From an early age I called bullshit on gender stereotyping by mixing up the mannerisms and activities generally associated with either. I played outdoors, played video games, and defended kids who were bullied. I had pierced ears with gold star earrings which I’d carefully selected (it was that or hearts) and would run around in a dress even as I explored the empty tree-filled area behind the park. I had both "boy toys" and "girl toys" and would help my mother in the kitchen as much as I'd run around my dad's workshop and build things.
After hitting puberty, for a time I wore a mix of boys’ and girls’ clothing before my sister convinced me that I was pretty and should dress in things that accented it rather than shrouded it. I took up playing D&D, reading comics and manga and continued playing video games. At some point in my tweens I became obsessed with learning about wilderness survival and found that I had way more male friends than other girls seemed to.
In adulthood, it surprises me when people are taken aback by the things I’m interested in. I suppose that it shouldn’t be news. Despite the types of shifts which have occurred within our society, people innately feel the need to categorize. It also happens with other facts about me such as being an artist or a vegetarian.
This afternoon, someone in the office who has known me for about 8 years explained my owning and using an espresso machine to make lattes (rather than drinking the drip coffee in the communal coffee pot) by telling the visitor that I’m vegetarian.
How in the hell does that even make sense?
It was actually amazingly funny to me and I had to stifle a giggle. To her, I must be a pod from an alien world. That’s pretty awesome, and it makes for a catchy name: Jalapod.
In fact, that's what I'd call my band: Jalapod and the Stereo Types.