This is part two. Post one is here.
First off, I disabled automatically sharing my blog posts on social networks. I figured that this would allow me to be more courageous in my expression, and fluid in allowing myself to be vulnerable. I paused to think what that would mean, how it reflects on my perception of my social self. But I figured that a certain chunk of my social networks are made up of people who do not necessarily care about me, people who have ‘good intentions’, people with unfavourable intentions, people who don’t need to know me intimately, people who are acquaintances, people I’ve met once in my life, and people who WANT to get to know me better regardless of my bandwidth and availability. Do I want to thoughtlessly broadcast my post without discretion to all of these people? Not really. So I went ahead and disabled automatic sharing. Twitter is still there though. Tweets are like broadcasts into the void; at least mine are. And I’m comfortable with the void.
Talking about what I’m comfortable with, brings me to the subject of my post. To be honest, all my life, I wished I would one day wake up a man. ONLY because it felt more convenient, and never because it felt natural. I feel natural in my femininity. However, I despise the [perceived] fact of never having my femininity recognized. Simply because I express it in a way that is socially conceived as more androgynous, I’m frequently stereotyped, the most common being called a ‘tomboy’. I HATE that word. I will admit that I assumed that label myself, very briefly, in my early tweens, given my obsession with George from Famous 5, simply to add an angle of amusement to my correspondence with my uncle who is very dear to me. However, I have never given anybody else license to perceive me so. Perhaps it was because like the tag ‘intelligent’, this put a lot of pressure on me to live up to a notion that I had perchance projected, without any intention of fully assuming the identity.
For instance, being often seen and identified as ‘intelligent’, I became (and maybe I still am) arrogant. I couldn’t ever say, I don’t know. Philosophy? I know all about it. If I didn’t know something at a conversation, I will go back and read 500 pages to understand the concept better, but never ask another living being, let alone they thought I was not actually intelligent.
Yet another tag- independence. Circumstance required me to become extremely independent when I was about 13. I kept my own counsel, and this allowed me to develop an opinion at a very early age- a wonderful ability and a bane at the same time. For the longest time, I turned down rides from well-meaning friends, presents, loans, and favours. I deprived myself of these gestures of affection and care, lest they discontinue their opinion of my being independent.
Coming back to my femininity, I seemed to have attached myself to the ideal of being feminine with nonchalance. Feminine without ‘effort’- whatever that may be. For instance, shopping was an effort, get clothes altered so they fit me was an effort, combing my hair was an effort, smelling good was an effort, and matching my clothes was an effort. For some reason, I thought that if I had to be a woman, the femininity should so natural that it presented itself as thoughtless. What probably started as nonchalance and careless girlhood, soon blossomed into disassociation. What other women did, I rolled my eyes at. Girls giggled and shopped. Not I! They talked about boys and wanted to be in relationships; but I wanted to travel the world alone, being as independent as I was, and bedazzle people with ‘intelligence’. My emotional awareness and intelligence dangerously because of my association of it with ‘women’, and what possibly started as physical disassociation, soon became an emotional disassociation. I confused the gender role with the sex, and lost touch with my own reality.
Sure, there were perhaps deeper, more subconscious reasons to it, but this pretty captured the process of my confusion and reticence in allowing the expression of my femininity.
My intention is to allow one of my foremost identities– being a woman.