…as much as I do, you inevitably start thinking about gender.
Mostly it annoys me.
The problem I always have is that the world seems designed to be harmful to everyone as a result of their gender. It forces them into pre-defined roles that inevitably take something from them.
Women lose their autonomy. They lose control over their own lives, their own bodies. They lose the right to be seen as full people with their own preferences and desires.
Men lose their inner selves. They lose the ability to show a whole range of emotion. They lose the right to be seen as full people with their own preferences and desires… when those preferences and desires lean towards things that are feminine.
And those outside the binary… well, they lose their lives, period.
It’s so arbitrary, isn’t it? Why is this one facet of our selves so important that the lives of complete strangers must be disrupted or ended to heal our discomfort at their very existence? Why, say, is the fact that abortion happens such a major problem for pro-lifers, more so than the millions who die from war in Africa? Why is the fact that trans women exist such a big deal for a certain type of white male in the South?
Such silly, stupid things. Nonsensical things. And they would rather inflict pain instead of dealing with their moral outrage, and live their own broken half-lives never fully accepting the complete range of human experience.
Change happens slowly. There is a lot of pushback. But we have an obligation to keep trying, because how long can we expect the most vulnerable among us to wait? How many more lives twisted and shattered because we didn’t fight as hard as we could?
How many more men emotionally scarred and stunted?
How many more women who lose the chance to be full people?
And how many more trans people simply dead?
I said once that writers have a particular obligation to write the stories of the world as it should be, not what it is. We must write men who feel and display emotions other than anger. We must write women who are in control of their lives. We must write trans people as being normal and accepted. Stories change the world, my friends. Stories tell the world what it is and what it can be. And the loudest stories should be ones that make the world a better place.
Yes, even if they’re all about people getting laid.