A reflection on my personal transformation on understanding gender
Gender is a concept that structures our daily lives. We are used to act in accordance with our chosen gender and reproduce the norms that are connected to it. From an early age we are given gender-specific toys and clothes, we are told that boys should not cry, and girls should be beautiful. As I was growing up in an ethnically mixed but rather conventional family, my environment strongly shaped my understanding of gender in a fixed way – mainly in terms of understanding sex and gender as synonymous.
However, after I followed a minor in gender studies, my perception of this concept completely changed. I started to wonder whether gender exists at all? What happens during the embryonic stage before gender gets formulated into something concrete and tangible? I understood that gender is a complex concept and far away from synonymous with sex. Instead, I realized that gender is a social construct and that sex/gender binary is embedded in our minds since childhood through constant repetition of sex/gender conforming acts.
Showering with Glasses is a personal exploration of the concept of gender understood as a state of mind. It provides a subjective perspective on this topic and reflections on my transformation. By exposing this development, I hope to not only understand better myself but also show that the process of transformation always has to stem from oneself and not others. I believe that through art a space filled with infinite imagination can be created – like in the womb. This space can give us the freedom to observe and formulate our ideas without linking specific identity to a pre-determined look or behaviour. The future, thus, depends on whether we take the given as given.