Gender norms are damaging (to me, at least)
Okay so this post is going to be me ranting a lil bit.
I recently told my mom that I want to have my hair short next time I go to the hairdresser, and by short I mean shorn sides and a little longer on top. Her reaction? “Do you want to be a boy or something?”
And this honestly baffled me.
Why can’t I want short hair and be comfortable with my assigned gender at the same time? Why does short hair have to be “masculine” and long hair “feminine”? Why does it even matter? So I told her that I just really like the way short hair looks and I want to try it out, to which she replied: “A feminine short haircut is very different from a masculine one.”
It’s??? Hair??? I told her I don’t care whether my hair conforms to a certain gender norm. In fact, I told her I hate gender stereotypes and I like to be free in what I do and how I present myself; something she just couldn’t seem to fathom. She told me I was becoming “too masculine”, which is problematic in and of itself. Needless to say, she doesn’t approve of me cutting my hair and will do anything in her power to prevent me from doing so.
Which brings me to my point: gender norms are very damaging. Cutting my hair is something I’ve been wanting to do for years now, but I’ve always pushed the idea aside because I, as a female, was supposed to have long hair. And because I thought my mom would literally go mad if I cut it.
My mother likes to pretend to be very open-minded and accepting, but when I finally told her I’m pan, after literal months of dropping progressively less subtle hints, she just looked at me like I was crazy.
Gender norms are damaging because they prevent people from growing as a person. And I’m done with not being able to fully express myself.
I like androgynous people. I like women with short hair, men who wear heels, genderqueer people who do whatever. I admire androgyny and people who are able to express themselves fully regardless of gender norms.
And I want to be like that too.
I want people to look at me and wonder what gender I am. I want people to realize that you don’t have to conform to gender norms. I want people to look at me and think: “Wow, I wish I had the courage to dress like that.”
I want to encourage people to do whatever they want, regardless of gender. And yes, mom, I want to have short hair. Not because I want to be a boy.
It’s just because I like short hair.