LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Independence of the pink and blue

By Ali Madrid Odessa

Since we were born, we have been stereotyped by our genders. Boys wrapped in blue; girls wrapped in pink. Girls can cry, but boys must push back their tears back. Why? Because of our gender. We are given little to no choice, but to abide by the rules and expectations society has put on us. I refuse to accept this.

As a child, girls play with their barbies, and boys play with their toy trucks. If a boy were to pick up the doll to play, he would be labeled feminine. As we grew older, if a girl was to pick up a football and throw it, she was labeled a tomboy. And as we grew even more, we are targeted even more by society. A specific example is makeup and who society deem should use it. Many show dislikes to men wearing makeup, claiming “It’s for women” or “You need to be more manly” ,which is ironic considering no makeup company has come out with any makeup that specifies that only women can use it.

The typical argument made towards our genders is that men should be more masculine and women should be more feminine. But what exactly is feminine and masculine? Are they just words in a dictionary or words that we, the nouns, should define? Should we allow something like the toy we chose to play with as a child or the things we enjoy, be controlled by our gender? It must be if we have parents calling their sons feminine for playing with a doll or a girl being called a ‘tomboy’ because she chose to participate in sports or take an interest in cars. What is masculine and feminine, and why does our gender have to define it?

Children should be able to play with the toys they want, not the ones society enforced on us. A color shouldn’t define us, we should define ourselves. In a society where intelligence is valued, why do we remain ignorant and stuck on beliefs such as these? A girl is whoever she wants to be, whether or not she chooses to spend her time playing dress up or playing in the dirt. A boy is whoever he wants to be, whether or not he chooses to pick up a football or a makeup brush.

Something we have no control over, such as our gender, should not define us. Our actions and who we choose to become define us, a society does not.