I’m a feminist who understands ‘gender’ as opposed to ‘sex’ and fervently believe we perform our gender and are punished when we deviate from its script.
I’m a feminist but I am still surprised when people assume I am lesbian, or a vegan, or both. I happen to be neither and actually quite enjoy a good steak and bit of loving with a man. There’s nothing wrong with falling in love or having hot sex with someone from the same gender/sex (or having crap sex or falling out of love for that matter), and I appreciate the aims of the vegan movement, but I get frustrated that being a feminist means all other aspects of my life are also assumed to be just as against the mainstream grain.
I just want to eat meat and I don’t want to have to apologise for being part of the movement for gender equality AND then be put in the ‘other’ box. First of all, equal rights for women and men is not just a peripheral aspiration AND there should be NO ‘other’ box anyway.
On a personal level I wish that instead of being put into a category that limits how I should act/behave/make life choices, I begin and remain in a ‘person’ box which allows me to have short hair AND wagyu steak, if I want. Let me not wax my legs AND have tantric sex, if I want (and can). Let me barrack for Collingwood AND have all my teeth.
I just want to eat meat. Gender stereotypes work to limit the potential of people, if not just by imposing invisible boundaries in their minds but by doing the same to those around them. If society only likes assertiveness in men and long hair on women then that’s all that will be rewarded and expected. Thinking outside gender stereotypes unsettles expectations and challenges those invisible boundaries.
Be careful though, opening your mind to new perspectives may turn you into a vegan, lesbian, feminist – but you won’t be alone, you can make friends with the dentally-complete Collingwood supporters next door.