Thursday, May 17, 2012

I am woman, hear me...

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about women. I think that the assumption is that most women think about men, and visa versa, but not me. At least, not lately.  No, lately, I've been thinking about women. defines "Woman" as: 1st, a female human being. 2nd, an adult female person, 3rd, a female attendant to a lady of rank, and 4th, A Wife. Merriam Webester's Dictionary definitions are roughly the same: female, servant, wife. Well, I only fit one of those definitions (two if I truly admit to myself that I am an adult) and there are times when I don't feel the least bit feminine, but at the end of the day, I am still a woman...always will be.

Thinking back, I have spent most of my formative years in environments that were heavily saturated in femalishness. Not necessarily womanhood, or femininity, and I don't want to say girlyness, but femalishness. I have only a sister, no brothers. I spent most of my youth in the art world (a pretty female dominated world at the grade-school level) and I went to an All Girls high school. I didn't play in the co-ed tee-ball league that my sister did, instead I took ballet class where we pretended we were fairies and lady bugs. I also didn't stick it out at the co-ed high school like my sister did, where the girls wore high heels to class and the boys were (in my opinion) mean and obnoxious.  Instead I transferred to a world of uniforms and female literature courses. I had a ball. I learned to call my fellow classmates "ladies" instead "guys" and we wore bows in our hair. Girls walked around holding hands and kissing each other hello and goodbye on the cheeks. However, instead of being consumed with thinking about boys and thinking about what boys thought of me, I replaced these thoughts with thoughts and concerns about girls. Not in a romantic or sexual way, but in every other way you can imagine. I wondered why certain girls do things the way they do, and I worried that a certain girl wouldn't think I was pretty/smart/cool enough to sit at her lunch table. In the drama department productions of Godspell, and Little Shop of Horrors, I played Jesus and Seymour. (Those are guys, in case you aren't familiar). We young ladies had relationship spats, coupling ups, break-ups and friend crushes. It didn't exactly look like an episode of Gossip Girl or (to date myself) Dawson's Creek, but it was all the same shit, the same drama, just with a same-sex cast, and very little sex (at least not in my graduate class. 10% of the graduate class behind me ended up to be lesbian or at least bi curious, so go figure.) So it is no wonder that now, as a woman, an adult female human being, I find myself still constantly thinking about women?

My yoga teacher practices what she calls a feminine lifestyle. She worships the moon and the lunar cycle. I'm pretty sure she's prays to a Goddess and not to a God, and she uses "round feminine poses" in her practice instead of "straight, linear, male poses." I am not sure if she is a mother, but she certainly seems to like mothers, and soon to be mothers. She speaks often about fertility, and our women's bodies natural purpose to give and receive life. We are vessels, we are round and soft and feminine in her class. I find it really relaxing and empowering, but I am never sure why. What if I never become a mother? Am I less of a woman then? My brain knows that this is a ridiculous question to ask, even of myself, but I do sometimes feel that even though my formative years were steeped in the feminine mystique, I am not sure how much of a woman I have truly become. According to my yoga teacher, being a woman is to be a soft, round, vessel of life. Well, I fight being soft and round by attending yoga class and feeling guilty about eating frozen yogurt. I want to be straight and flat and have a hard yoga body (maybe I'm in the wrong class.) And as for being a vessel of life, well...give me time, bitch, give me time.

Society seems to assign different characteristics to women. I can not fit myself into a Sex and City category of woman. I'm not a Carrie (I don't own a pair of Prada anything) or a Miranda (way too cynical and hardworking) and Samantha's and Charlotte's motivations for their actions are so far removed from my experiences that I always found them utterly un-relatable yet still entertaining. In life, in the media, in the public eye woman can be sexy, smart, powerful, sensitive, crazy, jealous, kind, nurturing, weak, strong, and can have trouble with spacial reasoning. Right? Does that about sum it up? Does that sound like anyone you know...or everyone you know???

Not to over do it on the whole thing but a synonym for woman is lady and some synonyms for lady are babe, and bitch. Well, shit. At least I've got those covered.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Addy! I think part of being round and soft is letting go - not trying to fit yourself into any box whatsoever (after all, boxes have sharp angles). And why not be a vessel of your own life? If another life pops up while you're being round and soft and alive, then so much the better. :) (This is me pretending I'm not peeing on sticks every month.)