Fem

I’m surprised that she called me a girl’s girl. But surprised in a good way- I like that a lot. I think I’ve come a long way from thinking that I’m not good at being friends with girls, that I’m better at meeting and making guy friends. The process is different, I think, but no less rewarding.

With guys, it’s sarcasm and taking the piss. Guys flirt with each other and this playful relationship is easy to forge with males. Such is the disposition that I have, and I’ve always found it difficult to emulate this particular flirtationship with women. And that’s okay; maybe I can’t be as ‘rude’ or sarcastic with some women initially but it’s so nice to cut through the bullshit quick and bond over girl things. I don’t like small talk so I usually don’t hang around too long if the bullshit-cutting doesn’t happen on my watch. I’ve found that I’m able to show my affection to females through sweet words and gestures– because they know I’m straight and cannot mean anything romantic by it. I can also take my shirt off in peace.
It seems natural to hear, in conversation with males “so what else do you do you like to do besides sleeping?” or “what sort of music do you listen to?” (classic). The get-to-know-you questions are asked and received without hesitation. These date-like questions seem to me a little awkward when applied in girl on girl conversations (ha), unless we’re talking interviews or playing a special game of rapid fire.

I feel sorry for every girl I’ve ever made an enemy of in my mind because of whatever supposed essence I saw in them. She’s bitchy, she’s superficial, she wears a lot of makeup. She’s a sorority girl, she’s dramatic, attention-seeking, ditzy, hyper-sensitive, jealous.

I may have been introduced to “gender as a construct” in high school, I may have come across a couple of articles criticizing American Apparel and its sexualized portrayals of women, but my eyes are now seeing like they never have before. I am seeing and feeling as a woman just how damaging it is to expect girls to conform to a standard of girliness and to normalize these expectations. Therein lies implications from school to the courtroom. It’s not that I don’t believe that males and females are composed differently; we are genetically and anatomically different. Brains belonging to males are more similar to other male brains than to brains belonging to females, okay. It’s only when we pose limitations to what females or males can act or look like that we run into problems.

“You know us girls- we want all the details”.
“You can never trust the boys in the house alone on the weekends, amirite?”
“Close your legs, that’s not ladylike”.

Some days, I don’t want to shave my legs. I don’t have to. Yes I have nipples, I have a female body, and I love it. I like to sit ‘like a boy’ and I don’t want to be a stay-at-home mum for all of my married life. I think men are just as capable of falling hopelessly in love as Cher from Clueless (as educated by Cruel Intentions) and “he’s a guy, what do you expect” is not a valid excuse for most things you can control.

Feminism encompasses more than the gender pay gap… It’s about realizing that every person is a person before you apply a gender label on them. And it’s not just about women either; commenting on the fixed nature of women at the same time shapes the way we talk about men. It is an empathetic approach to human individuals.

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