Pigeonholing genders is a curse of a happy society

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6 September 2017 3:13PM

I like being female. I don’t know what it actually means since I don’t believe there is a definitive definition. Which is why I’m always perplexed at the term ‘gender neutral’.

This week there has been a furore over John Lewis selling clothing which has neither a ‘boys’ nor ‘girls’ label in an attempt to avoid stereotyping.

I don’t have a problem with providing clothes which can be worn by both. Who says what you wear should be defined by your sex?

What I see as gender neutral is simply being human. Actions and appearances shouldn’t be confined to male and female.

Crying isn’t feminine; aggression isn’t masculine; sensitivity isn’t feminine; decisiveness isn’t masculine.

Who decreed the height of femininity is high heels, lashes, lipstick and beauty queen hair?

I find a joy in seeing men with stubble transform themselves into stunning drag queens who move more womanly than any woman I know.

Who states masculinity is all about toughness when ultra-endurance female athletes look set to overtake men in their sport. Those women, with their muscles, six-packs and competitiveness, I also find amazing.

Pigeonholing is the curse of a happy society. You are a man therefore you can never show your emotions, admit vulnerabilities, only be attracted to women, obsess about sports and know the inside of a car’s engine.

You are female therefore don’t be too confident, too clever or express your sexuality in any way which may scare the horses in polite society.

So many silly, pointless and destructive rules, you don’t need a degree in psychology to see why people are so miserable and declaring themselves gender neutral to escape it all.

As I say, I like being female and can’t see any reason to be gender neutral, when the world should already be, as The Kinks once sang, “mixed up, muddled up and shook up”.

I, for instance, have seen the movies Beaches, Grease (I know every, single, word), Sound of Music and Dirty Dancing a total of 456 times, while never having seen Mamma Mia!

I am obsessed by cushions, glittery ornaments and scented candles, but break out in a rash at the thought of a stuffed toy (only for children), and anything with flowers, ruffles or frills.

While it comes to men, I like them clean and just in jeans and a T-shirt. Pretty straightforward.

However, I have also had a life-long passion for Prince in his heels, pearls, lacy tops, lipstick and mascara. And I have a major crush on the actress Julianne Moore. Am I too feminine, or not feminine enough? Don’t know, don’t care.

I also know several blokey men who spend more time on their hair than I do; cry at films when an animal is in peril and who like nothing better than batch baking scones.

One thing which should remind us what happens when the world sticks to its rigid ‘masculine’ boxes: Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

If ever someone needed some gender neutral-ing then it is those two.

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