Stop Gender Generalizing!!

In case y’all didn’t know, I’m really against dichotomous rhetoric. I hate dichotomies regarding anything, but especially gender. I’m really tired of hearing people say things like “Boys do__” and “Girls do___.” Especially when it comes from people who know better.

Sometimes people’s remarks are fairly harmless. The other day, one of my coworkers was talking about how boys are allowed to have bad handwriting but girls have to have nice handwriting. I don’t know where this idea comes from, all I know is that my handwriting is atrocious and most of the men with whom I work have excellent penmanship.

While these people are not absolved of responsibility (and I’d be lying if I said I’ve never made gender generalizations), the fact that this kind of language comes from people who know (or should know) better tells me how deeply these notions of gender dichotomies are ingrained in our culture. You know it’s bad when practically everything at the drugstore is separated into his and hers categories, usually by color. I don’t know about you, but I just couldn’t possibly handle the big blue razor; I need the skinny pink one.

What I’m calling for here is for people to stop making generalizations about people based on their genders. I’m calling for more gender-neutral wording–like push-ups and modified push-ups instead boy and girl push-ups. I’m calling for more thought before we speak, because I know how easy it is to slip into dichotomous thinking, especially when gender is involved.

This is something everyone needs to work on. People should feel comfortable being whomever they want to be, and people shouldn’t feel bad about themselves just because they don’t fit into their traditionally prescribed gender roles. Limiting people is harmful and it needs to stop. So let’s all work a little harder, and use whatever razor we damn well please!

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