to stuff me into a frilly (and itchy) pink monstrosity. I remember the promise my mother made me keep, that I would wear ‘girl clothes’ to school once a week. I remember going to school angry every Friday as a result. I remember my haircut, the one I had for years, a boy’s haircut. I remember declaring that the teddy bear resembled a large furry insect (therefore it deserved to be banished to dusty heights), and that plastic dolls were ugly (no exceptions). I remember my grandmother buying me numerous shorts and t-shirts (/But that’s what she likes, what do you want me to do/). I remember my mother worrying (about me).
Maybe it was understood I would grow out of it. I did. The older I got, the more I identified myself with girls (women). I still like my cargo pants and bermudas a bit more than normal, but I am neither creative nor nonconforming anymore. I am too frustrated with what I have to deal with, as a direct consequence of my gender.
These days, I merely arrange my face into a frown and wonder why it is easier to accept a girl in boy’s clothing and not the other way round.
I also wonder why we must use labels at all.
If we could just let people be… Apologies, I was trying to be funny.