The Goldilocks zone of gender, identity and perhaps … God?

As soon as we move away from the idea of sexuality and gender roles, we become more aware of something spectacularly misunderstood. (Reuters)

As soon as we move away from the idea of sexuality and gender roles, we become more aware of something spectacularly misunderstood. (Reuters)

During a general yet necessary conversation with a friend the other day, she asked me how I was. You know, the usual, love, life, people, relationships, interactions, and all the rest. In a surprisingly mellow mood that was not tainted by some exertion of trying to restrain a looming black dog, my response was balanced, quaint, albeit slightly reminiscent of a more teenage me, and … questionably out of character.

Her: How are things?
Me: Chilled.
Hot. Fun.
Her: Sounds just about in the Goldilocks zone.
Me: *Long pause*.
Her: I just realised, the Goldilocks zone dovetails nicely with my concept of Gender Free Zone – not male or female. Just … human?!

(I will skip past my confusion and lazily denying myself googling rights, and jump straight to the middle).

Both amounts of each, that is chilled and hot, could remind you of a porridge that's not too hot, not too cold, but just right – in a sort of "it is what it is kind of way". But it doesn't necessarily mean that, not for most people anyway. Conditioning has ruined us to label even more, even where labels are opposed or contradicted, or "fringe".

You probably feel like I am pulling rabbits out of a hat here, so let me explain: Straight Person does not understand being gay, or how this comes about. Is opposed. There is man, there is woman, hear them roar. Gay Person opposes; Straight Person is obviously a social and cultural degenerate who does not understand anything outside of himself and social norms. Gay Person possibly thinks that Straight Person probably has homoerotic fantasies they're too afraid to face anyway. Gay Person has Friend, Friend is gay, but Friend is also not gay. Does not identify as either. Thus Friend is just a person? *Shock Horror. Gay Person doesn't get it. Gay Person is now fundamentalist. "You either are or you aren't, no two ways about it." Gay Person thinks Friend-Person is just afraid to be labelled as gay. Irony much?

As soon as we move away from the idea of sexuality and gender roles and as what society has defined them, we become more aware of something spectacularly misunderstood: personal identity. A concept so rare, it's almost livable, habitable, conducive to growth and the flourishing nature of things in its organic state. Because it's in the zone … the Goldilocks zone.

And now I offer you an explanation. What is the Goldilocks zone (compliments of the Google device and "Terrestrial planets are also more likely to lie in the Goldilocks zone. Also called the habitable zone or life zone, the Goldilocks region is an area of space in which a planet is just the right distance from its home star so that its surface is neither too hot nor too cold. Earth, of course, fills that bill, while Venus roasts in a runaway greenhouse effect and Mars exists as a frozen, arid world. In between, the conditions are just right so that liquid water remains on the surface of the planet without freezing or evaporating out into space."

(Sidenote: for purposes of this metaphor, the comparison of a personal identity to a terrestrial planet does not mean that people get to walk all over you … just saying.)

So, the Goldilocks zone as a metaphor, is just … human, then? A space far removed from the labels of gay or straight or masculine or feminine, divorced from archaic preconceived notions of what any of these look like physically, or don't look like, for that matter. A "life zone", or rather, in terms of personal identity, is a place for an individual to just be and live comfortably without restriction in their own skin? We can morph this concept of identity into something more fluid, in a constant state of flux and with a complete sense of openness and independence, without it necessarily needing to bear any consequence on sexual preference or identity and without it stealing away from the masculinity or femininity of things, which has been around since Adam and Eve. Because really …

And while we're on the topic of things that bear a more religious, (and I say religious in reference to the Abrahamic narratives as told through time and testament), isn't the idea of God, or a God, also in the Goldilocks zone? A creator, neither he nor she, but just a superior being identified as an individual?

I'm not being blasphemous and I don't mean to offend by making comparisons to what is essentially a fictional character from a children's story … but the aforementioned surely implies that if this is God's image, and you were in fact created in it, then surely you're deserving of the Goldilocks (read Godlilocks) zone too?

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee became Africa’s first social media editor in a newsroom at the Mail & Guardian, where she went on to work as deputy digital editor and a disruptor of the peace through a weekly column. A stint as the program manager for Impact Africa – a grant-disbursing fund for African digital journalists – followed. She now pursues her own writing full time by enraging readers of EWN and Women 24 with weekly and bi-monthly columns respectively. She also contributes to the Sunday Times and a range of other publications. Mohamed Dawjee's inaugural book of essays: Sorry, not sorry: Experiences of a brown woman in a white South Africa, is due for release by Penguin Random House in April 2018.Follow her on Twitter: @sage_of_absurd Read more from Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Client Media Releases

Snupit makes tech improvements in 2019
Postdoctoral researcher inspires sanitary towel project
Different routes for tackling matric through distance learning
IIE Distance/Online learning at Rosebank College