THEATRE: OVERCOMING GENDER LIMITATIONS

This World Theatre Day befalls us in a time of hyper conversations around gender and sexuality discrimination and for those of us who believe that theatre can solve societal imbalances, let's give this a shot! 

With so many all over the world rising up against homophobia and restrictive sexuality laws, there still isn't enough creative discussion and reflection given to how one should perceive their own selves.  We are just too busy looking at the othered and modifying our biases to deserve the next liberalist label.  Since charity begins at home, let's try and divert the focus of attention to our inner selves.  It's important indeed, because in the urgency of being the loudest in denouncing gender hypocrisy, we are all missing something very fundamental - a need to change how we see gender in the first place.

I. THE WORST VIEW OF GENDER: UNCH NEECH KA PAPDA


This view of gender is much like the childhood game of Unch Neech Ka Papda where you got to decide which side you are before you can even begin playing.  Once decided, you don't get to switch sides.  And the moment you try to trespass into the opposite territory, you are on the verge of being ousted

II. STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH A GENDER MODEL: A CASTEISM OF SORTS


What this model brings is compromised inclusiveness.  For the sake of upholding humanity, an outhouse is provided where a few individuals are allowed to survive with some dignity and a lot of scrutiny.  Guess, what's the most dangerous thing this model does? It fools us into believing that we as a society have come of age.
So let's take a leap of creative imagination for once and champion a new model of gender identity.

III. A WORLD OF NO GENDER LIMITATIONS: BREAK AWAY


There you go, now each individual has a place of their own.  A place where each of us can bloom and embrace our true selves; where femininity and masculinity are not mutually exclusive but coexist; and where all individuals are too busy being themselves to need to belong to a bucket.

Uh oh!  Just a minor revision still.

IV. GENDER GOES DYNAMIC: THEATRE


We believe that the best way of appreciating this, is to peep into the world of theatre and storytelling.  For in a story told truly, this is easiest observed!  Each character is here endowed with a graph and an ability transform as context changes. Let's face it then, theatre proves to us that there are multiple selves within each one of us and gender is no different. So let's give this a shot, and uphold this transformative superpower in everyday life. Trust us, the joy of donning various avatars is indeed to die for...

Author: Silky Agarwal

P.S. Know more about Gender Fluidity from this awesome TEDx video 



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