Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Identity

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?
On Stana's blog she posted "we are all women" and there is some discussion beneath that post (you should read that discussion by the way) and it got me thinking. Identity. It is a slippery beast and one that this blog bears testament to my struggles with. I have considered many different labels for myself and I have considered much about what I think makes me who I am and I have never really reached much of a satisfactory answer that can be put into words. I am much more comfortable with myself than I have been for a very long time but, in finding that out, I have discovered that the parts of me that I have made peace with are the parts of me that cause most disquiet to Tilly. In finding myself I appear to have lost her.

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.
And my experience on Thursday was a positive one. But no pictures were taken of me - I didn't ask - and when I got home Tilly was already mostly asleep. Tonight I stopped back at the pub a bit, not too late, and came home to help with the bedtime routine. Once again, Tilly is on the computer with her writing buddy, who is coming over to stay the night at the weekend. Sunday will mark a fortnight since the unexpected happiness of a shared experience, but it will also mark a fortnight of not having had a full conversation about... anything.

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.
In this context I got to thinking about identity. I got to thinking about how even when I want to dress I don't want to shave off my beard. I got to thinking that I've found it really hard to get 'turned on' since that Saturday last when we didn't have a discussion and I felt so totally humiliated - it's like there's a part of me missing and the brief play on the following Sunday didn't do anything to satiate it. There's just nothing there. None of my usual fantasies will work in the bath and sites that I return to seem to make little difference at the moment either.

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.


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All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!