Today I wore jeans, a plain shirt, and no makeup. Clerks and assorted other strangers talked to me like I was sub-human, and I didn’t even try to compensate with ultra-deferential behavior. I’m not going to go out of my way anymore to conform for the comfort of social conservatives. What’s the point? Surely this subversion will eventually have repercussions,* but I am unable to give a damn.
The less I care about strangers’ opinions of me, and the more I dress to please only myself, the happier I am, and the more energy I have to concern myself with things that matter.
*For those wondering how I have so much relative freedom in this matter, I usually bypass the “sub-human treatment” problem altogether with my standard uniform of skirts and dresses.** So, in my job and at my university, I guess those who would normally be cruel “forgive” the occasional femininity-non-compliant outfit because they are familiar with me.
**I should write a post on the clear superiority of big skirts for day-to-day wear.
Thank you for your insight. I’m beginning to think that it’s a subjective thing that can’t be “correctly” defined. (But I had been terrified that I didn’t understand simply because I was a closeted transphobic feminist in denial. Whew!)
I have a somewhat confusing query. Help me out, if you feel like it (of course).
What makes people reject the label (male/female man/woman) assigned to them as part of the binary; as opposed to the people who reject their assigned gender roles, without considering themselves “the opposite” gender or as non-binary?
Maybe it’s too subjective for me to understand, as a cis person? I always consider myself a woman; my gender presentation (dressed femininely or masculinely) is the only thing that changes. I don’t change the label to suit my mood, and I know that some people do, and I don’t understand why I don’t. What’s the difference? Is it an important difference?
But I do try to reject and break out of the traditional gender role of “woman” as best I can, and I try to be happy. (I often feel I’m failing, but I think that’s more attributable to my status as a not-yet-self-sufficient college student than to my status as a woman. Hopefully. Surely I would also be having a masculinity crisis if I were a man who valued traditional masculinity.)
Importantly, my day-to-day life is much easier when I present as “feminine.” My short hair, lack of makeup, and other assertions aren’t forgiven when I’m in jeans. Living in the terrible state that is Oklahoma, I can only imagine the shittiness I don’t see, since I have the privilege to change how well I concede to the system.
I know this is probably confusing, (and I might have completely missed the point somewhere), but I would appreciate any and all relevant thoughts.
So, simply put:
What is the difference between rejecting one’s gender label, and rejecting the gender role that one’s label entails??
My dearest imaginary friend from 2007-2009. Now into oblivion, dead forever. He deserved a thank-you note; surely no one else could have brought me so much comfort through songs about heroin, sadomasochism, orgies, and heroin-fueled sadomasochistic orgies (among other content). I couldn’t feel too isolated listening to “Sister Ray” full blast alone in my car, barreling down Riverside Drive at 3:00 on a Tuesday morning. Thanks, Lou Reed.