July 3, 2017
Gender Roles: What Gender Are You?
By Kayla Lozano
Anyone who is facing, or has faced, issues concerning their identity can tell you it is one of the toughest battles a person can face emotionally, psychologically, physically, or spiritually.
As a child we are taught to act and behave a certain way. Immediately after birth we are all assigned a specific gender role that is “binary.” The word binary means “2,” or two parts. When describing gender, or gender binary, then it refers to the two gender types that are opposite of each other, and are defined as masculine or feminine traits. The gender binary also holds specific roles of sex and of sexual intercourse.
-And that’s it people. You are either one or the other, and NO exceptions.
So THEY say…
The gender binary is quite notable an adopted practice of western civilization. Binary gender roles of “male” and “female” have branded newborns throughout history. Medical personnel assign these gender roles based solely on physical body attributes. Genders are assigned at birth, and carried out by parents, with absolutely no idea what the newborn’s true identity is. This practice has been going on for years in western civilizations, but does that make it right?
There are countries in the far east that celebrate more than two genders.
In India, the “hijra” are recognized as third gender. Hijras are male-to-female transsexuals. For centuries, the hijra were revered as bearers of fortune and fertility.
Indonesian cultures actually celebrate 5 genders. The Indonesian people acknowledge a male and female gender, as well as “calalai” (“false male”), “calabai” (“false female”), and “bissu” (“both genders” or “intersex”).
In America, “First Citizens” (aka Native Americans), designate a third gender as “Two Spirit.” First Citizens believe in the powers of the “spirit,” and therefore look beyond physical body composition. The “Two Spirit” people are said to inhabit both male and female spirits carried within one human vessel.
Then there are those who have no gender, or identify as non-binary, agender, or gender fluid. Some in this community identify as neither male nor female, while others alternate between genders depending on their mind-set.
On July 3, 2017, Oregon will become the first state to allow trans people the opportunity to select a third gender on their driver’s license. The gender markers on the state-issued driver identification card will no-longer by the standard binary “M,” “F,” however will now include the marker “X” for those who identify as non-binary, transgender, or intersex. Oregon becomes the first state in the United States to acknowledge Transgender communities with respect to legal documentation.
For people born transgender, non-binary, or gender fluid (non-gender) – gender roles such as male and female are like prison bars within our bodies. Many parents are beginning to change historical practices, that have been grossly influenced by public opinion, in order to allow their child, the opportunity to cultivate personal identities all on their own.
Go ahead, give it a try parents! Your child will love you for it!