Guest post: Stuck in the boring box

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on You’re going to have to.

What exactly do “nonbinary” people believe themselves to be? They are still men or women, male or female, aren’t they? They can’t be “neither.” If they’re rejecting the stereotypical, sexist roles that society has historically tried to box men and women into, then bravo, they can knock themselves out. But am I nonbinary because I do not conform to many of the stereotypically masculine, sexist, gendered preferences and behaviours that patriarchal society expects men to adopt? I don’t drive. I don’t follow sports. I don’t drink beer. I do some cooking and housework (though still not half). I consider myself relatively gentle and sensitive (but that’s a judgement best left to those with whom I interact). Does that confer nonbinary status in the current usage? I’m guessing not. For that, I would have to put on a dress.

Jeffrey doesn’t want to smash the gender binary, he just wants to step a little bit outside of it. He doesn’t want to save anyone but himself. He only wants his own personal liberation. How can he be free if he has nothing to be free from? Jeffrey’s exciting, brave, and interesting non-binariness depends upon the rest of us poor bastards being stuck in the dull, cowardly, boring box he’s so cleverly escaped by putting on a bit of lippy and a pair of earrings; by becoming a tourist, visiting the other gendered box. Those of us relegated to binary prison are expected to center and celebrate his heroic eschewal of all we are too thick and stupid to avoid.

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