Every so often on Social Media a bandwagon rolls through that people will insist on jumping on – whether or not they understand either the meaning behind the original starting point or how them jumping on it reflects on them.
One recent such bandwagon was started as a result of one of Donald Trump’s alleged statements on dresscodes. The hashtag which arose from it was #DressAsAWoman with various women sharing pictures of how they dress (for work or leisure). Then one individual (I assume it was a woman) tweeted “How to #DressAsAWoman – step 1 Identify as a woman, step 2 – get dressed”.
This got me thinking about the pressure we all face to conform to one set of rules or another regarding how we identify ourselves. Not only that but I ended up thinking more about the ways in which we sometimes have to hide who we are in order to get what we want. For example, the last thing I have ever wished to make a big deal about is the fact I am female. To me it is a sheer fluke of genetics. I happen to find the idea that only one gender is supposed to wear skirts and the other gender is supposed to wear trousers to be completely sexist.
Yet – when it comes to identifying myself in a way which I feel is honest- I am onto a loser whichever way I look. People who interview candidates for jobs don’t tend to be open to the idea of someone being upfront about their disability during the interview. Another thing about me is I am European by family heritage but I cannot call myself “Half-Dutch” on official documentation.
We need to be very careful about how we identify ourselves (and ask others to identify themselves) – but should we need to be so careful??? Of course, there is language I would use to describe myself which I would be most insulted and offended if someone else used the same language to describe me.
In an ideal world everybody would be able to be totally honest about their own identity in public. Unfortuately, we do not live in an ideal world. We apparently live in one where we have to argue about every little point of being a human. I don’t like this – it is too judgemental for my liking.