Snowmen are the unofficial symbol of the great British snow day. They provoke memories of being ridiculously wrapped up, and forcing a huge ball of snow to somehow stay on top of another large ball of snow.
Demanding carrot’s and buttons from our bemused parents so we can ensure our snowmen gain some form of identity.
But when it comes to identity, are we wrong to define them as men?
The last couple of years has seen the concept of “gender fluidity” gain continued exposure. The idea has been produced by some members of society, with the thought being that a person doesn’t need to be identified as having a specific gender. Regardless of what biologically this may be.
There is some friction with this within society however, which is usually the case when things that are generally “the way things are”, are challenged.
It turns out that “gender fluidity” is deemed as just that. Something that is threatening the accepted norms of society. The Snowman faces such threat, as there are people who feel that the name does not need to carry “man”, and should be neutralised to a mere “snowperson”.
For me it’s remarkable that with the continued deep rooted problems society currently faces, that this is a genuine issue up for debate. There’s often calls that we’ve softened, and our seemingly offended by everything now, and it appears that is correct.
Some people however feel that this is actually a great idea.
2017 saw the beginning of this particular “gender fluidity” began to trickle into the consciousness of big business. John Lewis opted to rid its stores of labels designated for boys and girls, for their children clothes.
There have been some somewhat sarcastic responses …
Just make sure over the next couple of days that if you get up to any extra curricular snow activities, that you refer to anything built as a 'snowperson' rather than a 'snowman', just so you don't offend Dolores down the road.
— Ciarán Stafford (@CiaranStaff95) February 27, 2018
PC UPDATE: Please inform your children that if they are building a snow figure today, they must NOT call it a snowman unless it identifies as a male. "Snowperson" is now the preferred term.
— Keith Mills (@KeithMillsD7) February 28, 2018
Whilst adults sit debating intently, commonly via the medium of social media, regarding the issue of “gender fluidity”, there is a potentially more concerning matter at hand. The fact that it is children, who are the ones who build our snowmen, that are being caught in the crossfire of a debate of political correctness.
I think it’s worth reminding ourselves that we are not actually talking about human beings, and that these snowmen are actually an amalgamation of frozen water.
The ironic thing in, despite donning a title containing “man”, there is no way of determining that the snowmen are actually men. They, after all, have no genitals, and no scientific DNA.
Despite the argument that rages on, and whichever side you’re on, it does demonstrate how the issue of gender fluid representation has become a topic for great debate.
Gender fluidity is an important issue for everyone, regardless of their gender identity.
“Everyone experiences these gender pressures, whether they’re LGBT or not, so gender fluidity is something we all need to be discussing as part of our everyday lives – whether it’s rejecting a damaging stereotype, using ‘they’ pronouns as well as ‘he’ and ‘she’, or simply not assuming someone’s gender identity based on their appearance.
The conversation just starts with gender-neutral clothing lines or gender-fluid imagery – we need to be hearing more of the voices and experiences of gender-fluid and non-binary people and genuinely start moving away from binary gender representations and fixed gender roles.”
We’ve seen examples of gender fluidity entering the conscience of people up and down the country, including a couple who have opted to raise their son gender fluid, and let the child decide on their gender in later years.
The child, called “Star Cloud”, is going to be allowed to explore “both sides” of the swing and allow the child to discover their own gender with no influence.
Star Cloud’s biological mother, Nikki, identifies herself as both male and female, with the child referring to the parent as “dad”. However Louise, who is undergoing a transition to becoming female, is Star’s biological father.
Going back to the question asked at the top of this piece, are we beginning to threaten societies norms?
Companies are beginning to develop ways to ensure that everybody feels welcome. For example London Underground have opted to get rid of their public announcements such as “Good morning ladies and gentlemen”, and have replaced this with “Good morning everyone”.