Originally published: 11.02.18
It is very important to me that both my children grow up knowing that they do not have to change who they are, that they do not need to limit themselves just because society is so attached to restrictive gender roles.
There are loads of incredible female role models for little girls – loads of women who refuse to conform to gender stereotypes. What I have struggle to find is men who do the same.
There is the tiniest of scars over a vein on my left wrist. It’s barely visible to the naked eye. It is the size of a freckle or a speck, but I have never lost sight of it. It’s from a pencil that I once sharpened to the finest point possible and then twisted and picked into that very small and very focused spot on my skin. I was resolved to find a way into the flesh and into the vein. I had recently heard somewhere that puncturing a vein was a way in which a person could kill themselves. I remember being very confused over how easy that seemed to accomplish but I didn’t ask for clarification. I plainly filed the fact away for further exploration. That was the first and last time I ever wanted to or attempted to end my own life. I contemplated it for days and then made the decision. If I am being very honest, I will say that while I am grateful beyond measure that I did not succeed and that the yearning did not persist, I actually find little fault in my own reasoning at the time. Because I also know that the girl who sat there that day with a pencil in her hand was a ghost of the girl she had been just six months earlier. I was 10 years old.
By the time I was eleven years old, I wanted to be Ralph Macchio. Well, not exactly, specifically Ralph Macchio. I wanted to be Johnny from the Outsiders. The jagged, watchful, switchblade pulling, loyal companion to Ponyboy. I loved Ponyboy. And I aspired to Ponyboy, but I just wasn’t that smooth around the edges. I felt too cagey and vigilant to be as dreamy as he was. By the age of eleven my nerves were far too shot for an easy smile or to talk to anyone without looking at them sideways. I saw myself growing into Sodapop or maybe Dallas, someday. I deeply identified with the archetype of the orphaned, scrappy, responsible, sensitive and sarcastic, misunderstood survivor. All I needed was a band of (br)others who also understood that we were living our lives on a battlefield.
Read more May we all stay gold by @_ssml
Our brothers were bossy know-it-alls, and they did cruel things to us and to animals.
The boys in our class taunted us and always got into fights with each other. They were rude and forever demanding to be the center of attention.
In high school, they became socially awkward, struggled with the material, and became fascinated with sports.
In university, they used pick-up lines (i.e., lies) to impregnate us, seemingly unaware of the immensity of the consequence. In the lecture hall, they were always so full of self-importance, so full of themselves.
So how is it that they become our supervisors, our MPs, our CEOs? How is it they get to be in charge of things? How is it they come to have power?
Why do we think they magically become competent, mature, responsible— When they graduate? When they put on a suit?
Because apparently we do think that. I saw that magic with my own eyes happen with my brother. He graduated, put on a suit, bought an attaché case, and suddenly the world was his. His entitlement.
When did that metamorphosis happen? When did he become so qualified? So worthy?
We commonly joke that ‘B students’ become our bosses, because they’re the ones that go in to business, whereas the ‘A students’ go into the humanities and the sciences.
We’ve got it wrong. The ‘C students’ go into business. The ‘B students’ go into the humanities and the sciences. The ‘A students’ were girls. And they’re nowhere to be seen now.
Hell Yeah, I’m a Feminist: a radical feminist blog mostly about sexism