March 6, 2012 6 Comments
Not that long ago I would tell any guy I met, at some point, that I wasn’t one of “those girls.”
Those six words, standing alone, are completely innocuous. They mean nothing. Put them in context, however, and it was a dog whistle. They told people that I was cool. I was laid back. I didn’t do drama. I didn’t gossip. I didn’t obsess over clothes and make-up and boys. Shit, I didn’t even own any make-up. I proudly told my guy friends I didn’t even know how to put it on.
I also proudly declared that I didn’t have a whole lot of female friends. Too much trouble, I said. Too much drama.
Those six words also told men (and other girls like me!) that they could freely trash women, and I’d more than likely jump right in.
I thought that I was cool–that my guy friends liked me better. Oh, I wouldn’t have told you that–that wasn’t a conscious thought. I would have said that I simply got on better with guys. It was just how I was.
I was full of self-hatred. Everything feminine about me, I despised. I wore sports bras exclusively. Skirts? Fuck that shit. Bright colors? Oh, no. That shirt would be cute…if it were black. My grandmother hated taking me clothes shopping.
What did all of this posturing, self-hatred, and degenerating of my own gender yield me? A few pats on the head from a bunch of assholes.Ooh, validation! From misogynistic jerks! Yay!
What did it cost me? A lot. My self-worth, for one. And a good many friendships.
Those days are behind me now, thankfully.I’m fortunate in that I call a good many of fabulous, brilliant, funny, passionate, beautiful women friend and sister.
Every time, whether we’re sharing a pot of tea, a pitcher of beer, running errands, cooking, or talking, happiness fills my chest until it spills over in a smile. There’s nothing quite like the bond between women.
It’s freeing to be able to discuss menstruation and get a knowing smile and shared experience in return. (Much better than a face wrinkled up in disgust and an obnoxious “EW!”)
It’s gratifying to burst in the door from a date and blurt out, “Oh my god, we were having sex and I QUEEFED, and I started laughing, and I COULDN’T STOP. Then it happened AGAIN and I went completely hysterical and he finally just rolled over I CAN’T BELIEVE IT.” and laugh together ’cause she totally knows how it is.
This? Is so much more fulfilling than not being “one of those girls.”It’s much more gratifying than condescending pats on the head.
I still can’t apply eyeliner to save my life, but now I have friends that are more than willing to help, should I get the urge.