It's interesting to see the progression of "blame" following the Parkland, Florida shooting. First it was guns, then mental illness, then bullying, then child abuse, then domestic violence, then absentee fathers. Now months later, with all the cards on the table, people are finally starting to acknowledge the relationship of toxic masculinity to gun violence.
Nearly all mass shooters in the U.S. are male for the simple reason that to wield a gun while killing people is regarded as the epitome of manhood. What most people aren't talking about, however, is why guns? Far more efficient and effective means exist, like food poisoning and airborne toxins. Yet these killers consistently stage their brutal attack with guns.
I have a theory, and it is two-fold. First and foremost, guns themselves have become culturally associated with masc...ulinity through popular media depictions of violence in movies, books, video games, etc. Secondly, the overwhelming proliferation of gun violence in mainstream news provides a ready template for copycat massacres. These two factors combined perpetuate the harmful stereotype that guns are the tool of choice for "real men" committed to acts of extreme violence, by endowing these weapons with an almost fetishistic connotation of masculinity.
In contrast, food poisoning, airborne toxins, etc. have no gender-specific cultural association and they lack sufficient precedent by which a determined killer could faithfully invoke their claim to "manhood".
The pride flag I designed for the gender creative community in 2015.
The lavender fields substitute for pink and blue in the transgender pride flag to symbolize the blurring of the conventional ideals associated with masculinity and femininity whereas the white field represents freedom of gender expression.
It's hard to believe that in 2018 transphobes still argue that in a scientific context, sex is the same as gender and gender is biological.
Gender is a sociological and psychological term. Sex is a biological term. The only time that gender is a synonym for sex in American English is when laypeople assume that "sex" is too obscene for everyday speech, so they interject "gender" to convey dignity and sophistication (when in reality it comes across as prudish to those that acknowledge the important distinction).
This story will undoubtedly resonate with gender creative folks as well. Even if our chosen name is considered non-normative for our gender, it is still an extension of who we are and should be respected.
I’ll take “things that we really shouldn’t have had to prove” for 500, Alex.
Today is #TDOV, a day in which to celebrate diversity of gender through positive visibility!
As marches are being staged nationwide this weekend in response to gun violence, many people are quick to scapegoat mental health and parental discipline while others are willing to highlight the role of precursors like domestic abuse and absentee fathers. But amidst all of this polarizing rhetoric, the fundamental causal-relationship of toxic masculinity to gun violence is sidestepped.
In Western culture we normalize and even celebrate violence in boys and men. From a young ...age, boys learn that to be aggressive, superior, fearless, and unemotional is a signature of manhood. Such attitudes of toxic masculinity are indoctrinated from a young age through peer pressure as well as popular depictions of "real men" in movies, music, sports, etc. Such hegemonic cultural ideals carry over into the emotional turmoil and distress of adolescence, creating a perfect storm for young men in crisis to express their frustrations through antisocial behavior.
Since boys are socially conditioned to refrain from expressions of weakness and dependency, they are therefore less inclined to seek guidance from a trusted mentor before reaching the breaking point.
Left entirely to their own devices and without the vital emotional support they need through parental and peer bonding, these troubled teens are therefore predisposed to antisocial behavior. Pair this with an inability to form healthy, interpersonal relationships, and their life will invariably spiral out of control leading them on the dark path of self-destruction.
Society creates these monsters. They are a product of our own making.
Kudos to Roseanne for being the first network TV show to depict an openly gender creative child. Although the article does conflate the terms nonbinary and gender creative, at least it is a step in the right direction for visibility and acceptance!
As someone that has identified as bisexual for about 25 years, I've always wondered why sexual orientation is still defined solely on the basis of gender. There is such diversity of gender identity and gender expression, the notion that everyone must selectively pick a label only for what genders they find attractive -- to the wholesale exclusion of ALL other personal qualities -- is confounding, to say the least.
Memes on trans pages routinely assert that nobody can know if ...someone is transgender without asking. Similarly, it's unreasonable to assume whether someone is male or female only by observation. That would be cissexist. For this reason, a strong argument could be made that defining sexual orientation exclusively in terms of gender is in fact transphobic (after all, there are nonbinary and genderqueer people for whom the notion of "gender" may not apply).
People should have the right to define their sexuality on their own terms. Gay, lesbian, and straight are all valid sexual identities. But the notion that all people must adhere to that same restrictive convention is yet another means of policing identities and inducing conformity with societal conventions. And that is the antithesis of sexual liberation.
I would really like to see a new definition of sexual orientation that is no longer contingent on gender -- but instead empowers people to describe their sexual and romantic attractions in terms that are truly meaningful to them -- rather than a limited subset of descriptors that have received the stamp of approval from society-at-large, the LGBTQ community, and Tumblr keyboard warriors.
"You are normal and your experience is valid. Embrace every aspect of who you are — because that's what makes you so amazing." ✨
This calendar was shared by ItGetsBetterProject on Tumblr. However, even with 30 days to pick from in June, there is sadly nothing for gender nonconforming and gender creative folks. We are routinely mentioned in statistics when it is convenient to boost numbers, but then altogether forgotten when it comes to celebrating our diverse community. Let's aim to get a "Gender Creative Pride Day" added to this calendar for next year!
The timing of this story couldn't be better since the fourth annual International Freedressing Awareness Day was on December 3, 2017! Thank you Pink for supporting gender diversity.
Eddie Izzard has recently come out as transgender, expressing a fluid gender identity between male and female.
We can't keep silent after tragedies like this. Every life lost to suicide is one life too many. The trauma caused by intentional and repeated dead-naming is very real, and no transgender or gender creative child should ever have to endure this type of psychological abuse particularly within an institution such as a school or hospital.
so sad 💔