Many of society’s problems can be traced to our insistence upon strict gender norms and confines. While some forms of sexism have been debunked in Western societies, we cannot say that our society is without gender bias and discrimination. This is especially prevalent on college campuses, where the expectations of masculinity and femininity are boosted by the hook up, athletic, Greek and alcohol cultures on campus. These expectations range from clothing to actions, speech to friendships. These expectations fit us into labels that restrict us from fully being ourselves. Have you ever wondered who you would be if you were free from societal confines? I repeatedly ask myself that question and have personally explored my own gender, not just externally but internally as well. By doing this I have found myself thinking and acting in different ways. By releasing myself from these labels, I am beginning to release myself from society and my own expectations.
I am not encouraging others to become gender non-binary, because I believe that this is a solely personal choice. But I do believe that college campuses, and Bates in particular, should focus on decreasing the amount of gender separation on their campuses. This movement comes from both the institution and the student body. The institution should be focused on creating gender neutral bathrooms. Not only is this supportive of the gender queer and transgender community, but it is also uniting us as humans. In something as basic as a bathroom, we should not be split into two groups.
As said before, I believe that the biggest movement should be on the part of the student body and the individual. When it comes to hookup culture and discussing members of the community, we should be respectful. We should be looking at each other not as pieces of meat, but rather as human beings. Songs that objectify and support gender stereotypes should not be glorified and played over and over. We should support clubs like Remasc and FemCo that attempt to debunk harsh social constructs of masculinity and femininity. By doing all of these things, we may begin to live in a setting that supports complete equality and allows people to be free of labels and destructive expectations.