Picture a young woman. Hair tied in a messy bun, thick mascara over the eyes, blushing cheeks giving way to her smile as she walks across the corridor in high heels.Scene 2:
Now, picture a young man. Wearing a light blue linen shirt with sleeves rolled up to the elbow, he stubs his cigarette and gets up from the sofa!
Not difficult to imagine I guess. After all, we all have lived in a society that creates a clear distinction between men and women by their characteristics of masculinity and femininity (read respectively). And whosoever doesn’t match the social criteria is sinfully abandoned.
Gender, sex, marriage, relationships etc. are personal terms highly judged by the society we created. The irony is, it doesn’t stop here but goes to the extent of formation of laws in the country. We fail to realize this social framework was meant to create harmony among individuals and not discriminate us. Alas!
Very often, an individual’s sex is mistaken with his gender. Sex is of biological origin discovered at the time of birth whereas gender is a social character an individual develops over time. Masculinity and femininity are not opposite ends but a spectrum that defines an individual’s gender. Hence, gender can be feminine, masculine or anything in between, better termed as androgynous. The beautiful part, all of this is natural.
Androgyny rules out the distinct existence of masculinity & femininity . It expresses ambiguity of characters as well as emotions. A woman wearing pants or being a breadwinner of the family, a man expressing his emotions or wearing makeup; these are all attributes of a gender lying within the spectrum that is totally appropriate and natural. Some are accepted based on their comfort level and cumulative adoption, while others get rejected.
So, if gender is socially constructed, does it mean they build them at parties? Is it a matter in the hands of people who hold a drink in their other hand? Do they own the right to comment on the natural expression and blurring lines of an individual?
A few expressions blurring the lines between masculinity and femininity, irrespective of what the society thinks and how you are expected to live, thus creating a whole new paradigm for androgyny –