Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I'm a bit of a fraud...

I've been trying to come to terms with something for awhile, and I suspect some of y'all are thinkin' about it, too, so I thought I might just address it and get it out of the way.

I'm not truly gender blank. I'm fairly close to it, but I do trend toward the feminine in some respects. I style my hair in decidedly girlie ways. Sometimes womanly ways, but often girlie. This involves using a curling iron and copious amounts of hairspray (some girlstyles are harder to hold than others). I also use a floral body spray and shower gel. I shave my armpits.

I try my best to balance this out, 'cause I'm afraid my radfem card might get yanked if I don't. Also because I think it's important to present gender in all its permutations. I do it for the kids, really. How else are they going to grow up and not become stereotypes and/or sexist bastards? So, every day I choose not to shave my legs. I even wear them out in public that way. It was hard at first, but now I just don't feel like compromising on it. I also choose every day not to wear makeup. Partly this is because I'm lazy, but mostly I just don't feel like I should be expected to go an extra mile to compensate for not having a penis. I haven't worn a dress since 1999, and that was only in a dressing room. The last time I CHOSE to wear a dress was the summer of 1995. I wear jeans and tennis shoes to work. I wear a sweater if I'm trying to dress up. And maybe boots. I own and know how to use power tools.

I just feel as though the Patriarchy gets propped up enough without me lending more support. I (mostly) refuse to get sucked into gender drama and feminine performance.

But I do get sucked in sometimes in spite of myself. I know this. And I wanted you to know that I know this. I didn't want y'all thinkin' that I think I'm the most radical thing that ever lived. I'm not. In theory, perhaps, but certainly not in practice.

So, Gender Blank is more what I aspire to, or what I hope other people feel free to aspire to and enact, but I've got a long way to go toward becoming it. Being truly gender blank takes a kind of guts I haven't ever witnessed in myself. I still rely on some of the tools in the Femininity Toolbox to cope with the Patriarchy because it's easy, and I'm lazy, and I don't like confrontation.

I turn 30 this year. I think I will dedicate my new decade to nurturing my guts. I just have to. After all, it's for the children.

1 comment:

jluw said...

I don't necessarily think your growth process makes you a fraud - even a little bit! Actually, we are all in the process of growing and becoming what we want or need to be. If we were perfect from the "get go," how much fun would that be???