The Mask You Live In

Gender inequality doesn’t just exist for one gender. Math class has taught me that it takes two sides to make an inequality. Not only has our culture somehow managed to devalue and demean traits that we typically associate with femininity, but we have also barred males from being able to be themselves by lifting up and glorifying what we consider to be masculine.

We bar men and women when we hold different traits at different values.

I think that we live in such a binary world that we start to think in binary. You’re either this or that, and there’s nothing in between. Part of the reason why I love reading about, researching, learning, experiencing the LGBTQ community on my own time so much is because of the extremities it takes to defy gender normativity, but also the extremes to which one can clearly see gender norms still being upheld.

We need to start adding more numbers into the mix so that instead of base-2, we start thinking in base-10. There isn’t just one gender. There is an entire spectrum. We’re fascinated by this supposed duality because we don’t understand it, it doesn’t fit into any box we’ve developed, it frightens us.

Maybe it’s time to add gender into the group of abstract concepts such as love and knowledge and faith. Perhaps it’s not something we can define, and it definitely should not be something we let define us.


Perhaps another thing we could stand to learn from the Chinese is their concept of yin and yang. Although it seems as if yin and yang are two separate parts of a whole, it is folly to think that way. Light does not exist without dark, and indeed, there are spectrums of lightness as well as darkness. To assume that one is either or is severely misinterpreting this symbol.



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