Thursday, 8 January 2015

Societies construction of men and women

For those of you who write to the narrative form I ask this, do you stick to societies constructions of men and women and why?

In one of my short stories (haven't published on here in fear of losing publishing ability), Circles, I deliberately chose to present men and women exactly as they are. At times critics could, at surface level, suggest that my characters were easily constructed perhaps even fickley formed however my intention was to present the world as it is and display the truth that those who break down society's barriers of gender construction . As it is these people that tend to experience the hardship as the cookie-cutter majority struggle with concepts of 'different'.

I guess what I am saying is, everyone will criticise your work as a writer and your choice of character development, because you are someone creative and different you are already on the back foot but from where I stand it seems only natural to support those who are attempting to build themselves up in their passion. Also to break away from these stereotypical norms and present the realities because literature for me is about sending out the truth in written form in the hope that society will see our own injustices.

Now I cannot say I've experienced many injustices all in all, but I have experienced serious character judgement. Playing football (soccer) meant I was automatically gay in some peoples' eyes. I'm not sure whether that was because it was the only way for men to get comfortable with the skill level of women or people just didn't know the correct definition of gay. Furthermore, beginning my Everest conquest even college friends have suggested I am on a rampage to remind other people of what they are not doing and talk myself up. They couldn't be more wrong. A woman who is after her own individual pursuit understands to every inch of her being how individual it is, yes you have to feed off yourself for the most part, sometimes celebrating your milestones and wanting to shout them out loud has to be done and there is absolutely nothing wrong with showing pride in your ability, commitment, hard work and dedication. Other times publicising your progress or workouts is just about keeping yourself in check that you are doing a good job. When 400 plus Facebook friends know you are working out that's a lot of people to let down if you don't work- so you become highly accountable and criticised. Similarly, when something doesn't go ahead according to plan, you have a mass exodus of questions.

Recently I was asked as I reflected on my Everest journey to date with a new friend, does your ideal man entail a big, tall brut who can do anything, including lifting you up with one hand? (Or something like that). Let me get my checklist & I'll reply.
'I want a decent hearted person, no big brut needed.'

You see the 'normal' notions society constructs in our heads enables us to only stick to assumed ideals of what makes a man a man and a woman a woman. There are entire self help sections of libraries and book stores dedicated to the characters we want to become- for fear that we are not enough. Sadly though this enables one response, one reaction to our work and a lack of space to write for the human spirit. Now I'm certainly no JK Rowling but I think it's an easy bet that if literature mocked the reality of people's' true character the reflection of our lives would be different and so would our success.

Food for thought yeh?

J :)

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