by Ryan Ressemann
Many generalizations since the existence of men and women have been made about the two. Most of those generalizations seek to separate them from each other by defining what one is allowed to do and what one is not allowed to do. Both “Gender is not a Spectrum” by Rebecca Reilly-Cooper, and “How Do I Reconcile My Masculinity With The Toxicity of Men?” by Thomas Page McBee discuss how these ideas of gender norms have evolved to where they are now and how they affect society in a negative way.
In class, we discussed how ideas from both of these articles either upheld or dismantled traditional gender norms. The “boxes” as Reilly-Cooper explains them are upholding gender norms and McBee’s description of how he was able to observe the toxic traits of men and then from that become a better man. Both ideas that were discussed thoroughly in my group generated differing opinions, which is good because from that we discussed our view points.
We discussed how the authors offer renditions of the current idea of gender is or what it should be, and what I noticed, is the ideas bring up controversy and it made me think of how the current climate around gender is delicate; one comment, and you have people agreeing with you or totally hating what you say. This gave me an idea. What would our world look like if we totally got rid of the “boxes” and didn’t put so much importance on the idea of gender? What if after you are born you are pronounced man or woman depending on your biological makeup, but after that, your “gender” doesn’t categorize what you do in life, how you are raised, what you are able to do. I think by doing this society would slowly put less and less importance on the idea of what gender you are, ultimately removing the judgment and categorization that comes with that label. I think rather society would then judge you based on your character leading to a cooler climate around the idea of gender.