It’s three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon and I slept in too late. I had a few drinks the night before, and was fantasizing about the taste of runny yolk, coming out of over easy eggs on toast. So I rolled out of bed, and headed downtown to find myself a delicious array of omega-3s. Salivating and starving, my search turned out unsuccessful. Three restaurants I visited, where the menu outlined exactly what I was after, and all had turned me away.
Had I forgotten to wear shoes? Was my dresscode not up to snuff? Was there something wrong with my hard-earned Canadian dollars that these establishments denied me to spend it on their scrumptious, free-range ovums? No, it was just four o’clock in the afternoon.
I was immediately infuriated with each place that refused to feed me. I found no solace in their explanation that “they only served breakfast ‘til three”, to soothe my hunger. Who decided the allotted times for when I can and can’t eat eggs anyhow? I racked my brain, trying to remember at what point in history this madness was born. Which evil dictator imposed a war on eggs and determined they could only be consumed between the early hours of seven and three.
Or breakfast, lunch, and dinner for that matter was even a thing, and my daily food intake should be categorized into three separate parts. All within a certain time frame, and each discriminatory of certain foods. I thought back to my teenage years, and recalled the many times my mother had scoffed as I brought a delicious slice of cheese pizza to my lips, and said to me “you’re eating that for breakfast?” There were many.
Yes, this is a first world problem. Yes, I know I have the luxury of making my own eggs and eating them at whatever time I damn well please. The point here is how systematized we all have become to the social norms around us, and how mindlessly we accept what is “so”. To a point where we wouldn’t immediately think to do something as “strange” as scramble our eggs after sundown.
This led me to think of another area where systematized, social norms have dictated our thinking as a general public. Outlining preposterous standards of what’s what and how things should and shouldn’t be, despite our own personal desires. That area is gender association.
So what is male and female? I did a quick survey, and asked ten people which words came to mind when they thought of the two genders. To no surprise of my own, their answers were very conventional. Words like muscles, dominant and beard were associated with masculinity, and breasts, dainty and perfume were associated with femininity. Shocker.
Then I asked these same individuals to name two food items associated with breakfast, and two with dinner. You can imagine my astonishment when eggs didn’t show up on the dinner list, nor was pizza assigned to breakfast. Do you see the problem here?
No matter what we internally feel, we live in a world where society tells us otherwise. It makes it easier to control for purposes of structure, obedience and consumerism when social principles are put in place. So even if I’m feeling eggs at six o’clock in the evening, I shouldn’t have them because that wouldn’t be standard living. Don’t you dare eat pizza in the morning as it’s not a “breakfast food”, and as a man don’t even try to adorn yourself in anything near feminine, because that’s not for you. It’s all a bunch of nonsense.
If to be female means to wear makeup and pretty dresses, then let me use the men’s washroom (but that’s a whole other rant).
Try and consider gender as somewhat of an abstract concept. Yes it is concrete fact that there are two definitive sex of the species. However, neither of the two biologically hold any or all of the synthetic gender traits that society has suggested it does. Or at least can wholly be measured to. We are just beings, and when it comes to the mental aspect of things, are virtually gender neutral inside.
If we lived in a world where we were allowed to just “be”, free of societal input, we would all look pretty much the same anyway. Our hair would be long, because hair naturally grows, and social norms wouldn’t designate a short or long hairstyle to either sex. Nor would it suggest that a “woman” shave her legs or wax her upper lip.
There would be no outlined definition of what is “male” and what is “female”, or how the two should behave individually or collaboratively. We would exist, hairy and free, sleeping with whomever it felt most natural to do so with, free of judgment. Some of those relationships would be heterosexual and result in sustaining the population, and some would be homosexual, naturally controlling the population and all would be well.
I find it upsetting that we have gotten to the point where it feels necessary to turn to surgery in order to assign to a specific gender, and “feel right”. When the idea of gender is a manufactured one in the first place. Human beings didn’t come with a user manual, and just because one doesn’t identify with the social image assigned to their initial given private parts, shouldn’t mean the automatic response is to change them. Not when neither gender role holds any ultimate continual pattern, consistent with which genitalia you are born with.
Please do not think I am obtuse to the transgender community, because I am not. I am merely encouraging the stray away from the need to define everything. Hopefully enlightening the idea that what it means to be anything at all does not really exist. Trusting that, for the most part, we just don’t know and yes that’s confusing but it’s also okay.
Maybe I’m just depicting my own utopia. One where we can accept what feels right and ditch the labels. Somewhere where they serve all day breakfast.
This article was written by Tanya Sanca, a writer for dusk magazine.