Gender roles: a rant

I am an LGBT ally, and what bothers me most on a personal level—beyond the fact that equality should be for all—is the stress society places on gender roles and expectations. For several years now, I have chosen to wear my hair short. It was long once, and over the years it gradually got shorter and shorter —from elbow length, to shoulder, then shorter until I had the sides buzzed, as can be seen in my hairventures. I don’t like the feeling of hair touching my neck or face, and short hair, for me, is easier.

And yet I get questions from complete strangers asking me why, as a female, I chose to cut off my long hair. I have had several people confuse me for a male solely because of my short hair. At first I didn’t mind the questions, but if a stranger is going to comment on my appearance, I would infinitely prefer they ask me about my piercings or my tattoos or the clothes I wear. Honestly, I would be more comfortable explaining to someone I don’t know why I have the serenity quote tattooed on my arm than why I cut my hair short. The only trouble is that the tattoo explanation would make everyone else uncomfortable.

I don’t buy into gender roles. I am female, but I can’t cook or bake or sew. I wear jeans and tee shirts most days, and oftentimes shopped in the boys’ section as a child, and played in the mud with my brother and his friends. I play video games and curse like a sailor. Yet I do love a good twirly dress and heels, and I have more Barbies than most people I know. I wear makeup 90% of the time—and a lot of it, too, only designed to look subtle.

And if we’re really going to delve into it, I have this:


a traditionally feminine shape.

I have an hourglass figure. I have enormous breasts, a narrow waist, and hips. I have the body of pinup girls from the 1950s. Continue reading