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I Don't Fit The Sociological Beliefs Of What My Gender Should Be Like


Lucerne

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In a lot of ways I'm pretty normal. I'm a teenage girl, but I don't fit any of the stereotype made about woman (This may be different to different people, but I've seen how badly people have reacted to certain things I do or just to who I am.) Not only that, these are traits of who I am as an individual that doesn't seem to bode well with many people my age.

Physically speaking I still appear to be a girly girl. Whilst usually my t-shirts are very baggy and are from the men's department, I wear tights, hot pants, leggins and boots. I like certain 'feminine' clothing and accessories as well as certain 'masculine' clothing and accessories.

I wear a lot of makeup and understand quite a lot about makeup (though I have no desire to talk about it, I have my girly sister who I talk to about make up with as it's the only thing we have in common, after a 10 minute chat about that with her I can't stand the idea of talking about it further.) I sometimes style and keep my hair straight and conform to many of the female social expectations such as shaving my legs and drawing on my eyebrows and painting my nails. This actually seems to be the only sociologically believed feminine trait I have. (None of this is my idea of femininity but sociologically speaking these are things that are very common to where I live)

As a young child and teenager when Justin Bieber and One Direction and all these boy bands came out, I couldn't stand it. I was never judgmental about anybody who enjoyed that music, but I usually would cringe at the lyrics or the music videos, and this was the case to a lot of songs that interlinked with love. (As you may be able to tell, I am a very unromantic person in general and never ever wants to celebrate valentines day nor have romantic trips out, I am not in the slightest bit romantic at all in nature).

I talk about sex the exact way guys do. I seem to have a very similar way of thinking to most of the teenage boys I've met during my life, for instance the whole "one night stand" is preferable compared to a relationship, and throughout my entire life this has always been the case. (I hated the idea of marriage as a child and even now I don't find it something I want out of life).

In all of the TV shows and movies I've watched that have a conflict between a opposite sex relationship or friendship, I never side with the woman and find it impossible to relate to the character. I can't stand romance books as I feel they paint a bad impression about how men (and woman, but men in particular) should look and feel and be.

I actively would complain during my entire childhood that I hated how young boys were taught to never hit girls. I argued that we should all be treated not to hurt one another (less in self defense) and if a woman causes a fist fight with a man he shouldn't hesitate to protect himself. I argued vehemently about woman getting harsher sentences like their male counterparts (as they really don't in this country), and all in all I would argue for the true idea of equality and not a society biased to either sex. I also argued that in some places the sexism against men, the mental health support for men as well as the treatment of men abused my woman was woefully inadequate. I argued about parental rights that a man should have equal rights to a child like a woman has... All of this didn't make me very popular with female teachers, my friends mothers or any female I met, but most guys would hear me mention this and respect me for it.

I don't really enjoy talking about how I feel. I don't want to talk about what is bothering me to any friend I've had. I'm a compassionate person despite this, and have on many occasions listened intently whilst somebody has told me something traumatic that has happened to them. I don't have any issues in being able to communicate in these situations, I just don't seem able to really establish an emotional connection on my behalf, and I've known a few guys who have the same problem.

I'm actually a very blunt and direct person. I absolutely can't stand hints or anybody being passive.
If I've done something bad, I respect anybody who stands up and says it to me. Equally I do the same, though obviously as I said above I'm empathetic enough to know when it's not appropriate.

A lot of females I've known a little have been very physically affectionate quality. I don't enjoy hugs from people I barely know, and only find it possible when I notice somebody is upset and/or lonely and I feel they would like a hug. I can't bare being too close to anybody, and I struggle to keep calm at somebody sitting directly beside me, though this issue doesn't seem as bad if I've been friends with somebody for several weeks.

I've always been the weird one in a group. Some people found this a slightly endearing quality and found my remarks rather amusing. During high school I was the only female in my class (I went to a school for children with anxiety problems) and it was a very enjoyable experience as I was treated the exact same as the others. I got all the jokes and genuinely felt happy. A year later girls had joined the school and some seemed to take a shine to me and constantly wanted me around them, and I noticed that many times they looked at one another at a remark I said. I simply couldn't get on with them, though despite my confusion they often came to me with issues they had and I often helped sort them out.

I apologise if anybody feels I am stereotyping woman. I understand very well there are many woman out there who are just like me or at least feel the same as me, it may be that I'm just unlucky enough not to meet anybody who is similar to me.
Sadly as I moved to a different city most of the boys I met found it hard to get along with me simply because I was a girl and was similar to them. They would get very surprised and say my name in shock when i said something, yet if any other boy said a similar thing it would be instant laughter.

