Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Roles"

Same sex couples baffle people. Every type of people. Even those in the LGBTQIA community. My girlfriend’s close friend is a stud; quick lesson in lesbian lingo: a stud is a lesbian who has a lot of masculine energy, typically wears men’s clothing and is stereotypically supposed to be more dominant in their relationships with their partners. She, KiKi, is kinda obsessed with gender roles; she adheres to the strict guidelines (there are no strict guidelines) to the Stud-Lesbian Code of Conduct. She believes she should be the pursuer, the aggressor, the leader, the bread-winner, the head of the household. When KiKi first met LeAnna, she thought LeAnna was a stud. LeAnna is not a stud. For the past several months KiKi has constantly been challenged and confounded by LeAnna’s gender and sexuality expression. So LeAnna and my relationship confuses her. When we started dating, KiKi, once again, had questions; they ranged from “Coléa, you’re a girl, do you like this bag?” to very intrusive questions about LeAnna and I’s sex life.

But the truth about gender roles is that they’re not real, or at least they shouldn’t be. KiKi is trying to adhere to an antiquated system that cuckolds people into certain duties. The duties have nothing to do with who the person is, only what the person has in their pants. This isn’t fair. So when KiKi asks these questions, she’s asking them through the lens of a patriarchal heteronormative system. She’s putting herself into the role of ‘the man’ of a heteronormative relationship.

I have no problem with gender, just with the way society forces gender into a very strict binary system. When someone behaves in a manner that is outside of the box of that strict gender binary system they are often othered. It becomes: ‘that guy is weird because he enjoys doing domestic tasks and crafting’ or that ‘girl is odd because she doesn’t want to have kids and is into sports.’ This mentality is problematic because 1) it doesn’t allow for people to express themselves freely without fear of being treated differently and 2) it assumes everyone falls into one of two categories.

Gender, like temperature, is on a spectrum. As children we’re taught that something is either hot OR cold; but as we grow up we learn and experience temperatures that aren’t just hot OR cold. Sometimes something is warm or freezing or boiling or room-temperature or tepid or chilly, all of these temperatures are valid and real and changeable. Sometimes something is multiple temperatures at once, like when you heat up that frozen burrito, it is both searing and frozen. But it is still a burrito. And a person is still a person regardless of their gender identity; whether it be: agender, cis-gender, transgender, genderqueer, non-binary, genderfluid, etc, they are a still a person, a human, a life.


When someone asked me and LeAnna who was the man in the relationship, they were really asking who fulfills what gender roles. Who cooks and cleans? Who makes all the decisions? Who always drives? Who fixes stuff around the house? Who is the breadwinner? And to that we always answer: we are equally in the relationship, we do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.  I think that’s how every relationship and single-lifestyle should be. People should do what they’re good at and what they like and should ignore whether people think it odd that the dad stays at home with the kids and the mom provides the income. I believe everyone should have the freedom of a life in which we can openly express ourselves without having to be dutiful  to binary gender constructs. You should cook, ride motorcycles, cry, dance, play sports, read, create, BE because you want/need to, not because society tells you so. That’s the freedom we should all live in.

Also, here's the Genderbread Person

Also, also here's a great description of many gender identities: