Laura Franks is someone who has “refused to play gender games.”
To me this means someone who will no longer abide to the set of norms our society considers acceptable based on one’s assigned sex at birth.
For example, all men are supposed like sports, work with cars, enjoy doing physical activities, not doing any house chores (dishes,cleaning), play video games, be in charge (the boss), never cry, etc…
While females are supposed to get married and have kids, do house work/clean, play with barbies, not have any leadership roles, do non-physical work, be pretty at all times, etc..
The fear that comes into play in this section of the reading is the backlash one might receives when not doing what is expected by society. “Why is she playing with swords and cars? That’s not for girls,” was a common thing I heard when I was working at an elementary school in Manhattan. It never crossed my co-workers’ minds that maybe she was just a female student that enjoyed playing with swords and cars.
Personally, I cannot think of a major way I have been affected by performing something that was not “masculine” or deemed unacceptable based on my assigned sex. One thing that comes to mind, which I guess applies to this scenario, is the hyper-masculine idea of what a man is in my Latino family. Growing up, I constantly heard from my father and other males relatives that boys are not supposed to cry and should never be afraid of anything. Even though I instilled these ideas, as I grew older, I started to realize that this was not entirely true. The very men in my family who were considered “tough” and macho-men cried at funerals and at tragic events, which I guess meant there were exceptions to these ideas. During middle school, I started to realize that this was mostly an ego thing for us guys and more importantly, a way to shield oneself from being judged by others.