|Do labels liberate or do they trap?|
Would being a woman be a dream come
true or a new and differently bounded
prison to life currently?
At work I recently took part in a talent show again. This time I was not a judge but part of one of the acts, a small part: backing dancer. One of eleven dancers. A zombie in Jackson's Thriller. And rehearsing for this (not much) and going to the pub before and afterward brought home something that is becoming increasingly obvious at work - I am part of a group. And, in being part of a group, I am defined within that group by reputation rather than as I would have chosen - if you see what I mean. I'm not complaining, I rather like what my reputation appears to be - slightly eccentric, slightly witty and pleasant enough company for other people. Not bombastic, but still a little loud, and prepared to be open and honest without being judgemental. At least, I think that's what I'm seen as. Also, very importantly, I am seen as being up to laugh at myself provided it's not in a nasty way.
|Some of the dancers looked this good, actually.|
An ongoing situation at work with a colleague provides some gossip, but that is just gossip not a conversation, and we haven't spoken or spent an evening in each other's company at all. Hell, even counting the hour last Sunday, we haven't spent more than about three hours total together unencumbered by anything since... Nope, I can only honestly say we've had an hour in the last five weeks.
|As much a trope as any.|
What is my identity?
Am I a woman because I dress in clothes designed for one now and again? Is being a woman the same as being 'feminine'? What about the movement to be Taken In Hand that seems to be a female thing? That is, a woman who wants the male to take charge and punish disobedience to rules that the female herself sets. I... I don't know what to think. How can I defend the plot of Secretary and simultaneously criticise Hunger Games for a lack of female agency? How can I argue that women in society get a bum deal and still make use of pornography that objectifies women as much as victims as it does as dommes? What about honesty - when I can present online as a female and then not explain when things move in a decided direction? Who exactly do I think I am? Am I Joanna? Am I my male projection at work?
The people I have got to know the best at work are those that breathe the job like I do - they all self-identify first as teachers, like I used to. Like Tilly hated that I used to and still works to stop me doing when I meet new people. Like I think I want to. Teacher first, parent second and husband... well, I haven't worn the ring since Saturday two weeks ago.