Lately, I have been paying attention to my parents and how they speak. In a recent post (The Wand Chooses the Wizard: Fashion Edition), I explored the concept of macho-culture and how masculine identity, especially for gay culture is usually under scrutiny. Lately, my parents have been making some very curious comments that I want to reflect upon.
If the mentioned post above, I recall an experience where my mom claimed my scarf was feminine (or femmie). While I understand the pretense this comes from, she has been using it a lot more when identifying colors for a room or talking about certain clothing items or attitudes. Again, for repetition’s sake, I find this gender stereotype to be anti-progress for gender identity and gender equality. What’s more is that color (apparently white is a feminine color) somehow obtains a gender, when in fact it is a “neutral” color for a reason.
For context, my nephew is trying to choose colors for his room, but my dad refuses to do white (ironically) because it is not a masculine color. For my nephew, who is nearing the end of his high school career (for context, he was born when I was seven … so I’m not that old), why is his room being sculpted in a way to augment his masculinity? If my nephew prefered a pink wall, would my parents refuse because of its acquired feminine characteristic?
Perhaps at the epicenter of my coming out, I suppose I am just more fine-tuned and, frankly, fed up with gender stereotypes. We as a culture do a disservice for our youth by constantly perpetuating the concept of difference. If we truly seek equality (for gender, sexuality, religion, and more), is this possible by maintaining our current trend to discriminate and to segregate? Understandably we, as humans, are inclined to discriminate and segregate. This brings to question, then, whether the concept of peace is truly within our deck of cards.
For me, I find this topic to be close to heart because I identify with many ‘feminine characteristics.’ In the eyes of my parents, then, am I feminine? Am I female in their language? I identify as male – I am masculine, but because I hold feminine tendencies, does that gender resonate throughout my own, personal identification?
Language and the intention of language is a difficult concept to understand. As an English major who studied linguistics, I can first-hand share that language itself is convoluted. But if we continue to progress the ignorant lifestyle of the language we speak, there is no hope for a truly equalized civilization.