Break a Leg

Everyone is an actor/actress.  Plain and simple.  From the second we pop out into this world we are completely surrounded by gender.  You’re either raised hearing that you’re a “little princess” or “momma’s big strong boy”.  Society corners children and throws them into their assigned gender category and gives them no easy way of escaping it.

I learned very early in life that girls wear pink, girls wear dresses, and girls don’t hang upside-down on the monkey-bars when wearing said pink dresses.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t follow these gender roles, and I doubt anyone else can either.  We read gendered books, watch gendered TV shows and gendered movies, watch our babysitters and parents act out gender, play with gendered toys, and theres no surprise that we follow suit.  We act these gender roles out 24/7 whether were trying to or not.  While I would never consider myself a “girly girl”, theres no doubt that I act out the female gender norms on the daily.  My hair is nearly two feet long, I frequently wear dresses and skirts, and I rarely leave my apartment without putting mascara on first.  I speak in a slightly higher pitch when speaking in class or to people i don’t know very well, I walk with a slight bounce in my step, and I cross my legs when seated in public.  There’s really no questioning my gender on a typical day, but without my 19 years of societal pressure I highly doubt this would be the case.

We are given free acting classes every day of our young lives.  Girls do this.  No, that’s for boys.  Good little girls never do that.  No we wanna go to the barbie aisle, honey.  We are all bred to be full time, unpaid actors and actresses.  It’s all a show.  What really justifies males being strong and tough while females play with dolls and look pretty in the background?  The script.  It’s all in the script.  Kids born at this very moment will fall victim to the same gender act depending on which three words are said to their parents. “It’s a girl.” “It’s a boy.”  Break a leg out there, kids.

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2 thoughts on “Break a Leg

  1. I agree with you one hundred percent with your entire statement and points. But the difference in our up-bring was I was not ever told to act as a boy or that is for girls. This was because I am a younger sibling I am the third youngest out of eight. Six boys and two girls and all I did was followed my brothers and copied every single thing they did and what my sisters were doing I wanted no parts of it.

  2. While I agree with you entirely, I feel as though your statement at the end of a child’s gender expression being based solely on wether they are labeled as a boy or a girl at birth is not necessarily true. In many cases where a child is born intersex, their gender is prescribed at will by the parents through “corrective” surgery. Also, in the case of trans or non binary people is gender not being applied in an extremely different way than what was prescribed at birth and instilled by ones parents and socialization?

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