Gender and sex are two very different concepts, yet they have somehow become confused amidst the changes we have seen in female and male status over the last few decades. My beautiful gay man-friend happens to possess the opinion that women undoubtedly possess more power than men as nature has rewarded them with the ability to pro-create. Contrastingly, I just happen to feel an utmost hatred of nature for having dubbed me with this responsibility. Isnít my body supposed to be my own damn temple? I donít want to succumb to the biological urge to sacrifice my body like some form of bun oven, yet I feel as if I am doomed. As if one day, a light switch will suddenly go off in my brain and I will just robotically seek to create wedlock with the next man I see on the street. The worst part is that at such a young age, I already feel the cluckiness whenever I see anything less than half my size. Even inanimate objects inspire ďoohs and aahs.Ē Miniature cupcakes send me in a surge of protect and nurture mode.
The Confusion and Contradictions
The confusion continues in all wakes of life starting with dress sense and ending with social relations. I sometimes walk out of the house in a floral dress feeling confident and sassy. It is only when I catch my self in a reflection and feel repulsed do I go back home and throw on an oversized shirt and shorts. I want to feel independent and capable, yet I also want to feel taken care of and adored. Despite the progress made for womenís rights, I canít deny that as a Feminist, I still perceive the quality submissiveness as a feminine trait. Itís so easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of paradoxes when it comes to discussing this. Women want to be treated as equal to men in all arrays of life, yet we still insist on men having tact when it comes to discussing issues revolving our weight. We encourage women to have a corporate role just to break the mould of biologically predisposed care-giver. However, when women selectively choose to be housewives, it is easy for men to be accused of sexism when he gets angry that his dinner isnít on the table upon his arrival home. If I were in their position, I would be angry as well. But I am an extremely hungry girl so we may call that a 'wash.'
The paradoxes can be seen everywhere which cause us to create shifts in how we act, feel and project ourselves onto others. All aspects of gender have become institutionalised to a point where I feel as if I am constantly second guessing myself when it comes to being a woman in this society. If I ask a person of the opposite sex to coffee, will they think I am doing it for platonic or romantic reasons? Furthermore, how do I communicate what I want in this situation given that I could either want to be friends with the dude or want something more?
What Can We Do?
To theorise is one thing, I suppose, but to live is another. All I can do is to look within myself and the moment I am existing in to see what feels right at the time. It is important to stand up for ourselves as a collection of women, yet make sure we are not imposing double standards.
What is exciting about this time frame is that there are cracks in everything - but that is how the light gets in.