Monday 30 January 2012

Screw You And Your Stereotypes ( I Will Never Be A Girly Girl)

I had a conversation today with someone that ran along the lines of many, many conversations I’ve had over the years, it went something like this:

Me: “I love that the new Top Gear is on, they have the new Mclaren MP-12C and the new Lamborghini!!”
Person: “You’re not very good at this being a female thing, are you?”

I mean, really??????
When I left school I was an apprentice mechanic at the Rolls Royce dealership in Jersey, long ago I lost count but I’ve owned at least 50 cars since I was 16, I am inexplicably and unashamedly obsessed about an internal combustion engine attached to four wheels and a seat. Since when does gender have to do with that? 
When I was on day release from the garage at the local college there was a woman in my class studying with us, and to be honest, she was way better a mechanic than I ever was. What is it with people assuming that to like something you have to be a certain gender? Today I met a woman who’s boyfriend is obsessed with pink, Lauren, one of my best friends from home can kick my ass at Playstation, I’ve worked on building sites next to female plumbers and carpenters and I’ve met men who are more obsessed with makeup and beauty than I am about cars.
When will people realise that every time they try and pigeon hole one gender into a certain role they are just reinforcing outdated and needless stereotypes? This kind of thinking has to stop right now. Some young boys like playing with dolls. Some young girls like playing rough with the boys her age.
Why does one activity or another have to be gendered? Why can’t we all just BE?
Just because I am female it doesn’t mean I have to live up to what you may think I should do. I like cars, video games and finding out how things work, this doesn’t make me any less female. I also like makeup, shoes to die for and watching Loose Women but people choose to ignore this when they question me about my love of cars.
As I mentioned in a previous blog this reinforcement of stereotypes starts at a young age and I believe it takes a certain type on mind to see around it, analyse everything, ask why, question motives, this is the only way that we can embrace and promote gender variance and freedom of expression as nothing more than personal wellbeing.   

Tuesday 24 January 2012

The Thing About Gender Is...

It’s been a while since my last blog (again) as I’ve been concentrating on writing my book and general boring life stuffs. Next month is going to be a pretty cool one though, I’ve been asked to go to a few support groups and charities to give talks to about my experiences as an early transitioner and give my views on lots of different things. One thing that has got me thinking though is the people at Schools Out have asked me to come give my input in a discussion panel.
It got me thinking about how gender stereotypes are reinforced from a very young age in schools, whether it be about uniform, queuing up after lunch break, playing with toys or the whole netball is for girls and football is for boys rubbish. There is so much being ingrained in these young children that I fear that societies acceptance of non-gender binary expression may never improve.
The sooner people figure out that teaching children the fact that it’s ok to express their gender however they feel, the better. Instead of reinforcing the differences between children we should be encouraging their freedom of expression. Teachers should be teaching children the fact that gender is a spectrum and not everyone falls into either the stereotypical male or female role. If we want children to grow up into well rounded, open minded adults then they need to learn how to question everything about their thought processes and the greater world around them and make informed decisions about how they react to things.
Another thing I’ve been doing since my last blog is giving up smoking. I’m at 9 days now, using one of those inhalator things… I never thought I’d have ever even tried to give up but last week I just decided to stop and went to the doctor and all of a sudden I’m a non smoker! Well, when I was out for a drink with a friend on Friday I confess to smoking a couple but they just tasted like shit which I think is the right reaction…
I broke my cars gearbox somehow too over the last couple of weeks so am confined to my flat and only going out on the bus every couple of days but at least it’s concentrating me on writing my book. You didn’t know I was writing a book? Well I am. It’s about my experiences this summer coming out to different people and the journey I went on from day one of living fulltime as female. I’m looking for a publisher if you know anyone who can help? Ideally I’m looking for a publishing house to handle printing as well as promotions as I have no experience in it at all… Contact me on Facebook or Twitter if you think you can help!!