Because of all this, most woman and girls seem to dislike me. Some guys like me but others really can't stand me. I seem to be struggling just to find somebody who I can connect with.

I've listed most of the personality traits above that most people find unpleasant, though in general I'd like to think I'm a kind person. I'm good at listening, I help when I can, I'm extremely loyal and I really do care about those I consider friends. That just doesn't seem to be a trait most people want in a friend at my age, it's more about superficial reasons such as looking the part or being what they want me to be.

Why on earth is it so hard that nobody can just accept this? I'm sure with age that nobody will bat an eyelid at my kind of quirks and opinions, but currently now where most teenagers and young adults are loud mouthed and judgmental, what am I supposed to do?

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I'm sorry if it's so hard for you right now. If it makes you feel any better, I do not really fit my gender as a whole either. I'm into flowers, essential oils, introverted activities, expressing emotions, and I'd even wear dresses/skirts if I could get away with it. That doesn't make me gay, either (but even if it did, who cares?)

Unfortunately, society as a whole can be very judgmental, and is full of people who are ignorant to other possibilities. I just want you to keep in mind that none of this is your fault- you have to stay true to your values, express yourself, and find the right people- the ones that do care about you for who you really are. You'll be fine :).

Edited by Kabuto
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Keep doing what you're doing. Sounds like you are confident in who you are and what you believe in. True, it can be a lonely and hard road for people who go against the grain. You challenge people's preconceptions of what a woman should be- and good on you for doing that. My teenage experience was similar to yours - and I still find myself dealing with this sort of gender stereotypical crap as a 30 year old woman. The good news? You will meet other people who share and respect your outlook on society and life. The key is to put yourself in those circles--- I'm not sure how you feel about feminism, but finding feminist friends, both men and women, has been my saving grace. Feminism has a number of meanings to different people- and usually has a bad rap. But a lot of the feelings you share align with what my idea of feminism is. Sometimes, when the people are lacking- books (novels and non-fiction) about gender non-conformitivity or with feminist characters can bring about the greatest source of comfort and knowledge. Hope you find your circle soon :)

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I don't fit the gender roles either. Gender stereotypes are such a huge issue. People are out there fighting for this to change. Those people who don't like you, forget about them. Be yourself. That is what is important. By being yourself you are helping in the breaking down of gender stereotyping. It may hurt at times and be difficult to find friends, but at the end of the day you are doing what will make you happy. There are a lot of people like you out there and though it may be hard to find them around you or online right now, you will eventually connect with them.

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Hi Lucerne,

I think it is great that you are the person you are! I feel that you are meant to be here on the earth, not just in the sense of being "one more" example of the type: human being. No. I think you are meant to be here on the earth as the unique, irreplaceable, never-to-be-repeated, individual person that you are.

To put this in even stronger terms, you know how there are scientific laws, like the law of gravity? Well the law of gravity is something that is meant to exist here. And in the sense that you, in your uniqueness, are also meant to be here, I think you are also a law. We don't ask how "the law of gravity" "fits in." The world has to accommodate itself to the law of gravity. In a similar way, your life is not just about "fitting in" to this or that group. Since you in your uniqueness are intended to be here, it is the case that this and that group also has to accommodate you!!!

You have an intrinsic and inalienable dignity that no one has a right to expect you to lose. And since you are a kind of law, it is the case that it is not just a matter of always "fitting in." It is also a matter of all these various groups allowing you the space and freedom to be yourself as long as you are not doing violence to the dignity of others. So please, hold your head up high and be yourself!

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I despise gender regulations. It sucks because there's really no way out of them. It's systemic - everything is classified masculine or feminine. Some cultures may have some variation in what's considered masculine and feminine but it's still a dichotomy nonetheless. I'm one of those people that doesn't believe there is much innately different about men and women, rather the perceived differences are conditioned in our upbringing and reinforced into adulthood. Yes, there are some real differences in the way we are wired to begin with but those are far fewer than ones we learn.

Bottom line is be who you want to be. It won't at all be easy because there is always pressure to conform to expectations. My guess is that many people do question certain notions of what it means to be men and women but end up folding under pressure and accepting the status quo instead. I have to admit that there are times I feel as though I shouldn't express things a certain way because it doesn't fit "acceptable" standards for men. Or if I do, I immediately regret it. That's how powerful these unwritten laws are. They shape all of our interactions, the way we dress, what colors we associate with, what alcohol we drink, what we do in our free time, and so on.

