“I feel like people are kind of confused about gender norms. I feel like people don’t really get it. I’m not saying that I get it. I’m just saying that I’ve never seen any distinction. I don’t see man clothes and woman clothes. I just see scared people and comfortable people.”
The young man that you see in the featured image of this post is rapper Young Thug. His new mixtape, Jeffery, has already made headlines and for obvious reasons. Men wearing dresses isn’t anything new, especially in the comedic sense; Madea, Big Momma’s House, and etc. However, the social/political statement behind seeing a man in a dress, nowadays, is and it’s starting to add another flame to the gender war between men & women. The new message behind cross-dressing is gender fluidity.
- Gender Fluid – is a gender identity which refers to a gender which varies over time. A gender fluid person may at any time identify as male, female, neutrois, or any other non-binary identity, or some combination of identities.
Which basically means death to gender identities.
I remember one of my Twitter companions posing the question, “can you imagine a world without gender?” They went on to argue that gender is nothing but a social construction that is used to divide men and women as well as marginalize one sex from the other. My response to their question ended up starting a kerfuffle (which isn’t a surprise) because I didn’t understand and still don’t understand the purpose of this argument. Gender is an identity, so if the argument is to wipe out the identity altogether, what would be the point of having two different sexes (male/female)? Gender roles, however, are social constructions; women should stay in the kitchen and cook, men should stay outside and work on cars. Getting rid of gender roles and stereotypes would help shift our society towards post-gender, but getting rid of the identity of being a male/female is just tone-deaf to me.
In regards to how this conversation affects my community, a mess. Every topic from the emasculation of black men, misogyny, self-hate, and homophobia is brought up to keep “us” divided. And do you know who’s to blame for all of this? Black men, well, a certain type of black man.
As problematic and just hurtful as that statement is, it’s not something that I haven’t heard before coming from black people. Apparently, we’re the ones who told black women that they can’t vote, work, or receive equal pay as their white counterparts. We’re the only ones who are homophobic because every other race of men and women are so accepting of the black, LGBT community. And we’re the ones who have kept our foot on the back of our community’s neck and have stunted any sort uplift that could change our lives for the better. Right? This type of toxic rhetoric is proof that my community will not be moving upward anytime soon. This “Black Revolution,” dare I say, will remain a myth until I’m long gone. But I digress.
Gender inequality isn’t anything new, and with the advent of social media, a lot of those social issues have been brought to the forefront for the better. But the idea that our society will be able to solve those problems by wiping out the identity altogether is just lazy. Instead of going to the root of the problem by studying the history and even the science behind the perception of men and women, many are arguing that we need to destroy the concept of being a man and a woman let alone masculinity and femininity; because that’s the cause of our problems. Lazy. I equate this entire argument to the same folks who feel that benevolence is (or should be) the cure for systemic racism; “I don’t hate you because of your skin color, but you’ll still be a part of the disenfranchised group because I don’t want you to have as much or more than me.”
If we’re going to have this type of discussion, at least come with some credible sources as to why our society needs to go this route. Because it’s not going to be as easy as you think. Everything would have to change…everything!
Until Next Time…
Gender Wiki. (n.d.). Retrieved August 27, 2016, from http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Gender_Fluid