The World Health Organization defines gender as "the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women."
In our society that means that we see women as people who like pink, dresses, cooking, etcetera and are basically our idea what is "feminine". On the hand men are supposed to be tough, they don't show much emotion, etcetera and they are what we believe to be "masculine."
These social boxes can trap people. They tell people that there are only two places for them. They fit in one or the other and that's it. But, as you may already know, gender is much more complicated than that. I don't believe any one fits the exact stereotype of these gender constructs.
Gender should be less like two boxes and more like rivers, channels, that intersect at points and separate at other points, depending on the person. All of these channels are carved out by people as they change and grow over their life time. The channels are used or not, depending on the person at any particular time.
If we are to properly write about gender in YA all of these points and much more should be accessed. We should take them apart and put them back together to make an assessment about the social restrictions in our society and how people everywhere are breaking and reshaping them into something new and exciting.
Anjulie Te Pohe
Founder of Koru Mag | Mookychick contributor | Avid reader and writer of YA | Takatapui (Maori & bi/queer) | She/Them | Contact: email@example.com