I cried. I cried to announce that I was born. Here I was, a completely new person who did not get affected by the world. 15 minutes had passed, and I was already put in a pink dress and a pink bed. I was a girl. This meant that naturally, everything associated with me was pink. For a long period of time, I grew up thinking that pink was the only color for me. Days passed, and I learned that I am supposed to like dolls not cars. I learned that boys do not enter the kitchen, but that girls are supposed to love the kitchen.
One day, I asked myself if this was really natural. Do I like pink because I am a girl? Or do I like pink because I was forced to like it? I began answering this question in one of my Sociology classes when I heard the term “Pink and Blue Syndrome” This term is used to describe how different people and institutions socialize boys and girls. When we are born, we get assigned to either the color blue or the color pink. The moment we get assigned to these colors is the moment we lose control of our identity.
Sex and gender are two distinct things. Why is that? Sex refers to the physiological differences between males and females such as reproductive organs. Your sex does not mean that you should like certain things, look a certain way or even act in a certain way. Gender refers to the “socially constructed” roles and behaviors of men and women. It is important to stress that gender is a “social construct”, meaning that society is the one who invented it. There is no rule book in the world that states that men and women should act in a certain manner. We say that a woman should like kids in order for her to be a woman. We say that a man should be tough and aggressive in order for him to be considered a man. Why is that? Where did that come from?
It came from years and years of reinforcing stereotypes. People do not want to accept that it is ok not to follow the specific category of male and female. Sex is not equal to gender. More importantly, gender is very fluid, which means that it should not be assigned according to the genitalia you have.
Your gender identity is your choice. You do not have to become pink or blue in order to be considered a man or a woman. What constitutes a man or a woman is up to the man or woman themselves. If you are a woman, and you like cars, that is okay. If you are a man, and you like cooking, that is okay. One’s identity should never be restrained by society. Get out there, and show your true self. You do not have to be pink or blue; you can be a mix of both!