Photo Essay

Breaking the Gender Binary

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"The oppositional nature of the gender binary sets up norms and expectations that females and males have distinct sets of emotions and behaviors."

The Gender Binary is something that has become so deeply entrenched in our culture that most people don't even realize how controversial and detrimental to society it truly is.This story aims to change the way in which we allow the gender binary to construct our beliefs and consequent actions. We currently assert that certain actions and feelings can only be associated with one gender without leaving any room for discussion

However, why is it that girls must dress up and when they don't they are considered sloppy? Why is the grunge look for guys accepted and for girls rejected? Why are tight tank tops for girls slutty and for guys trendy? Since childhood we are taught that pink is a girl's color and blue is a boys. A boy dressed in pink automatically raises a red flag for most heterosexual girls who automatically ask the question "Is he gay?". However, what we neglect to realize is there is no written rule against boys wearing pink or girls wearing blue. Guys wearing make up or girls watching sports. Or girls dressing down, boys crying about their feelings, or even god forbid girls being independent and successful women and men staying home to take care of the family. The only reason that we hold these beliefs is because binary ideals are written into our minds starting at infancy and culminating in our adult lives without us even realizing it.

In this photo story I have exaggerated and reversed the gender binary ideals in an attempt to explore the absurdity of categorizing actions to a single gender.

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