Gender roles should be abolished

Gender roles should be abolished

Hailey Boger, Staff Artist

From the moment a baby is born, their entire upbringing is based entirely on whether they are a boy or a girl. The clothes they wear, the toys they play with, and the way they’re treated by society stems from the gender announced at birth, or even before.

It’s 2017, and this generation of teens and young adults have a higher percentage of individuals who don’t conform to the gender binary of boy or girl than any generation before. How did this happen, and why has it taken so long? The answer is that our society is built upon strict gender roles and stereotypes that are hard to remove oneself from. It’s being raised to present and act a certain way, or being told what to wear and what to play with.

Were you ever told as a child that you couldn’t play with Barbie dolls because they’re for girls, or that you couldn’t dress up as Spiderman because it’s for boys? Even at fast-food restaurants, though it has diminished in recent years, employees will ask if you want a boy or girl toy with a kid’s meal.

We as individuals should not be expected or pressured to be a certain way because of what’s in our pants. It should be something that is chosen and decided by the individual.

I was raised as a girl, and I always felt a little out of place because of that. Sure, I played with toys like Barbies and Littlest Pet Shops, and I wore a lot of pink but as I grew older I hated conforming to femininity. I never liked wearing dresses or putting on makeup. Nail polish was a no go. Now, it’s gotten to where I hate presenting femininity at all. I dress androgynous or masculine most of the time. I haven’t shaved my legs in months. I don’t even identify as a girl anymore. Maybe that sounds sad or absurd to some, but truthfully I’ve never been more comfortable with myself and my body.

Now, if someone chooses to present feminine or masculine, then that is their choice and they should be allowed to do that. However, gender should not be forced upon people, especially children, the way it is in society. Various department stores have started releasing gender neutral clothing lines. Many parents have also chosen to raise their children ‘gender neutral,’ in that they let their child choose their own clothes, toys, books, etc.

“Our socialization into gender roles limits our children’s potential to discover unhindered who they are and what they’re interested in,” Australian mother Thea Hughes said in an article on Hughes is one mother that has decided to raise her children in a gender neutral manner.

In my perfect world, there would be no gender roles and people would be allowed to do whatever they want regardless of what they prefer or how they identify. Although we’re getting there, we still have a long way to go. All in all, be who you wanna be, and let others do the same.