Mackenzie Shivers is a musician, songwriter, and a woman trying to fight for gender equality. Read about her fight with this battle since her childhood in her Social Stance below:
I have spent a lot of time over the past couple of years thinking about gender roles and what gender even is. I admit to spending most of my life thinking that sex and gender were one and the same. And why wouldn't I have? That is what society tells us from a very young age (girls like pink! boys like blue! girls wear dresses! boys play with dirt!). Here's the kicker: gender is a (wo)man made construct. If anyone is reading this and doesn't understand what I mean (and it's okay if you don't!), a person's sex refers to their biological sex, mostly the anatomy of their reproductive system. Gender refers to socially constructed roles and how society categorizes activities, behaviors, and attributes as "masculine" and "feminine." Now here's the important part: a person's sex doesn't have to define their gender. They are different things! Gender reveal parties aren't actually revealing gender! They're revealing sex! But I guess people don't want to have "sex reveal" parties for their babies...I digress.
While I don't consider myself an expert on this topic, I find it extremely interesting, important, and an essential part of today's conversation. I strive to keep my mind open and to always keep learning. I think fighting for gender equality and deconstructing gender roles will be a long battle, but I hope having open dialogues and donating to organizations like HeForShe will help. And in the meantime, I try to be mindful of pronouns I use, the toys I buy as baby gifts, the assumptions I make. And I'm keeping my hair short.
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