I am a
When someone is emotional, they are just emotional - not being a woman; when someone is rational, they are just rational - not thinking like a man; when someone is afraid, they are just afraid - not being weak as a woman. I found this article/infographic on gender stereotypes today on social media.
There are some great points here which also reflect on my world-view. I have seen many men suffocate through a life of no art and expression just because they are supposed to be a certain way. I have seen family members who were capable of displaying emotions in the most entertaining way, hide that side of themselves and eventually, succumb to their own talents. Long ago, I thought about a #SaveOurMen campaign. But then, we just need to save the human spirit and let it rise above our lazy methods to pour the world in glasses. Fueled by education, awareness, discoveries and inventions; We can evolve into a species where we rely on the other person's choice of identification; and refrain from applying our judgement to it.
As a writer who loves giving life to inanimate objects, I face this challenge everyday!
A little beyond the scope of this article is our classification of behavior. I met someone in a conference last year and we hit it off on a discussion about introverts and extroverts.
"You know, I am an introvert." Friend said.
"What do you mean?" I said.
"I am usually quiet and shy." He said.
"Oh, so am I!"
The discussion spiraled into a direction where we spoke about how people who identify themselves as introverts speak their heart out when they feel comfortable and those who call themselves extroverts, shut themselves off if they are uncomfortable. What then are these categories or labels? A way to simplify our understanding of people or proof of our laziness? These stereotypes seem to create misunderstandings rather than offer compassion towards the diversity of our personalities.
I think it's an inherent human trait that we behave according to the environment and the situation. Hence, at different junctures we all display different shades of the vast spectrum of human emotions. Even if we find ourselves behave a certain way more often, unless the situation demands it, it becomes a choice and then, we are free to identify ourselves however we like. But to assume and apply such tags to other people permanently not only limits our exploration but reinforces a behavior that might otherwise fade away.
For example, if someone is called 'bossy' because they can guide/lead a group of people well; eventually, their own intentions might change from being an effective leader to a control freak. They might negatively influence an environment just to hold up what was long associated with their personality.
Because, as we all know, we are affected by the perception of those around us. The idea then could be to deprejudice that influence and help each other be our better selves.