I have never looked up to, nor have I had to deal with, anyone more in my life than my sister. Growing up, we spent a lot of time together. From the moment I was born pretty much I was attached at her hip whether she wanted me there or not – I played with games and toys with her; I looked up to her; I respected her; she taught me next to everything about the world that I knew back when I was a kid, before I started school and growing up more on my own.
Once I got to the point of having the ability to actually find myself and craft an identity, she had also been going through such a stage, a bit farther long than I was due to her being older. She was my guiding force in the building of my identity. During her search for identity, my sister found much of her place of solace in feminism which resulted in her adopting and subsequently became a firm believer and annoyingly vocal supporter of the movement, preaching the messages and beliefs of it constantly.
My sister’s feminist ideology would most likely align with how Remigiusz Rosicki described it in his piece about gender, feminism, and society, “Public Sphere and Private Sphere – Masculinity and Femininity. ” “Feminism assumes that ocio-biological approaches strengthen the stereotypical division between gender roles, hence the trend largely emphasizes challenging experiments in human behavior. ” (Rosicki 13) She has a strong belief in the idea that people earn their genders and learn their various behaviors through social interactions within the bounds of their environments.
She would spend hours upon hours of the day during dinner time, during car rides, while we watched TV, whenever she would have something so simple attempt to cross her path that related to gender inequalities or having to deal ith, watch, hear about other folks having to deal with sexism ranting on about how idiotic and wrong everything was with society in regards to men and women, how poorly women are treated compared to men, how both sexes should be able to behave however makes them feel the most comfortable regardless of the gender that they associate themselves with, so on.
The prime time on our interactions that had her preach her feministic ways came along whenever I finally made it to junior high, after she had been in high school for a couple of years already. A bunch of the simple conversations we had and things we did together did taught me about how I would approach my identity and behavior in regards to gender. She few days over the years she would ask me whether or not I was interested in any girls or boys at school because she didn’t care whether or not I was gay or straight, she was just curious.
From experiencing conversations as simple as this one, I gained so much from our time together. This interaction taught me back then that, regardless of how homophobic or uncomfortable everyone at school was talking about sexuality and presuming ne way or another how a person felt about attraction that it wasn’t a big deal what their preferences were. If lady likes men then that’s fine; if a guy likes ladies then that’s a-okay; if a man likes a man; or a woman likes a woman; or they like both; if they don’t care for either side then it doesn’t matter.
I’m not gonna end up dead on the street one day over just because I or someone else happened to be gay or straight or bisexual, and it seemed like she was the only person who ever tried to teach me that. People should just allow each other to be people as they leased without fear of judgement from their peers. Another revelation with her came to me when I got to the cusp between the end junior high and the beginning of high school.
I had never been vaguely interested in participating in sports growing up; the closest experience I had, in regards to being a part of one, would have to have either come from being on a soccer team with my sister when I was two-years-old or joining the scholar bowl team whenever I was in eighth grade.
All the people around me were getting into, or had been a part of, baseball, or football. soccer, or at least they had something in them that made them start trying to get physically built, yet I was still a scrawny little nerd who didn’t do anything physically challenging to prove myself as a man. As a result I had a bit of an issue with masculinity growing up that caused me to fearful of judgement because, unlike all the guys around me, I wasn’t a big, masculine sports person. I started gaining interest in music, choir, and theatre more as I grew older – a few more of the many things I gained interest in due to my interactions with her that haven’t abandoned me yet.
The issue with that was that, as an impressionable and stupid youth who was deathly scared of what everyone would think of me, thought that my participation in these things would have made me less of a man. I already had zero interest to join sports or do anything else that would promote whatever masculinity I had buried deep inside of me, so t maybe if I joined these things people would make fun of me and judge me for doing what I actually cared about doing because they weren’t the most masculine of activities, and that scared me. My sister picked up on that very easily.
She told e that I had no reason be scared of those things; if I liked doing something, it didn’t matter if anyone viewed me as more or less masculine than I was because it didn’t matter how masculine or feminine I was as long I was enjoyed what I was doing and was happy with myself. And that’s something I’ve lived by ever since then. My masculinity doesn’t matter to me; my femininity doesn’t matter to me; none of that matters to me; what does matter to me is that I am happy with what I’m doing with my life because I am more than my gender.
She has also helped me become more comfortable with my emotions as I’ve otten older. I’ve always been an emotional person ever sincel was a young child; I can be really happy, really sad, and I’m not afraid to cry because I know it’s alright to be emotional because of her. No one in my family has ever been terribly emotional: my dad and my sister never really showed whenever they were sad; they never really cried around me; they’d always keep their emotions behind a hard shell and whenever they’d get upset they’d just get mean.
That didn’t stop her from always being there for me to cheer me up and put up with me whenever I would get sad, regardless if it was because of something that ould’ve happened at school, something related to my parents, it didn’t matter because she would be there and tell me it’s okay to be emotional. My interactions with the world in media, social interactions at school and with the rest of the world, so on always told me that getting emotional made someone feminine, and thus made them weak due to how society portrays women.
She always told me that I should never be afraid to feel the way I feel because a person shouldn’t feel the need to hide their emotions behind their masculinity just because that’s what society teaches them. Any man can be just as emotional as any woman without losing a grain of their fragile masculinity. My sister has also taught me a good lesson few lesson on the fragility of most men’s masculinity.
She has always been very vocal about how stupid she thinks it is that men are so terribly concerned with how masculine they appear to others. No one cares more about a person’s masculinity than themself. I know who I am; I know that my sex is male and I identify as a boy; I don’t need to prove myself to anyone. People in society hyperbolize the importance on the masculinity in a man; this ust ends up making people care way more about how they appear to others than caring about embracing who they actually are.
I know that I don’t need to concern myself with such things thanks to my sister. My sister’s presence in my life helped make my discovery of my identity so much better than it would have been otherwise. Without her help I would never have become as comfortable with myself as I am now, and know that I now thanks to her help there is never anything wrong with acting feminine as a boy, or masculine as a girl, as long as I keep acting like myself.