We aren't made on an assembly line. Treating each other as individuals, in my opinion, is the way to go. It's very easy to generalize though - it's what we as humans are adept at.

Edited by afflicted
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You asked what you should do.....give yourself a hug, look in the mirror and be thankful you are yourself. Most of the younger people that I know have no clue who they are and find it much easier to just be sheep.

I was in the same way as a youth and still find it like that at my age. I now take joy in "shocking" people that don't get that gender doesn't matter.

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adhering to gender guidelines is a sort of weakness in my book, that's why you see so many insecure people acting extremely masculine or feminine. There's so much archaic baggage we're still growing out of; it was only a few decades ago that men were still ordering for women at restaurants, I mean come on. And that's in America, we won't even talk about the third world and other backward countries.

I agree with being yourself, the problem isn't with you. The teenage years are insufferable as far as non-conforming anything. People generally don't grow up and stop being judgmental until sometime around college.

Edited by hystericalanduseless
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Hey Luc,

I felt a lot like you did when I was your age. I actually still feel very misunderstood. It seems to me that you don't really fit the general sociological model rather than simply the ones related to gender. Society makes it so that you have to play by a certain set of rules to operate within it. People that are different in either constitution, personality, or disposition is extremely hard for people to figure out/ relate to. Social anxiety is something that is especially hard to understand for people who haven't experienced it personally, or through someone else. That is probably the most unfortunate thing about mental illnesses is that when you have trouble doing things that most people do naturally and without any thought, they view you as being helpless, or just "not trying hard enough". Even the one's we love can do this to us, albeit unintentionally.

The bottom line is that it is okay to be different. It was around your age when I decided that I would embrace being different and not really care too much about what other people thought of me. Once you lift off the weight of social acceptance off of yourself, it feels so much more natural to just be yourself all the time; rather than trying to fit something that you are not.

I',m confident that you will figure it out. There is a ridiculous about of life ahead of you, so don't stress out too much. None of it will matter in the end anyway.

AA

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Wow... you seem like a level headed girl. That is a good thing. I wouldn't change myself if I were you to meet social gender norms. I am a gay man and do not really fit that macho mold some men seem to cherish. I'm not exactly feminine ether besides my voice. That types of roles aren't set in stone.

I wish you were in my Anthropology class where we went over gender and sex. It is a lot more diverse and flexible than people think. Sadly sex roles are drilled into children at such an early age, no one even thinks about it with much thought. I like that you hate double standards.

I hate when people of either sex take advantage of their "status" It bugs me to no end. I say if you feel more comfortable with the guys or having some "masculine" traits then more power to you. It is pretty petty of people if they avoid you because you are not the "ideal woman"

-Icarus

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I had the same problem in college when speaking about social norms. You would think a college professor would welcome alternative views, but they are no different than most people in this world ( closed minded ). Seek out others like yourself and f..k the rest.

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I wonder why you have such a rigid conception of gender identity. I grew up sharing a lot of the personality traits that you describe about yourself, yet I never thought of myself as the odd girl out. Maybe it has to do with the communities we grew up in? I never wore makeup, never styled my hair, but where I grew up it wasn’t uncommon for girls to go like that. I always got along with boys more than girls, but I only thought of it as finding friends who had the same interests as me. It didn’t seem to matter what gender we were. I am sorry to hear that you get a different experience in your current location. I just want to say that it won’t be like that everywhere you go. You are bound to end up with likeminded people if you follow your interests. For example, I studied Physics in university and the girls there were nothing like your idea of what girls are like, but I also studied Health Sciences, and there the girls were pretty much like you describe girls. What I mean to say is, what you describe isn’t being a girl, it’s a type of personality that is common amongst girls. Girls can have many different personalities, and you can find evidence of that in literature and media, albeit it might not be prominent in popular culture. Why does it bother you so much that you don’t comply with one idea of the female gender? If something made you feel like one was better than the others, it is time to deconstruct this idea. To me, genders’ beliefs were never universal. Did you form this impression from your own observations of society? Were you bullied or ostracized for being the way you were? Are people treating you now in a way that is unpleasant? You seem like a very smart girl. Appreciate your unique thoughts and never stop speaking up. Also, as a way to appreciate other girls for who they are, keep this in mind: it’s easy to label the masses as being all the same, but learn to see past the stereotypes and you might find out that everyone is different.

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