9.06.2010

Gender Atheism

I remember being frustrated when people would ask me if I was a girl or a boy. Kids and adults alike never seemed to ask me what my name was, just what my gender was. I never realized how rude a question that was until later, as if what was between my legs was far more important than my name, where I am from, whether I prefer cats to dogs, or if I believe in God. No one cared about anything like that when they saw me.  First and foremost they had to be able to label me: girl or boy? Then they could proceed to make assumptions about me based on whether or not I conformed to the expectations of said gender.

Are you a girl or a boy? That is probably one of the most humiliating things you can ask a person. Most of the time it happens in public, people don't usher you aside to ask this, they don't lean across the counter and whisper it, they demand it of you in front of others, as if in shaming you somehow you will be exonerated for your lie. How many times have you been asked this by someone who appears angry that you dare show yourself without making it obvious that you are either apple or orange? Man or woman? As if there are only two choices and the Gordian knot of gender and sexuality could be untied to reveal just four strings male/female/straight/gay. But that still doesn't take into consideration gender. Gender is not about sexuality, and it is not about biology exactly, it's more of an expression of your inner self: your spirit. In fact I am pretty sure I could argue that gender is an entirely fabricated idea.

The idea that all biologically estrogen based creatures feel, act, are interested in, motivated by, and desire the same things is preposterous. Similarly the notion that all testosterone based biological creatures have carbon copy spirits is ridiculous. Gender is an expression of spirit and the idea that someones gender is "wrong" is as stupid as claiming that someone's culture is wrong. Sexuality is fluid, you can be straight or gay or someplace in between. For most people yes they have either a "boy" container  or a "girl" container for their spirit but the spirit inside that container may not always be what one would expect to find inside. That expectation comes from a long history of what has typically been expressed by each of these containers and what society has dictated acceptable. Boy containers may not always hold "blue" spirits and girl containers may not always contain "pink" spirits but because society has told us "pink" spirits go in girl containers and "blue" spirits go in boy containers. That is what we have come to accept as normal. How great would it be if spirits could choose the containers into which they are born. Unfortunately, society has dictated for a long time that our spirits are expected to twist and conform to match our biological body instead of allowing our spirits to shape our bodies into whatever form is most comfortable and satisfying.

Gender isn't really a concrete thing that you can put your finger on. It is personal for everyone; Gender is the a part of your spirit that expresses the ways in which you interact with your body: it is the ghost in the machine. How one relates to their own body should be a completely independent decision and it certainly should not be something that is regulated, legislated or discriminated against because each person has their own way to relate to their body: love it or hate it. Having the power and ability to chose how that body looks, acts, feels, and interacts with other bodies should be something that is as important as one's freedom to control of their own life and future, to choose their job, their lover, their, dog, their supper, their clothes.

Everyone has the right to be happy and to interact with their body in any way they see fit. To not allow someone that freedom is akin to torture, imprisonment and slavery. And seriously, what is the motivation behind keeping someone from being happy? From being able to choose for themselves? Ask yourself what is the motivation for someone who would deny this freedom to anyone? If society decided all our bodies should be the same, if we were all to be thin, or white.....

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