Ruminations: Are Labels Violent?

In a recent post, I argued that labels can create a sense of community — and are therefore beneficial in some ways. Stereotypes, on the other hand, are problematic, because they restrict how we behave (girls have to be feminine, boys must like sports, etc.).

I’m a firm believer in questioning my opinions on a regular basis — and re-thinking them, if need be. The following is a quote from writer and philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti, who most definitely disagrees with me on labels:

Quote on labels by Jiddu Krishnamurti Continue reading

Questioning Gender Neutrality

I had originally planned to post about my recent ballroom competition, but the discussion spurred by a public Facebook status prompted me to change my line-up.

Let’s talk about gender neutrality.

The Facebook status links to a click-bait article praising Target for creating gender neutral bedding for kids.¬†I have nothing against gender neutral items¬†like the gray, plush octopus in the article’s photo.¬†Rock your style! Kids¬†should choose their bedding¬†based on their individual interests, not their gender. I fully support that.

The article, though, makes me question the concept¬†of gender neutral products. What, exactly, is the purpose of these items? Do they serve as a safe, androgynous choice¬†for kids with a burgeoning interest¬†in the “wrong” gender’s products? Or, as a girl with masculine interests, am I supposed to choose the more-acceptable, gender neutral bedding over the boys’ bedding? Does this new line of bedspreads¬†create¬†a third option¬†in which there are “girl”, “boy”, and “neutral” comforters?

Shouldn’t bedding just be bedding? Continue reading