Creation of normal – gender roles

As featured in: Flytfrem

I’ve always been a tomboy, when I grew up we were already learning to accept trans* people which also led to some confusion, for others. Gender identity is a complex concept and highly individual, and every person is 100% correct in their own truth.

Pushing an identity on me, that is not mine
Several health professionals, teachers and individuals tried to be accepting of something they struggled to understand by placing a truth that was not my own, on me. It’s fortunate that they were so accepting of a child whom they believed to be trans*. While it is unfortunate that they in pursuit of showing acceptance tried to push an identity that was not mine on me. I am a tomboy, not trans*.

Gender identity or gender expression? 
One of the biggest problems I feel many have, and I have been offended because of it, is that most don’t understand the difference between gender identity and gender expression. To make it simple I’ve looked up the definitions of these terms;

gender identity
a person’s perception of having a particular gender, which may or may not correspond with their birth sex.

gender expression
the way in which a person expresses their gender identity, typically through their appearance, dress, and behaviour.

Simple enough, gender identity is how you feel.  Expression is how you choose to express this identity. I am a tomboy and I identify as a female. However, I choose to present myself in what is stereotypically a more masculine way. Still that does not take away my femininity.

Break self-imposed gender roles and stereoytypes 
Growing up and to this date I’ve often had to defend my femininity, not just to individuals, but to health professionals. I realise that those people, mostly mean no harm, they just direct their support at the wrong person. Thankfully, I have always been very certain of who I am, and believe that my sense of self has grown even stronger because of having to defend it constantly.

My question is; when did it stop being okay  to be a tomboy, when did clothes grow genitalia, when did sports become a man, when did horse riding become female?

We should strive to break our self-imposed gender roles and stereotypes, and let children be just that – children. It’s totally fine to be a boy and like to play with trucks, but it’s also fine to like dollsI would even say it’s fantastic to like both. By constricting our future generations toys and clothes, we are also constricting their thoughts and actions. We are allowing them to follow in our footsteps instead of exploring different paths.

Dare to go against what is considered normal, and be your authentic self – because soon enough we will have created a new normal.

15 thoughts on “Creation of normal – gender roles

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  1. I totally agree with this. I grew up as a tomboy myself often borrowing my dad’s clothes but that does not make less feminine. I now have a husband and child and still dress androgynous from time to time. I just feel comfortable dressing that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never directly dealt with this, but I’ve seen friends experience it. At some point, we’ll need to open our eyes wider to accept the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Couldn’t agree more ! Luckily we have the ability to voice our opinions through social media, so that more people are able to see a different point of view


  3. Great Post! It gave me a lot to think about and to ensure I check myself when I encounter someone who does not fit into my perceived normal gender role. Thank you for that. We talk about people being authentic, until they are authentic, then we criticize them. We have to evolve and become more compassionate people.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a girl, I would climb trees one minute and the next minute I would be in my mom’s hi heels. I always knew who I was, All Woman! However, there were times when I wanted to play flag football or baseball with the guys. There’s nothing wrong with that and I made some great friends – male and female – because of my versatility.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have been never forced anything. Instead, my parents taught me to break stereotypes. Dad used to say, who says we gotta follow rules made by human and takes away the right for what we love to. Break those rules and be who u r..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think gender roles have changed a lot over the past few years, especially as women are working more and men aren’t necessarily the breadwinners as we have less typical ‘nuclear families’ these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was lucky to grow up in an open minded family and I had the freedom to be whoever I wanted to be. When I was little I used to be a tomboy as well, but then I changed as years passed by. But that was my own choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think that we should stop putting kids into specific ideals for what they should be doing based on their gender. I was not super girly and played sports and climbed trees abd wouldn’t be caught dead in a skirt.

    Liked by 1 person

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