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I’ve been correcting my perceptions of gender so much lately. I’m shocked at how much my idea of “THIS IS WHAT MASCULINITY LOOKS LIKE; FOLLOW IT TO THE T OR EVERYONE WILL THINK YOU’RE FEMININE” has prevented my from expressing myself. I keep forgetting that so much of the masculine/feminine dichotomy is wrapped up in hetero-cis-patriarchal ideals of gender.
Like, I love colorful clothes and cool patterns. But I always thought that color = feminine. Which is absolute bullshit. I can wear any color, no matter how vibrant, and have my identity in tact. Saying “you’re butch/masculine/a man/a dyke/a trans*man, so you need to wear THIS color/pattern/article of clothing” is the same thing as saying “you’re femme/feminine/a woman/a trans* woman, so you need to wear THIS color/pattern/article of clothing” And by having this misconception of masculinity in my head, I am attempting to convince myself I don’t like something I actually enjoy.
Earlier today I was like, “Hm, I should paint my nails!” And I didn’t. Because I thought, “CARLIN, NAIL PAINTING IS FOR GIRLS!”
And then I mentally slapped myself in the face for that cissexist, misogynistic BS.
This year, I’m gonna wear my colored shirts, paint my nails, crop my hair, wear loafers, and don my ties, and do what I want. I’m done letting my misconceptions of clothing and color and gender limit my expression. I’m embracing MY identity. Not what I think it should be, or what others tell me it should be.
hey like or reblog this if you would actually be really opposed to Tahno cutting his hair as any kind of positive character development, as in, to show he’s grown or is a better person or to make him more acceptable.
Because a boy cutting his hair does not carry the same history as a girl doing it, because there are already rigid gender stereotypes saying men cannot be pretty and cannot have any kind of length to their hair (and his isn’t even that long!) and that femme expression on a man constitutes a character flaw.
Because to have him cut his hair in such a way would imply that his earlier femme expression is “just a phase” that he needed to “outgrow.” It’s different when real people get haircuts, but a fictional character’s haircut is a conscious authorial choice, it’s symbolism, it sends a message. It says that Tahno could not be a good guy or redeemed or even a romantic option for Korra while still remaining gender non-conforming even in such a small way, that his gender expression needed to be “fixed,” that there is something fucking wrong with his hair as it is now or it symbolizes something bad.
Because in animation hairstyle is a big part of making characters distinctive, and lopping off his distinctive do would make him less eye-catching and make him look kind of boring.
Because everyone can tell it would be offensive to say Asami should stop wearing makeup and skirts and cut her hair as character development, because Asami knows who she is and expresses herself femininely because she enjoys it and it would be misogynistic to treat this as something in need of repair, but femininity on a boy is something we still think it’s okay to erase and beat out of him with trauma and call it character development.
(note: I have had him cut his hair once in fic, and consider it another time. In both cases it didn’t mean anything good. The time he cut it it symbolized self-destructivenesss and a sort of nihilistic surrender of identity, he was an absolute trainwreck in that fic and was not headed in the direction of positive growth; the time he thought about it it symbolized low self-esteem and a willingness to conform because maintaining his self-expression in the face of family criticism was just another battle he wasn’t sure he had it in him to fight at the time. I have never once written him getting a haircut to show improvement or redemption, and never will.)