How about we tear the damn fence down?
You know the one I’m talking about; it divides us by gender. Sets out our worth, and expectations based on which side we’re on.
Yesterday I wrote about the project I’m getting off the ground. One that flips exclusivity on its head.
Women get pigeonholed. Shut down. Required to follow an unrealistic standard. There’s no debating that. My project is designed to look closely at the expectations. At all the flavours women come in. It’s designed to be entirely inclusive.
But you know, being inclusive means looking at the other side of the fence too. The expectations for men. Their limitations. Their unrealistic standards. Their stories.
And again, I’m including transgender men, LGBT men, manly men, effeminate men. All the people who identify in some way as male.
I’m raising a son. A boy who’s made me very aware of the roles he’s supposed to fill.
Man up. Grow a pair. Stop crying. Don’t be a girl.
Being male in our society right now has real and legitimate challenges. Men are statistically significantly more likely to commit suicide because of these challenges.
While I’m going to be telling the stories of women, and people who identify as female first, I haven’t forgotten the men.
And I haven’t forgotten that we have more than two genders. That some people don’t identify as either. I’m still in the early stages and I’m going to visit this as I plan things out.
Right now though, I’m looking for women who have stories to tell. Failures. Successes. Triumphs. Women who are hanging on by their finger tips, or women who are soaring.
I’m looking for the stories of what being a woman has meant to you. How has it stood in your way or opened doors? Do you accept yourself as a woman? Do you accept or reject the stereotypes?
And if you’re a man reading this, I’d love for you to start thinking about these things. About the women around you and how they move through out society. How do your actions or inactions affect them?
Being aware of how others experience life, is the first step towards inclusivity. Let’s knock that fence down together.