A Gendered World

If you’re privy to the clubbing scene, you are probably aware that females are typically given reduced or free cover while men are charged a greater sum of money. The idea behind this stems from inferred behaviors between males and females, meaning if there is a greater amount of females at the club, a larger amount of men will show up to the club and pay whatever cost there is to enter. While this may sound like an ingenious marketing scheme, it has aged rather poorly in a 21st-century context.

This past semester, a friend of mine and I went out to a club on a Friday night. My friend is MTF trans* though still has a license that states she’s a male. The bouncer barely laid eyes on her ID and proceeded to charge her the male rate. I’ve told this story to a number of people, some were sympathetic while others came back with responses like, “Well why didn’t she speak up?” When you’re just going out to have a good time, you shouldn’t need to explain yourself. You’re just a person that wants to have fun and that “fun” shouldn’t have varying price tags or stipulations just based on the “M” or “F” label on your license.

A good friend of mine, Alex Schuster, and I sat down to chat about issues surrounding gender. “I don’t believe in gender per se. I see it as more of a social construct.” Alex identifies as genderqueer or genderfluid, meaning that their gender identity can fluctuate at any point. 

Something Alex brought up in our chat that never crossed my mind was the options to fill out the gender on forms such as job applications. “I just came out as genderfluid in December and many forms contain the options ‘male’ ‘female’ or ‘prefer not to say.’ I’m uncomfortable with ‘prefer not to say’ because for me it carries a negative connotation as if you’re hiding who you are.” The fact that forms typically require you to fill out a gender option in the year 2020 is absurd. With the expansive options of gender and non-binary identities, it’s impossible to list all. And more importantly, why does it even matter? A person is a person regardless of how they identify. We continue to do the same thing through gender, race, politics and beyond. For some reason, we love finding ways to divide people. And that’s only going to isolate specific groups from society more and more as time goes on.

girl holding pride flag with blue sky

Luckily, there are some places out there that are taking the reins in reducing the gender divide. Back in early 2019, a New York City law went into effect where your gender identity could be reflected on your birth certificate with a new label, “X.” Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “Transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers deserve the right to choose how they identify and to live with respect and dignity.”

I’d love to see a world where when you walk into Target or Macy’s or any department store and there aren’t labels such as “Women’s” or “Men’s” or “Boys” or “Girls.” Not only would it lessen the divide between male and female, but it would help make anyone identifying as non-binary feel as though they belong.

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