Photo of vintage carnival swing ride by GrainnePhotography
I get a lot of e-mail. The longer I’ve been running this site, the more I’ve grown to enjoy the reader feedback–for good or bad. Thanks to each of you who take a moment to write.
Make no mistake, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive–too positive, really, considering I blather on sometimes about things that primarily interest me or my cat, Italics–but it is very kind. And the negative feedback–which generally comes in the form of insults or comparisons to 1950s housewives (am I supposed to hang my head in shame?)–is nothing I take too seriously. (C’mon! Their aprons were cute!)
We are, after all, entitled to our opinions–right or wrong.
That said, I received a negative piece of feedback in response to a post I wrote entitled, Female Without Apology. Here is what the anonymous reader wrote:
“Who [we] are is not a gender. First and last post I will read from this blog.”
I’ve got to give the reader kudos for brevity. But the words have stayed with me for almost a month. So here is my response:
Researchers say that, when a girl and boy are given a sheet of paper and a box of crayons, they will generally draw different things. The girl will likely draw a scene–her house, perhaps, or the people in her life–while the boy will set to work creating action. He might draw a military demonstration or the latest scene from Lord of the Rings. (Hopefully not a scene with Gollum, yikes.)
Whole studies and schools of thought are dedicated to gender identity and their ensuing roles in society. Many studies would suggest that boys and girls do things–unprompted–for no other reason than that they are following the pattern set by gender.
Additionally, it is difficult to paint the full picture of a person without including the individual’s gender. Try it. It makes the person . . . well . . . bland.
I am no expert, but I believe that gender is very definitely part of who we are. And I believe gender is a gift. From the beginning of humanity, man and woman were created with unique responsibilities and roles. To take away gender (theoretically, of course) is to take away one of the things that makes each of us unique. Strip away gender and we don’t have equality–we have less variety.
And as we know, variety is the spice of life.
With that said, I’ve seen people in the news–some celebrity, some activist–fighting for the right to change genders. And it does beg the question, “Why?” If gender isn’t who we are, why does it matter?
Food for thought? Maybe. Maybe not. Well. You’re not reading anyway.