Not so long ago I saw an item of news which said Canada was introducing a gender neutral word to add to he and she. Shock, horror, disgusting, was the reaction from one Facebook friend, but it this so surprising?
Since the 1960s women have been seeking equality. Equal pay for the same job as men, equal rights to apply for the same jobs as men. All fully supported by most people but has this led to a loss of identity for women.
At one time girls wore dresses, had long hair and went to work in shops, offices, as nurses or teachers. Women were NEVER seen drunk in public, or at least not very often. I'm not saying women didn't drink, but they were more discrete if they did.
Boys, on the other hand, always had short hair, wore trousers, played football and made new friend by fighting them. Men were the bread winners, the defenders of their families and country, they swore like troopers but never in front of women or children. They did physically demanding jobs, miners, steel workers, ship builders and those who had received better education went into banking, law or medicine. These lists are a bit sterotypical but you get the picture. People knew what was expected of them and where they fitted into society.
This may not be an ideal situation. Class and sex discrimination certainly isn't tolerated in the second decade of the 21st century. But have we taken things a bit too far?
The first confusion arises when children are still quite young. Girls no longer only wear dresses. Boys don't necessarily have short hair. It's a matter of choice and I have no problem with that. But we cannot get away from the fact that deep down in our psyche if you see a child with long hair you expect it to be a girl and if it is wearing trousers it should be a boy. A flaw in our identification programming maybe, but it is there in our subconscious and subconscious is hard to over-rule.
So how has that progressed into adolescence and adulthood?
There are a growing number of people who are unsure of where they belong on the gender scale. Nature has made them physically one thing, but society which now says you can do whatever you like, whatever gender you are, has created a sense of 'who am I?' For although we are told we can do anything, we are still expected to fit into 'type' for our physical gender.
This had led to people feeling they have been classified as the wrong gender, but maybe this is what the Canadians have accepted as 'Gender Neutral'. Is it time to simply accept people as people, not men or women? Should we now avoid expecting the people around us to fit into a one category or another? How this bodes for the future of the human race which depends on the balance of the sexes to ensure continuation, I have no idea, but this could well be the result of the 'equality of the sexes' for what does that mean other than everyone is the same?