Growing up in a traditional Mexican family, I realized early on that I was supposed to play the feminine role with which I didn’t identify. My reaction to people’s constant remarks about my lack of femininity was to do the opposite of what they expected. I used to control my movements so they wouldn’t look “girly” because I regarded “girliness” as a negative, weak and submissive attitude. Even if crossing my legs felt more comfortable, I wouldn’t do it, and I never wore make up until my senior year in high school. This was my way of confronting sexism, but in reality I was merely avoiding it. I was nonetheless playing a role.
How, if at all, should we react to gender discrimination? Should we spend our lives calling out everyone around us who makes sexist remarks of any sort? It is not realistic to imagine ourselves proactively confronting such an omnipresent issue.
I admire and respect intersexuals who use their stories to advocate for the rights of everyone to make our own decisions regarding our own bodies. It must be very difficult to constantly remind themselves and others about their difficult pasts and what caused them.
Our society is so inured to gender discrimination that finding a balance between a fair and appropriate reaction to the issue and our own identities becomes a very difficult task.