Since when did clothes become a label for genders?
Colours and clothes alike are pretty abstract concepts that each individual views differently; moreover each individual has a different opinion over what is better or more pleasing to the eye than the other. So since when did it become a norm for people to consider that clothes were actually labels to stereotype genders?
It all began with blue becoming the symbol for boys and pink the symbol for girls. Let me ask you this. From which angle or way do these letters identify as these genders they have been aligned to. Blue is blue. Pink is pink. It is only an opinion of an individual that blue can be defined as boys main color while pink as girls go to color.
Continuing, the meaning and definitions that have been aligned to these colors are only widely known but not majorly accepted. For some individual’s red means love while to some red means destruction and anger. 2 very different concepts. Similarly to some individuals blue means silence and calmness while to others, it means sadness and depression. Again very different concepts. To add more to it, yellow to some represents happiness while to some it represents boredom– very contradictory definitions.
It is not wrong to say that colors are like an oxymoron, each color having its own different meaning for each individual sometimes two polar opposites, sometimes quite similar.
Coming back to our main subject matter; just as colors are abstract and each individual holds their own perspective as to what each color represents, similarly each accessory or type of clothing is also abstract and it is for each individual to decide whether they want to wear a piece of clothing or not. The question here is not to label items of clothing as labels but rather to see whether a type of clothing is fit for a person or not.
For instance, due to its widespread use by Muslims, the Hijab has become a label to identify those who wear it as Muslims but some individuals may prefer to cover their hair and wear Hijab because they want to even though they might not be Muslims.
Similarly, moving around in a pair of heels for males is widely disregarded even though they can wear heels if they want to. It’s a pair of shoes.
Nothing more nothing less. The one who puts the doubts in our minds and clouds our decisions and make us feel anxiety over what type of clothing is “male” or “female” are our peers and society and it is these very people that cause even more problems for trans individuals who already have enough issues as it is aligning themselves with one gender that such clothing stereotypes only adds more to it.
Though it is not wrong to say that these stereotypes exist for a reason, such as seeing a person in a lab coat we can identify them as a doctor, but that isn’t the issue we are trying to discuss. A Lab coat discerning a profession is alright but a lab coat representing that this person is a male is not. Even female doctors are allowed to wear a lab coat if they so choose to.
Clothes are something that each person is entitled to on his or her opinion on what they want to wear and what they look good in. No member of the society or rather any individual has the right to tell another person that the accessory or piece of cloth or type of cloth an individual is wearing doesn’t represent their “gender”.
It is each person’s own right to decide that (period)