Being a Girl. For Reals.

I made a bow headband. well actually I made three. Here is one of them. Ya dig? I wore this one today and basically looked like Alice In Wonderland when I went to church. flowy girly dress, tights and a giant polka dot umbrella. I decided later to change into something more tough, all black with a brown vest and brown military boots because a.) I was taking the bus to work as per usual and sometimes/always there are creepers on the bus and b.) it was cold today!

big bow headband

peek a bow

Ok so I have some questions for you ladies and gentlemen out there. How do you feel about "gender roles?"
I have a lot of friends who were sociology majors and who talk about gender roles and socialization and all that jazz a lot. It has made me very aware of certain things about myself that are very very "girly" gender role quintessential, and then even more things that are not gender role-y.
What am I talking about you ask? Well one way I fit into my gender stereotype or gender role I guess is that I do really love super effeminate things like bows and dresses. I love romantic things, silly ethereal things blablabla. But when it comes to my personality, I really just have never felt that effeminate. or at least, never admitted to feeling girly personality-wise. I am hard headed, opinionated, I don't like to follow everything my girlfriends do, I am not particularly submissive, I am bashful yes, but when I logically go through thinking over something and see the outcome of pursuing something full force as good, I just do it. I don't want to be a kid forever. I love growing up. I love responsibility. I like being alone. I have rarely ever felt like I really needed anyone's help. In fact, I'm so stubborn it takes a lot for me to just let people help me. I don't give a shit about getting messy. I love the outdoors. I'm not prissy. I love pushing myself and trying new things. I like doing things myself.

Now why I am talking about all this jazz right now is because I still just don't understand when it is better to try to conform to some gender role, though it may not be natural to me (ex. a submissive nature, wanting a man to do something for me when I may be too weak.) or when it is best to just recognize an attribute as essential to me and never needing change.

My sister has been counseling me in learning how to just be a "girl" in relation to diggin' a boy. I still don't totally get it. Why do I need to "let the boy lead" or play the role of damsel in distress, or be the one who is being chased as opposed to doing the chasing? To be honest, in all my past relationships, I think I have always been the one who pursued the boy, not the boy pursuing me. And I tell myself, well that is just because you are strong willed and some men like that, and women should be allowed to lead too. blabla. I think I am starting to see though, as I attempt to just freakin humble myself for a second, not get on my woman power high horse, that I DO need someone to pursue me. You know how much I hate admitting that?

I think I have felt "pursued" once in the past...gosh, like 3 years. And immediatley it felt suffocating. I want to blame the suffocating feeling on the fact I was actually being "pursued" by someone, but once again, when I really think about it, its not the pursuit I didn't dig. It was just the person. Nice person. But just not the one for me to date.

When it gets down to it, I am a really freaking stubborn woman. I need some humbling when it comes to girl boy relationships. The last boy I dated expected me to pursue him constantly, to woo him, basically to convince him how much I liked him and to try to convince HIM to like ME. that was a major fail, and I see now that that shit just isn't going to cut it anymore. I do really dig someone right now. And being strong willed myself, I want to pursue it. But man when I really think hard about it, pursuing someone, at least to me, feels a lot sadder and less fulfilling than just letting it be, laying off it and just seeing what happens. God, I am so intense and I just want things to get done. Do you like me or not, yes or no, if no, then I'll quit liking you instantly. I need to stop thinking that way. No, I WILL stop thinking that way. Relax woman.

I will say it. I am all about woman's empowerment, but more than that, I am about true equality. Everyone, everyone should have equal rights to be true to themselves. And I think deep down, behind these layers and layers of stubborn strong willed tough as nails-ness, I really am just a sensitive lady who would find a lot of love in being pursued by someone she digs. It would be much easier for me to trust someone who really tried to woo me and convince me of their liking rather than I trying to do that. I need to just direct my stubborn nature in a different direction.

Bla... gender roles. I don't want to fit into a "role" but I am trying really hard to admit and find value in the fact that I am truly and simply a sensitive lady who does have weaknesses that would be greatly aided by having a strong man around. Oof. I hate that. But its true. I need a man who is understanding of my weaknesses and who feels empowered in aiding me. Likewise, I hope that I can aid them in whatever ways they need help. I need someone strong enough who is willing to admit when they need help, aid, just that they do have some sort of weakness. And I need to feed myself the same medicine, I need to be honest, let myself admit that I need help sometimes, I need aid, I need a shoulder to lean on, I need strength in another when I am weak.

I'm being real honest here folks. Can I get an amen from any stubborn strong willed independent ladies out there who actually really like having a man around?


I_Might_Be_Wrong said...

your headband/bows are cute
but just be yourself
and don't worry about what
anyone else thinks
gender roles and pigeon holes etc
are just there to make things
easier for the media
girls should be able to act
boyish and boys should be able
to act girlie too and there
shouldn't be any set way to be
or act, so says the dorky girlie British boy, if anyone falls for you or likes you for who you are
which I'm sure someone will and they'll be lucky, that person would have to like you for who you are and if that means being boyish or whatever then that's something they will have to like/love/accept about you or else it wouldn't work and they won't really like you for who you are *hugs*

Kyla Roma said...

I think that everyone, boy or girl, wants to be pursued and useful and loved, and that when you find the right person they'll just be there for you, and you'll just be there for them. And it won't be about roles, it'll just be about taking care of each other and having fun.

That's what I like to think at least.

Sarah said...

I've got your amen right here!

The high concentration of lace, bows and pearls in my closet has never stopped me from being independent and opinionated.

I also tend to be be single-minded and impatient when I've decided I want something (or someone) and I've been known to actively pursue a crush from time to time. I think the only time that doesn't feel good is if the sentiment isn't being returned.

So go for it and pursue who you like, especially if that's who you are. I know I could never be a person who sits around pining and hoping for things to happen.

The right person for you will be someone who totally digs that and maybe they've been pursuing you all along in their own way.

Josiah said...

I don't think it's really a problem for you to be opinionated or strong-willed or any of those traits you don't believe to be feminine ones.

Most of the girls that I've dated were more like you in that sense, and I remember one in particular who always questioned whether or not it was a good thing. Her questioning whether it was (she took the "guys like girls who play their gender role appropriately" opinion) got me thinking about this a lot. I did like to be the leader, but I didn't want her just to submit to my opinion, or roll over and play along.

I've come to the conclusion, at least at this point, that you have to acknowledge that gender roles will come into play. If you're more strong-willed than your guy, it'll be in the back of his mind, even if he's ultimately ok with it, so defer to him sometimes to help out with the gender role pressure. OR maybe you'll meet a guy who's just as or even more strong-willed who will both allow you to be strong-willed without violating the gender role thing.

You don't have to fit into your gender role, but I'm pretty positive they're a social pressure that you can't just ignore in whatever relationship you're in.

:) hope that helps. Hope that made sense.

Suki said...

Stubborn? Check. Strong-willed? Check. Independent? Check. Married? Also check! So yeah, basically I say drop the whole gender role thing and just do what you feel! I think your guts are telling you the right thing: be yourself, a self which is always under construction, sometimes weak, sometimes strong, sometimes right, sometimes wrong... No offence but I disagree with your sister (from what you've said) on this one: if you have to play at being a woman to catch a man, he might not be the right man for you!

Read Virginia Woolf's _Orlando_ if you haven't already.

That's my two pennies worth! And I wish you all the best, and hope the guy you dig enters into some fab mutual pursuit, cause you sound great!


rebekkah hurley said...

i really love you moorea. i wish we lived closer to each other.