The other day, in the comments thread about Faith Hill’s Redbook cover, Nightshift asked a good question about why “so many women buy into…the patriarchy.” There are many reasons why women buy into it, from obvious explanations like an oppressive socialization designed to encourage them to buy into it, to less obvious motives like pervasive professional standards that require conformance to it.
And then there’s stuff like this:
A few weeks ago, Khadijah Farmer was eating dinner with her girlfriend after the Manhattan Pride Parade, at a restaurant in the West Village. She got up to go to the bathroom, but was followed in by a bouncer who banged on the stall she was in and told her to get out. Apparently, someone had complained that there was “a man” in the women’s bathroom. The bouncer wouldn’t listen to Farmer’s insistence that she was in the right bathroom, and proceeded to throw her and her girlfriend out of the restaurant… after making them pay the full bill for a meal they hadn’t eaten.
That’s from an excellent post about trans people, discrimination, and bathroom activism, although Khadijah Farmer is not trans. She is a cisgendered (assigned female at birth) woman who was targeted and harassed specifically and only because “her gender expression doesn’t conform to standards of ‘female’.”
Obviously, this is not a problem unique to women, but a risk for anyone who has an atypical gender expression as defined by patriarchal norms. And I don’t really have a whole lot of brilliant insight to add here, nor do I really think any is necessary. I just wanted to point out yet another heinous example of the sort of behavior that keeps way more people desperate to stay in close alignment with those norms than likely would naturally, if individual gender expression weren’t so deeply discouraged.