Sunday, 14 October 2012

G is for Gender.

Weddings are not my favourite type of social occasion. I like birthdays, I awesome all over Halloween parties and mazel toff to anyone having a bar mitzvah but weddings I find a bit … mehhh.

So when the dainty wedding invitation landed on my door step, with a dinky red heart sealing the envelope, I couldn't help but think I was helping the bride out. She may have her something new, something old and something borrowed… but I could cut out the middle man for her. I was feeling blue.  

I of course perked up when I discovered that I would be spending the evening in the company of a free bar, but I didn't have a plus one to take and weddings are a breeding ground for family resentment and tension. There is always a little summin’ summin’ that gives the guests a topic to talk about as they queue up for the cold buffet that has been sitting out for so long a film has started to form on the chicken wings.

As expected, this day was of course no different. At the wedding, the groom’s sister was dressed as a boy.  And a scruffy boy at that. Trainers at a wedding are like number two’s in a swimming pool - an absolute disaster and a catastrophic misjudgment.  This guest was now the hot topic of conversation with many a hushed whisper being had under the over sized fascinators.

In all honesty, the reaction of the other guests surprised me. We are not in the 50’s anymore, we are in the 21st century, we have WIFI for crying out loud!  So why were people so put out by it? I had a feeling it was less about the Reebok classics hugging her feet and more about the merging of the “his and hers” boundaries. 

Later in the day, I was filling my plate with said chicken when an old woman tapped me on the shoulder. My initial reaction was that she was going to inform me that eating as you actually travel round the buffet table was not the correct etiquette, so I was pleasantly surprised when she told me that I looked “lovely although surprisingly like my mother” following it up with a nod towards the door “unlike some people. In my day girls wore petticoats and pantyhose”. I knew without looking who would be at the door.

I was not sure what to reply, I had a mouth full of chicken and I wasn't entirely sure what “Pantyhose” were. I was also not best pleased with the mother comment, who at this point was dancing with my stepdad like a peacock attracting a mate.

I really didn't see the issue, granted the trainers were a big no-no, but as the night progressed it was clear that the older generation had more of an opinion about it than us young’uns.  As Carrie Bradshaw would say “I couldn't help but wonder” if maybe this was just the next stage of social evolution? Less than a hundred years ago people were defined by the colour of their skin; in a hundred years from now will gender just be a box you get your pet robot to tick on important forms? There’s no denying that the lines between XX and XY have become increasingly blurred in recent years – guys wear make-up, girls wear suits. Men date men and women date women, heck some people even date both (hopefully not at the same time, that’s not really a question of sexuality, more a question of greed) and it seems to be a logical wave of progression.

Saying that, raise your hand if you have a grandparent who is still partial to a racist comment at Christmas.

*raises hand* (Sorry Nana)

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