She should be in the kitchen. She should know how to cook. She should be a little more ladylike and not so much like a tomboy. She should have long nails that show her femininity. She should be graceful in the way she sits. She should walk and not run. She should have long hair. She should be quiet in her demeanor and not too loud. She shouldn’t be playing those rough sports. She should be cleaning the house and not reading a book. She should have shoes on and not walk around with bare feet. She should wear dresses and not pants. She should… She should… She should….
These are just some of the comments I heard growing up.
Comments from people who thought they had the right to tell my mom what I should do and how I should behave.
People who also tried to make me believe that because I was a girl I had gender traits to follow.
People who allowed gender specific social norms to influence their beliefs and behavior and hence wanted to impose those beliefs on me.
People who didn’t have it together yet went out of their way to make sure I did but on their terms.
As I look back, yes, there were moments I did follow some of those opinions and I wish I hadn’t because there was always a part of me that knew I was not created to be confined by comments, opinions and assumptions of who others think I should be but who God envisions me to be.
I should be loving and compassionate. I should be kind. I should treat people with respect, the same way I want to be treated. I should value people. I should spend time getting to know people and listen to their story. I should stand up against discrimination. I should speak up against injustice. I should protect the defenseless. I should be positive and encouraging. I should do what Jesus would do not what someone else thinks I should do based on their beliefs my gender is supposed to do.
Everyone will have an infinite amount of opinions of who you should be…
What matters is who you are as a person not what society or culture thinks you should do or be based on your gender.
You only have one life. Live your life based on Jesus’ example and ignore the naysayers, by being the most loving and kind person you can be.
#beyou #love #compassion #joannecortes