1. When I was a child, I believed that all cats were female and all dogs were male. I consider this a revealing autobiographical detail.
2. I spent most of high school and college strongly disliking/being uncomfortable with being female. I wasn't a tomboy, and the majority of my friends have always been women, but I didn't feel that I really knew how to "do" female (and to the extent that I did, I resented it). All my artistic and intellectual heroes were men.
3. My freshman year I shared a suite with five other women, and I think it was then that I consciously began to socialize myself as female. I paid a lot of attention to the way my suitemates spoke and acted and moved through the world--everything from how they dressed and talked about their bodies to how they teased, comforted, and traded confidences with their friends.
4. I was a successful student of such matters. But although I now read as pretty femme--heels and makeup and all that--I consider this an elaborate and rather hilarious ruse. At the same time, the fact that other people don't get the joke makes me wonder who was mastering (or being mastered by) what.
5. Whenever I'm trying to remember where I heard something or whom I told a particular story to (you know: who was it I was talking to about. . . ?) the one detail I'm instantly sure of is my conversation partner's gender. I may have no idea how recently a conversation took place, or where, or any other details, but I always know whether the person I was talking with was male or female.
6. In college I had this bit that I did whenever someone told me a story about his or her romantic trials. "Oh, man," I'd say. "That's totally going in my book. You know, the book I'm writing? Women Are Mean, Men Are Stupid? Yeah. You'll be Chapter Six."
7. I relate to my freshman women who dislike the term "feminist"; who refuse to believe that their opportunities aren't absolutely equal to those of their male peers; who think that suggesting there are structural inequities--or even just problems importantly unique to women--amounts to playing victim or asking for special favors (if they're struggling, it must be because they aren't smart enough or tough enough or good enough). I felt that way for a long time. Sometimes I wish I still did.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Seven things meme: special gender edition!
Adjunct Whore tapped me for this meme, which seems essentially indistinguishable from the "eight things" meme that was going around this summer--so for kicks I've decided to limit my seven bits of personal trivia to matters of gender (if anyone wishes to declare this a new meme, and run with it, be my guest).