By Robyn Harper
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Society had it all worked out in advance for me. All the time growing up, the message though implicit was loud and clear. Any of my future romantic endeavors would concern the male kind, because I’m female. This presented difficulties when I came to realize that I liked girls, and not boys.
I couldn’t fulfill my gender role as was set for me. I fell short of society’s expectation and this came at a price. I thought I was “different” on foot of this. I felt I couldn’t be who I was, who I am, who I’ve always been. But I didn’t know any better at the time.
I would come to learn that society was not taking account of me as a person, as an individual, but saw me as a gender, as a female. I would come to understand society as a dictator of gender roles. Decreeing commands and orders lending to this culture of conformity.
As a girl, I should have grown up to like boys. And boys should grow up to like girls. Little boys play with trucks. Little girls play with dolls. Boys have short hair. Girls wear dresses. And from the clothes we wear, to the jobs we do to the length of our hair, any departure from these societal “norms” for genders has always been met with resistance.
As a young girl, Hillary Clinton wrote to NASA asking them what she needed to do in order to become an astronaut. NASA wrote back and told her there would be no women astronauts.
There was once resistance to women voting. There was once resistance to men having long hair. Today there is resistance to the woman who wants to marry the woman she loves, and to the man who wants to marry the man he loves. Society has resisted same gender attraction. Society also resisted the idea of female astronauts.
It was summer 2012 when the world paid respect to the passing of Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, survived by her partner of 27 years, Ms. Tam O’Shaughnessy.