Apoorva Hasija

Why Gender Matters?

Today I am writing as I wonder why gender matters. All of us need to stop a moment in our lives and reflect at what we are doing by letting gender issues not matter to us.

Gender matters, because they see me as a woman and just that
Gender matters, because they reduce me to my breasts
Gender matters, because I am not just the swing of my hips
Gender matters, because I am a woman and I do not swing my hips
Gender matters, because I am not just my moustache
Gender matters, because I am a man and I hate beard
Gender matters, because they see me as a man and I do not identify with it
Gender matters, because I am neither a man nor a woman
Gender matters, because I am a man but I like to wear a saree
Gender matters, because I am a woman and I love another woman
Gender matters, because I do not know my gender and I do not want to care for it
Gender matters, because my body seems to dull my voice and I want to scream
Gender matters, because the sole cause of my insecurity and fear is my gender
Gender matters, because my mother spends sleepless nights till I return back home
Gender matters, because my father stands and watches me drive away till he loses sight of me
Gender matters, because my brother dreams of the day I can roam as freely as him
Gender matters, because my lover fidgets in concern as I work late nights
Gender matters, because I think thousand times before deciding to take that cab ride
Gender matters, because I watch over my younger sister whenever we go out
Gender matters, because I hate to do all this
Gender matters, because people toss me stares just because am a woman behind wheels and I just took a sharp turn
Gender matters, because I hate to put make up and my guy best friend loves make up
Gender matters, because I want to be myself and not just my gender
Gender matters, because I crave to move beyond feeling my gender
Gender matters, because I am much more than my gender
Gender matters, because it should NOT.

And that is exactly why gender matters, because it should not matter. Ever wondered what is it like to be conscious of your gender every moment of your existence? Just ask a woman walking past you on road and you would know. And why just a woman, ask a man about his daily routine and you would know how seeped in gender norms are in our everyday life. Ranging from the way we are expected to dress, to whom we are allowed to love; gender appears to rule every frame of our lived life. Gender matters because we should be able to recognise each other as persons sans their gender garbs. What prevents us to feel love or camaraderie with someone who happens to love a person of same sexuality/gender? Fear of non acceptance? By whom?By the society?Which anyway does not accept us as we are when it throws these norms at us and punishes those who are unable to fit into these norms or who simply choose not to. Genders matters so we can love who we are and love others who may appear different but have the same right to live and prosper in dignity. Gender matters because we start living with acceptance than a discrimination and harassment arising out of fear and hatred. Today I have written to appeal to each one of us to reflect and ponder on why gender matters.

Gender matters because it should not.

About the Author

A seeker, learner and dreamer. Currently pursuing research in Philosophy from Centre for Philosophy, JNU. Has taught as a Guest Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, Hindu College, University of Delhi in past.

Apoorva Hasija
Apoorva Hasija

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