Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Gender Roles & A Star Wars Backpack : A Personal Story

The first remembered occurrence of running into society's gender norms was in pre-kindergarten. I was different from all of my classmates and this frightened me as a child. When all the other girls in my class were wearing backpacks with princesses or Barbie on them, I felt secluded. I was the only girl in class with a Star Wars backpack along with my R2D2 lunch bag. I began to question whether or not I was a boy. I remember coming home to my parents on the first day of school and crying because I thought I was a boy and my evidence to prove it was that I had a deeper voice and I loved "boyish" things. Star Wars was something I loved and grew up watching, I never knew it was meant for inherently male audiences at the time. All I knew was that I loved it and I wanted to showcase my love for it in school. Playing the role of a female seemed challenging to me. I asked my parents if I could love these things and still be considered a girl. They laughed and laughed but eventually said yes. They said I can be anything I want to be and whoever I wanted to be. If I wanted to like princesses and barbies, that's fine. If I wanted to like robots and light sabers, that was fine too. I grew up learning to accept my more masculine traits while also embracing my inner femininity. Today, I can firmly say that we are who we are and we love  what we love. To change in order to fit society's standards is simply to give up on who we are. I will never give up on fighting for mine and others' rights to fully express who we are without social repercussion. I hope that, even now, there's a little girl at school who is just like how I was with a Star Wars backpack. Except now she will be accepted for liking the franchise with a female character named Rey as the head. I hope that the little girl grows up to be whoever she wants to be without the obstacles from others that I faced in my past growing up.

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