Gender is a sensitive topic for many that has been brought to light in recent years. Many people categorize gender into three titles, “male,” “female,” and “other.” While “male” and “female” are titles that most people are familiar with, not everyone knows what the title “other” actually entails. “Other” includes the many different genders besides male and female that one may identify with. Does being a certain gender affect students in school? Will they be uplifted due to advantages or will they face challenges due to disadvantages?
First, one must understand the term “cisgender.” Cisgender is the most common gender amongst a group of people. This can be described as one’s personal identity as it aligns with their sex at birth. To simplify, cisgender is a broader term for female and male. This opens the door to the discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of being male or female.
As a male in high school, “teachers are more lenient with dress code” says an anonymous 15 year old male student. The same student also takes into account the disadvantages of his gender. He says, “The stereotype of a ‘perfect male’ sometimes makes guys feel pressured to fit into that image.” He further describes this by mentioning, being “good at a sport” and “having muscles”.
Females are also faced with advantages and disadvantages. An anonymous female high school student explains how she believes that teachers might be slightly biased towards females in the classroom, which is advantageous. She states, “I’m not sure why but I feel like teachers generally favor girls over any other gender. This might not be true but maybe it’s because they are stereotypically seen as less of a troublemaker.” On the other hand, many females mention that they occasionally feel restricted from expressing themselves through clothing in school. Certain articles of clothing are considered “too exposing” for school standards, which is something that many female students feel is unfair in comparison to their male peers.
Lastly, other. What does this title specifically entail? This title includes but is not limited to transgender, bigender, agender, etc. Transgender is a personal identity in which one identifies with a gender other than the sex they were born as. Bigender is a personal identity in which one identifies with two genders. Agender is a personal identity in which one does not identify with any gender. People who identity with the title “other” face many social and personal challenges.
All genders have their ups and downs just like a rollercoaster. There are downs, but not always. Sometimes you go up, sometimes you go in a loop, and sometimes you even go upside down! It is unavoidable to have advantages and disadvantages with regard to gender, whichever one may identify with.
Graphic: Ashlee Fong
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