11.4.12

These days I think a lot about gender and gender identity. What it means to be who we are in tension with who we expect ourselves to be because of what we are expected to be. In small ways, I've thought about it my whole life. I resented the borderlines of gendered bathrooms in elementary school, when most of my friends were boys. I resented that my friends could take off their shirts to play in our mud hole while I should not, with an additional resentment towards grownups for imposing their sexual rules on us. Seeing  us head-to-toe in mud nobody would've given my flat torso a second thought.

I knew I didn't want to be a boy, because I wanted to be me, but no more did I want to become a woman because I mounted a constant resistance against imposed borders, and I knew that breasts and hips would raise a biological wall whether we wanted to acknowledge its presence or not.

By the time I came into that windfall of hembra qualities, I don't think there was much resistance left. I was somewhat interested in womanhood but mostly in ungendered adulthood, that tantalizing future that young teenagers feel is just out of reach. If I could only escape the inane bureaucracy of high school, the idiocies of my own country, I felt I could be a real person, whatever that meant to me at the time. I'm pretty sure there is no windfall of adulthood waiting to be found, just multifaceted personhood in all its shame and glory.

The more I think about social acts and interactions and people seeing other people, the more I think about gender, with curiosity and not without resentment. And the more I think about it, the more irrational fear it sows in me, and the less capable I feel of being any kind of person.

1 comment:

  1. *sigh* I think to adequately react to this as I'd like to I'd have to take a minute to reflect on and figure out my own developed/developing concept of myself as a female, which is different from yours naturally, because we're different humans....
    but I too think that..
    I don't know, I used to not think of gender as a major factor in our stereotyped expectation of other people since, well - I don't know, obviously they're both (I mean, of course the choice of the word 'both' isn't necessarily accurate either, etc) everywhere in great and basically equal numbers (like among every race, geographical location, every economic class, etc)- I figured if you encounter SOOOO many of a certain type of human everywhere, certainly you naturally acknowledge and accept their right to be a fully realized person? Even though I knew, I dunno, that sexism existed in some vague way... it's only recently(relatively) that I've realized that it's really something that affects everyone all the time, not just people in specific situations. It just doesn't fit as nicely into like, victim-who-is-discriminated-against frames like racism does (kinda like your 'curiosity instead of resentment' statement? other things are so clear that you know who to blame and be angry at. it's harder to look at the world and easily fit Man and Woman into Oppressor/Oppressed frameworks). *shrug* I'm just ranting because I don't have fully developed enough thoughts to respond with.

    I have a lot more i could bring up but yeah, I'd rather just talk about it in person some time, thats much better/easier than trying to hit every point and qualification in this form. blah blah, tell me when you are done with your semester so we can do some visitin' :)

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