How non-traditional couples break the whole argument for traditional gender roles

In my research about gender roles, I found disturbing personal anecdotes about the NEED for gender roles. One bit of commentary in particular that stuck out to me most blatantly discredited couples planning to share responsibilities in and out of the home. If it is God’s will for men to almost always be the sole providers, where does my partner fit in? My partner was born with a physical disability. There are physical limitations to what he can do. Does that mean he doesn’t qualify to be a conventionally providing husband? And if so, does that mean he isn’t made by God to fulfill the "role" of a man?

Here's how my family forces us to confront traditional gender roles…


Fairy princesses can be mighty girls, as long as we don't shame them first

My daughter wanted a "fairy princess birthday party," so I was making wands out pink glitter-glue and pipe cleaners and cutting the crusts off fairy bread while obsessively refreshing my Twitter feed for more news about the extent of Weinstein's depravity. The invitation to her party was a photo of my daughter wearing a tutu and crown, Photoshopped to make it look like it appeared in the pages of a storybook. She loved it.

After the invitation went out, I received messages RSVPing to the party, but they also asked a question, the same one over again: "Are you okay with this?"


My Halloween regret: I used to wear cultures as costumes

Halloween may be a day permitting mitigated inhibitions, but our ethical responsibilities do not get a day off. I speak on this point as someone personally guilty of this specific kind of oversight. At one point in my young adult life, I costumed-up for the holiday as a cultural stereotype, and to this day I look back at what should be cute pictures of fun memories, but instead… I cringe at my offensive choice (and rightly so). I am guilty of perpetuating the social norm that appropriating cultures to which we do not belong and of whose complexities we do not comprehend is somehow acceptable.


Defying gender binaries with Alok Vaid-Menon — a gender non-conforming writer, performer, & fashion icon

Alok feels that the concepts of masculinity and femininity shouldn't have relevance in this day and age. "We need to be much more colorful, expansive, and precise about what we mean rather than defaulting into ideological catchalls that do more harm than good," he tells me.

Being that Alok is a person of color, I wonder if they feel that ethnicity/race ties into the equation in a meaningful way. Their reply is so profound that I'm still sort of reeling from it…