Undoing Gender

The line between anatomy and gender is thin, but clear if only one tries to stop and think and notice.

It’s interesting when a friend asked me today, what are the biases I had faced on a personal level based on my gender — I was tongue tied. I couldn’t think of any instance. No, it’s not that I haven’t been subjected to gender bias. When he asked me that question, I was perhaps thinking of the ‘surface level’ problems like discrimination at work, sexual oppression and rape.

I easily ignored the fact that everyday, my mom is freaking out because I’m not home and it’s late. How I thought it was normal. How my friends thought it was normal, this was a concern every parent would have for their kids, kids for their siblings and so on.

But we completely ignored that this was a concern my mom had only for me, and would probably not have for my brother when he is my age. This concern was gender based. The fear I had and my mom had, was gender based. Women live with the fear of rape and murder and perhaps have never known what it feels like to live without it. And it’s come to seem so normal, that it’s scary.

The word rape carries years of female oppression, gender norms and discrimination. And I’m not sorry if it sounds very heavy and rigid, for you to think of immediate change. But I want to crusade for ending this fear, amongst many others.

We must become aware of the implicit biases ingrained in our own heads, coming out in everyday language, perceptions and actions. By associating men to masculinity and female to femininity and never allowing one to mix with the other — we are not only challenging our biological constructs, we are also reinforcing social constructs.

Tomorrow we will stop and think and notice, that anatomy only defines our sex, not our rights.

This is a crusade for man, woman, intersex and everything else anatomy cannot yet understand. There is a commonality amongst us all, and that’s what we must fight for. Join the discussion at The Hive, from 5pm to 11pm — with music, poetry, painting, readings and a workshop by the awesome NCFW.

Event link here, for more details — #UndoingGender with TPC