|Observe modern femininity at its|
best. She's in charge, right? Except,
Except, it's all about exercise and
being thin. Check the earrings and
the long hair... subtle, but there.
|Ooh I'm all lost and stuff in these|
woods and need rescuing even
though I have a darling hat.
But I find both of these ideals, these definitions, are lacking something, they do not seem to suggest that there is truth in them. I speak to men who are sporty and thoughtful, however, and I am disturbed by what I see. I see an acceptance of these definitions and a belief that there is nothing more. Women are the same: a fear of being too feminine and a fear of being a slut, a desire to be more male in how they work and operate. That is, to be hard and tough and hard-bitten. To make it in a 'man's world' it appears as though women must, in fact, become and be more masculine than the males around them and the method changes only a little despite outwardly being different. That is, the outward examples of masculinity on a building site would differ from those in teaching, for example. And yet, the underlying ideals are very much the same. It is the application of power and intimidation for the sake of power and intimidation. It is still O'Brien and that boot is still stamping on a human face. On the building site it is through the misogynistic jokes and culture, the overt objectification of women and femininity, the shared concept of 'her indoors'. In teaching it is through the way children are dealt with - nurturing being expected of females and harsh shouty discipline or laddish friendliness expected of the males. Men dress in shirts and ties and women have two modes: strictness with suit like apparel or overt sexualisation of their role. Sure, some come in dress that does not obviously seem to fall within those confines but... well, on closer inspection it does. Be male, and be harsh or laddish, or be female and be sexualised and a 'role model'.
|And yes, I would like to look like this. If only for|
a little while. To feel that hair, to have run and then
to stop and just be. Yes. But still, note the subtle
reinforcement of gender roles here.
It upsets me because I don't want to be that version of masculine or sassy. I equally find much of the list of feminine traits to be appealing to me (well, obviously, I cross-dress) but at the same time I know that I could no more live that list of submission than I could actually be a woman. That is, were I a woman, I would no doubt be looking at the list of masculine traits and looking to combine them with the same list that I now try to emulate. I am sure that most people are like to some extent too. I am aware that this entry is nothing new and certainly nothing big or clever. But it is where I am at the moment - wanting to wear a skirt and wanting still to be able to be shouty and matey.