witifulramblings

Day Seventeen: “Gender is a Performance:” Play Your Own Part.

In Articles, Blogging, Blogs, English Major, Esteem, Family, Friends, Happiness, Humanity, Laughter, life, literature, Love, Men, Men, Mother, Parenting, Politics, Romance, Sex, Stories, Thoughts, Women, Work, Writing on November 8, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I recently stumbled upon this blog post, which I found to be slightly disturbing but not for the reason you might be inclined to think.

Our society has transitioned into a new wave of discrimination and this time the target seems gender related.  Since the beginning of time, and even currently, differing cultural groups, religious groups, varying ethnicities, have been the product of discriminatory practices but now we’re venturing into a whole new sphere.  I think the important thing to remember is this is nothing new.  As many of you know, my educational background is focused in the area of literature.  Throughout the years I have explored a variety of texts, poetry, fiction, essays, etc, where gender/sexuality issues exist.

Yes, there were homosexuals in the fifteenth century. Big shocker.

However, gender and sexuality, in the past, were presented mostly through allusions, satirical jest, etc.  We’re entering a new era and in this one people are opening up.  Finally, individuals are facing the blatant reality that gender is not so easily defined nor is sexuality.  How wonderful that we are transitioning towards this way of life, writing, living the obvious, the real, why hinder such?

But it’s happening, people are impeding this miraculous feat and, yet again, lives are being lost, ruined, and hurt because of differences.

A professor once said,

“gender is a performance, a fabrication.”

You could think of it like this, each one of us is playing a role in a play, acting the part, being the person that very role assigns.  Unfortunately, life, sexuality, gender, is far more complicated than a role so strictly designated.  Individuals may choose different performances or they may be living a biological performance different from that of yours or mine.  That doesn’t make their performance any less real or vital; however, your assumption or judgment of it may be detrimental to their life. If we continue with the theatrical allegory, the world of theatre, is quite obviously designed and encouraging of creativity, why not then in our own societal structures as well?

Individuals, children, adults, PEOPLE, should be allowed to live their lives. They should be allowed to perform the way they choose and most importantly our children need to know that those choices are okay because inevitably they will grow up and act a part of their own.

The holocaust, the chinese exclusion act, black slavery, native american discrimination, and the list goes on and on.  All of these historical events have one thing in common–injustice.  People being forced into roles they were never meant to inhabit.

So, play your part the way you want to.  Don’t try to perform the role necessarily assigned to you by socially constructed gender terms.  Little Boo played his part (the one he chose) and I think he did a great job of it.

Whit.

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