A crisis of stereotypes
Posted by IdeaSmith
This is going to be a personal post not a fiery commentary on ‘issues’…this blog has gotten to being quite aggressively feminist. Ever since I started writing XXFactor, I seem to have gotten an image of a feminist, which I’ve been hotly protesting. Now see, that is the whole point, isn’t it? Its not about what I believe but how passionately I believe it and how vehemently I express it. I still maintain that having an opinion doesn’t make me a feminist, it only makes me opinionated…and that much I am willing to acknowledge.
Why am I so anti-feminist? Well, as a matter of fact I do not believe that women are the superior sex. I don’t like stereotypes and the feminist point of view is as rigid a stereotype as the male chauvinist one….this whole new woman, (a la Cosmopolitan or whatever mag is propagating it) and the ‘kill the men’ syndrome. Like Sensorcaine once said, “I’d like to know where they’d all come from and what they’d have to talk about if it weren’t for men at all!!”
It struck me this morning that some of my opinions are probably very little to do with real belief. My revelation for the day is that I suffer an identity crisis. No, not an identity crisis in the sense of the “What kind of a person am I?” I pretty much know the answer to that and it is that I’m the kind of person who always has an answer to that, only it’s a different one from minute to minute. No, my identity crisis has to with gender. I have never strongly identified myself as female. Before you jump to any conclusions about my sexuality, I haven’t ever strongly identified myself as male, either (“a man trapped in a woman’s body” and all that…phooey, I didn’t say that). What I am trapped in is a stereotype-obsessed society.
Coming back to the crisis….would it be a crisis at all if people didn’t insist that it matter as much to me as it did to them? I was a tomboy in my childhood, then a near sexless being in my adolescent years, surrounded by a bunch of hormone-ridden boys who never even noticed I was female. And now? I’ve learnt the trappings of this stereotype. So I dress a certain way, talk a certain way, behave a certain way.
No issues then, no one has mistaken me for a man for many years now. Now oddly enough, when I started blogging, in the early days, before I wrote about the woman’s role today, my readers assumed that I was male. It irked me then. Just like it irks me now that people assume I’m a male-hating feminist now. And oh, this being described as a ‘chick-blogger’. It is the most mortifying experience on the blogsphere!! I mean, what the hell….on a medium where people have never seen what I look like or sound like, only read my views, all I am is a female body?
In a circuitous way, I’m going to backtrack to why this is offending me so much. My problem with each of those descriptions is that I don’t see them as any part of my identity. My gender…is simply the way my body is built….and it has very little to do with my real identity. Dammit then, I don’t want to be seen as a headstrong woman or even a strong woman. I want to be seen as a strong person.
I suspect some of this conflict comes because I grew up identifying far more with my father than with my mother. Freud could probably explain the mixed-up gender roles that followed from my wanting to be ‘like dad’, being attracted to men who were like him but also wanting to please them all by being the complement….and oh, I’m out of steam by now. But I’ve made my point I think.
Like the Godfather said, “Everything’s personal.” Incidently, quoting that character is a more masculine habit than feminine but I was referring not to the movie, but the book(which is a feminine thing to do since women are supposedly more verbal while men are visual.) :p I’ll shut up now. Whew…rant over.
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