By Zoe Feldshon
Do you ever wonder who you would be if you weren’t raised with the constant connotation that you are a boy or girl and nothing in between? I remember when I was younger and my room having pink walls, pink bedding, and a pink dresser. I grew up in a family of girls so it seemed normal that I would like the same things my sisters did. However, I never followed the normalcy of feminism as my sisters and mother did. I refused to wear heels from an early age, dressing up was never my favorite, and I never wanted to get married (I wanted my castle and bed to myself.) I always thought these ideas we’re radical but they were only radical for the time. As I got older I began to declare my favorite color was black, my favorite sport was riflery, and that I wanted ski gear instead of new swimsuits and designer bags. But as I developed these interests, they didn’t seem out of the blue. As I have grown up there has been less pressure put upon me to serve as the “idealistic” female and instead allows me to be who I want to be, and it’s not just at home.
I’m sure most of us spend a while at night scrolling through Tiktok before bed, but the addictive app is a perfect example of how gender constructions have been broken down as we progress further into the 21st century. As I scroll at night I see women showing off their baggy clothing and short hair and I stare at them in awe. I see influencers like Billie Eillish wear purely mens clothing and I always note how she looks stunning. People feel more comfortable using pronouns that they align with rather than what society expects them to use. Reading our recent books on women and their encounters and expectations of being women have only made me appreciate the progress our society has had.
While reflecting on how much our society has grown I continue I have momentary flashbacks to my time in Hebrew school. My friend Ruby had short hair and typically wore mens basketball clothes, (however they were boys clothes since we were around eight years old.) She always asked me to go to the bathroom with her because she knew she was a girl, but she was scared of other people thinking she wasn’t just because she didn’t dress the same. Although I haven’t heard from Ruby in 10 years I look around at our society and have hope that she (or they) feel comfortable going into whichever bathroom they choose, wearing whatever clothes they feel look best, and being who they finally want to be.