Don’t let gender roles keep you from being yourself

Elijah Anderson

There are countless things in this world that I am uncertain of. For example, on a Tuesday you might find me advocating idealistic liberalism while on Thursday I’ll be the staunchest conservative you’ve ever met.

It’s because there are very few things I am certain of in life. At this stage I see no valid reason to settle upon any firm conclusions. After all, how can I possibly expect to know enough in 21 years to be absolutely certain of anything? But, there is one unavoidable truth in this world that I cannot deny. I am man.

Now, in some alternate world I’m sure I’m the most ravishing beauty queen to ever represent our country in the Ms. Universe pageant, but in this realm I am woefully unqualified. My Y-chromosome designated me a male. I had no choice in this matter and thus, I had to adapt.

But being a man is not as easy as I have made it look. There are some very real and present dangers men must face on a daily basis. While I face these challenges with a firm resolve, I want you all to know that in doing so I die a little on the inside.

There is nothing in my DNA that certifies me, or my kind, as automatic experts in the fields of toilet plunging, roach killing or human waste disposal. What makes mothers, sisters, girlfriends and friends think that just because I am male I relish in extracting three feet of wet, matted and stinking hair from the shower drain? Or that I take pride in the arduous labor that is unclogging the toilet of unmentionable solid waste? I do not, but I have to, it’s the chromosome.

Cockroaches freak me out just as much as any other human being. There is nothing I would like to do more than climb on top of a table and scream at the sight of those vile creatures. Alas, society will not let me. “You’re the man!” barks society. “Kill the creature,” whispers society.

In reality, squishing cockroaches is the least of my concerns. The expectation that all males have to like sports, beer, naked women and work a 9-to-5 to be considered a real man is the real worry. Likewise, the notion that women need to be able to cook, clean, work and take care of children is equally disturbing. Gender roles are bogus and antiquated remnants of a time long gone. We should never restrict ourselves to be anything that we’re not simply because society expects that of us to be considered real “men” or “women.” Thus, my toilet plunging days are over.