My personal thoughts, and musings and experiences, on gender neutrality, which I don’t fully associate with but can nod at, and femininity.
I am female, but I am very casual. I scarcely wear makeup and svelte clothing. That doesn’t make me more or less female or feminine, I don’t believe; I have always been one for simplicity and I find make up and certain clothing/accessories to be uncomfortable and susceptible to damage and/or mishaps, so I have learned to avoid them. I do enjoy “natural” products and a (very) natural look, rose scented anything and well-conditioned hair. After experimenting for a while, I have developed a simple, comfortable, and androgynous style, but really, I’ve had it for some time.
I currently have the bottom half of my head shaved short (undercut, they call it), for comfort and convenience, and for the interesting ability to have two different styles (hair up VS hair down – two different looks). I personally feel balanced with yin female and yang male, and even try to eat with that macrobiotic concept of yin and yang food. Balance and simplicity are what I’m all about. I feel in-tuned enough when one energy is off kilter. I feel improved by exercises such as the 5 Tibetan Rites, hiking and walking. Nothing too strenuous.
I am glad to be biologically female, but frankly, I do not understand the meaning of being socially female. I don’t see being female as a burden, and I have rarely felt threatened. In a way, I celebrate walking on that line of gender expectation. In high school, I was on the wrestling team, where wise cracks, pranks and sexual jokes were commonplace. Of course, I had some awkward encounters with the high school boys on my team but I pass it off now as a pedagogical phase on their behalf. I have worked in a real estate office, where I was around highly-aggressive males and heard them say borderline disrespectful things against women and men alike. I always shrugged it off, laughed it off, was casual though part of me felt offended, or something like that. I would later walk away and learned not to participate or interact in that type of exchange.
I ultimately felt and feel neutral, gender and social. I never felt like feminine social “norms” were my forte, though I tried. I was more akin to what I can now call androgynous, perhaps even gender neutral. I didn’t care if I was a girl, that I couldn’t/shouldn’t, but over time I would hear it and even feel it – using caution, having to be more aware of being female, not doing certain things because of my age, gender, surroundings. There are many varying experiences, too many/too vague to list, but I always felt uncomfortable in these situations where my gender, my “place,” had to be taken into account – and these were just social situations; caused by people. And so now I live my life in a way that I don’t have to ever feel these social pressures.
Not that this is really a big deal to me, but I currently live with my boyfriend and 3 male roommates. My traditional, Hispanic mother questions this and is baffled. I see nothing of concern or issue. Not sure if there are pros and cons; it simply is what it is, to me.
So that is why I do not understand that concept of socially female – because it is something that shifts depending on social context and I feel in control of. Perhaps this makes me feminist? I have no idea, nor do I really assign much importance to titles. Perhaps this makes me socially ignorant, on a grander scale that I am not even aware of?? Please offer your two cents.
Since I can remember, I have been comfortable with being androgynous, and continue to be true to that rhythm. I have never seen gender as wrong or right, and I have suspicions that it is a social construct, but I am not a conspiracy theorist nor do I have strong, dogmatic feelings or opinions or knowledge, for that matter, on the subject. I can see hormones and physical appearances engineer our psychology. I’ll stop here because I don’t want to get too complicated. I’m just trying to state how I feel.
Social theory, discussions, predictions and debates are not my forte or interest for that matter. I go off of anecdotal information, internal “gut” feelings/intuition, and my recent thoughts have come from observing children in my childhood advocacy journey.
In my practice and in my local area, I have seen the parents of preschool aged children and beyond let them have freedom in what they choose to wear and how to live. I have seen boys with colorful finger and toe nails, proudly wearing dresses, dressed in Elsa costumes. I’ve seen girls rough-n-rumble with boys without missing a beat, playing Pokemon, telling silly, dirty jokes.
These are kids, unspoiled by taboos or opinions. They are my ideals. They love color, they love characters, they love expression. I am in that same boat. Dress how you want. Look how you want. Act how you want. That is power. Teach it, encourage it, pass it on. Just gotta be true to yourself, your inner rhythm.
The fact that there is even a debate on how someone should live based on their gender is somewhat silly to me… yet another one of those myriad social/political red herrings out there.
Mind your own biz??? Let people be free to choose???