Response to LiberoIsNow
Thank you for writing. I think you make some excellent points.
The fear of being called a “sissy” wasn’t a fear of stupid people — it was a fear of the people who held my survival in their hands. As a child, mainly my father, school officials, etc. As an adult, employers, police officers and the whole establishment. The fear is not about discomfort, it’s about survival.
Yes, I agree that my fear came from an understanding that expressing myself differently from gender norm prescriptions would result in retaliations from intolerant people.
In terms of why limit ourselves to these rigid notions of masculinity and femininity:
I’m happy to see these being actively dismantled. I love how Billy Porter challenges “how a man should dress,” and I love how Pink defies “how a lady should act,” and I love GNC expressions such as those of the singer LP, or k d lang. Several people close to me are non-binary, and I hope the world will grant Enbies more and more visibility as our society matures to the concept. I am also very hopeful that all this freedom of expression will contribute to dismantling patriarchy and toxic masculinity.
Personally, in my case, I feel most comfortable in a polar feminine. I don’t feel a gender-ambiguous vibe in me. But that is informed strongly by having grown up and lived so many years inside a rigid binary schema.
I welcome the evolution that is to come, and it makes me hopeful for future generations.