In a Medium article about the gender problem in freelance writing, author Linsey Grosfield cites observations made by Guardian writer Lou Henirich in which he refers to women’s news sections as “pink ghettoes.” While his analysis was pretty on-point, I found it ironic that on the Guardian’s website, Women is a subsection of Life and Style–sandwiched right between Family and Home & Garden.
Yes, apparently being a woman is a lifestyle decision about as sacred as deciding which all-natural pesticide to use in your vegetable garden. But this sentiment has a kernel of truth in it. When being a woman is nothing more than a “feeling” you really can lump it in with the season’s latest fashion trends.
If we reduce gender to a decision like which outfit to wear, what are we saying about what it mean’s to be a woman? Like the video highlighted in purplesagefem’s post, gender is no more a choice than ethnicity or age. You can feel like you’re 7 years old all you want, but it’s gonna raise a few eyebrows when you try to invite your fellow seven-year-olds over for a play-date.
So sure, you can choose to be a woman just like you can play with other children if you feel like a child just like you can be white if you feel white. No, we don’t need to judge people but it’s healthy to question the validity of one’s chosen “identity;” further, it’s absolutely necessary to question that person’s motives and what, if anything, they might be getting out of it.