Feminism | Posted by Danielle P on 08/15/2012

I Am More Than Just A Girl. I Am Human.

I was lucky enough to have been raised by open minded women. Never once did the idea that girls are only supposed to be a certain way come up. Early on I learned that girls and boys are equals. I was treated as such up until middle school when all of a sudden it seemed like people had to define their gender. Sexist jokes all of a sudden became funny and I was supposed to laugh at a joke that degraded me. I was required to like make up and dress like the girls in hip-hop videos. I was no longer a person, but rather A Girl and I had to follow a whole new set of rules. Suddenly, I was defined by my gender and I had to wonder when I stopped being a person. It made no sense to me because I didn’t feel different: I still enjoyed stereotypical “boy things” like wrestling, cars, and nurf guns but that was no longer acceptable.

It seemed that because I wasn’t into the same things as other girls, I was considered a freak. Sure enough, I started to get heavily mocked for not fitting into the “girl” mold. Then my sexuality was called into question because I had decided that at the age of 12 I still wasn’t ready to kiss a boy let alone hook up. Nothing I did was right. I acted too like neither a boy nor a girl, so people assumed there must have been something wrong with more or I was a lesbian. I was more upset that they assumed I was ashamed to be a lesbian rather than the fact that they where deciding my sexually for me. (FYI: I am in fact straight but I am an ally to the LGBT community). I was supposed to pick a side of the proverbial gender line and I didn’t and to this day don’t understand why I can’t just be me, regardless of my gender. I endured the bullying and its after effects because I would rather stay true to myself then change for a role I wasn’t born to play.

I am well aware that I am in fact a girl, but I am more than my gender. I was raised to believe that you are more than the parts you are born with. I should be treated as an equal, not as something fragile that can easily break. Feminism is about gender equality, but I think we should stop making it about gender and started making it about people forgetting wither they are man or woman. I want to be able to live in a world where I am no longer required to follow a special set of rules because of the parts I was born with. At the end of the day are we not all the same thing: human.

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  • Ariel @ at 6:53 am, August 16th, 2012

    I cometely agree. We should forget the titles of girls and boys even in feminism. That would solve a lot of our problems with the general population and those that frame feminism as just for women.
    Heck that would probably get rid of the MRA problem. But at the same time, I really don’t want to join up with a hate group just cause we have the same goals and I fear that will happen eventually if we fully cover all the stuff, even what the MRAs complain about.
    How would we remove genders and sexes from our frame of mind without making that change in the general population too? And if we did do that before the general population did then how would we know which type of oppression or ism we are talking about?
    I’d love for anyone to lay out a plan that we could all follow to effect this change, maybe even within our lifetime.

  • Josh @ at 11:51 am, August 16th, 2012

    I don’t think as humans we are capable of discarding boys or girls or genders. Look around you every thing you see, touch, smell, hear is categorised. Its done both broadly and down to minute sub categorisation. Its in our nature. Its how we define ourselves. Its how we define and make sense of the world around us. Without it we would struggle to define good from bad. Without it we wouldn’t be individuals. And that is probably the defining human characteristic. We want to be defined or categorised as being different/special/better – REMEMBERED.

  • Janet Oberholtzer @ at 12:27 pm, August 16th, 2012

    Found my way here via a link on Facebook.
    Yes, yes, yes to this post!

    I’ve always hated that gender labels are so pronounced, instead I prefer to think of others and myself as human first.
    Which is a thought totally out of sync with the strict mennonite sect (almost Amish) that I grew up in… there are numerous spoken and unspoken strict gender rules and roles in that world.
    Finally now, 25+ years since I left that world, I’m beginning to be comfortable with lack of (and no desire to) fitting into the typical ‘girl’ mold.

  • Voice Of Reason @ at 6:03 pm, August 17th, 2012

    What your experiences seem like to me is not that of a victim with certain expectation. But rather, they seem like the normal difficulties of growing up.

    And besides, it is ludicrous anyway to expect men and women to have the EXACT same interests. It has been SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN that boys and girls behave differently. It is in their genetics.

  • Quin @ at 8:05 pm, August 18th, 2012

    Love, love, love this! I wholeheartedly agree! Gender is, after all, a social construct, so we can make what we wish if we must make anything of it at all. Best of all, there are countless different expressions of gender identity, far beyond cisgender men and women. I consider myself agendered or gender-neutral.

  • Camille B @ at 3:02 pm, August 20th, 2012

    I am African-American and I dislike it when people claim to be color blind. I am comparing color blindness to this discarding of male and female. We need to not ignore it we must accept it and expand it so that the divides between gender is not something the limits someone from expressing there likes and dislikes rather they be typically feminine or masculine.

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