Society Can’t Label Who You Are
by Citlacti Carrera-López
Society puts you in a box. A box you are stuck in as a child and that remains as you grow up, and prevents you from finding who you are and expressing yourself freely. This box is the bias of gender identity and expression in our youth. Gender identity has been a controversial topic for many years and a difficult topic of discussion for some. However, gender identity in children is a fragile topic that is seen as something that should not even be spoken about. For most parental figures, gender expression in their children is seen as something that they are not ready to decide for themselves. It is a topic that is seen as needing no altering or input in changing, but rather something that should stay the same.
In today's world, however, most children grow up thinking there is only either “black or white”. These children aren't taught how in between that “black or white” there is a grey area. A grey area that does not revolve around stigmas or stereotypes of what a “girl” or “boy” should look like or act. It is an area that is spontaneous and leaves it up to the child themselves to decide who they want to be and how they want to express themselves without the constraints of society. Gender identity allows for children to be comfortable with whether they identify with the gender they were assigned at birth or identify with a gender different from the one they were assigned at birth.
Children, as well as teenagers, express themselves through different outlets including either clothing, behavior, hairstyle, or even voice. This freedom allows them to define themselves in their own way, in their own time, and without the lingering feeling of having to please someone else in order to fit into society’s standards. This year in PANMAUN we are discussing and understanding the differences between situations in which children are just being children and situations in which a child is expressing important parts about themselves in order to define their identity and how they choose to express it.
This topic of discussion is making its appearance at the podium in the UNICEF committee. In addition to this, not only is PANAMUN discussing this issue in order to spread awareness and create an open dialogue about it within the school, but they have given this topic of discussion to their middle school committee of UNICEF as well. Our middle school delegates are tackling this issue head on during the conference, allowing them to be exposed to an environment in which they can openly speak about issues that may be affecting themselves as a part of our youth.
Delegations of many countries such as Sweden, India, Nigeria, etc have come together to address this bias and present resolutions that can both please all countries and allow for the intake of different perspectives surrounding the topic either good or bad to help broaden the delegates understanding. As people who are part of the youth of our society, it is our duty to discuss uncomfortable topics in order to learn and progress as a community so that we can enable change. PANAMUN allows us as students, daughters, sons, etc to take that first step of allowing for progression and incentivising us to talk not only during the conferences but outside of the debate about these issues.