Square Peg, Round Hole

Hello, my name is Vita, and I am a female.

True statement, of course, but possibly the absolute last way I would ever introduce or describe myself to a single person with whom my path did cross.

Yet we insist on building our formation of opinion and judgment on this very pillar – gender.  It’s like a box with rigid sides and a small opening through which we try to squeeze individuals, as we shove with hope that at some point they’ll fit within the walls.

But here’s the deal.  I cannot tell you what it’s like to be a woman.  Because I personally do not think within these terms.  Of course I have particular needs and desires, but to me these feelings are simply human. They’re capable of being experienced by man, woman or child.  Gender doesn’t discriminate when it comes to lessons to be learned.

Or does it?

Take the group of words I would choose to describe myself.  They are adjectives that when paired with a female paint an image of someone who has and may be called “selfish.”  Who is called “intimidating,” as if she’s purposely trying to scorn.  She is asked “why?” as opposed to encouraged, told to calm down instead of being lauded for the passion she does possess.  She is considered a threat as her energy rattles the box and its surrounding walls.

The male, however, who precedes these same adjectives is a leader.  He is surrounded by words such as “ambitious,” “driven,” and “focused,” as he sets his sights on what it is he wants.  It does not matter if he has tunnel vision.  The very fact that he does is considered a strategic approach.   Thinking outside of the box – figuratively and literally – makes him a hero to be adored.

I do not say this, of course, to spark a battle amongst the sexes.  Quite the contrary, I’m posing a question of why battle lines have ever been drawn.   Why must we insist that a person be one thing and should not be another based simply upon their gender?  Whatever happened to finding universal appeal in the abilities to love, aspire and be strong?

I’d like to hope that at some point we can all remember that we speak the same language.  And that the very premise of free speech means that both Billy and Suzy can mean the exact same thing when they speak their words. So stop assigning value to someone’s actions based solely upon their gender.  Because yes, I am a woman.  But that has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I’m out to change the world.

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