I’ve always struggled with being a woman. From being a child to being an adult. I’ve always found that saying that women live in a man’s world is putting it lightly. What I’m wondering now is, where do I fall in the gender spectrum?
For those who are unaware, their does exist such a thing called the gender spectrum, and here are a few links to show you what gender and the gender spectrum are: Understanding Gender, Searchable Document on Gender Spectrum.
I grew up in a home where my father was the breadwinner and my mother was the housewife. My Dad would work full time and my Mom would be my sister’s and I’s caregiver and also the one to cook and clean up around the house. As my Mom would buy all she needed to take care of the house, my Dad would provide the funds in order for her to do so. Dinner was expected to be ready when he would come home from work and so on. My mom also would work part time when us kids were in school. For most people this was typical some would say. I disagree. As marriage has changed through the years, almost half of the marriages today end in divorce or in some other manner. The majority of my friends would agree with this. It’s tough to find a happily married couple in society today who can say that they still love one another and provide for each other and their family. I grew up in this gender roles based household and a place where sexist remarks were aplenty.
My family, made up of all women except for my father, normally would end up amongst ourselves deciding that I would be the one to help out my Dad with the yard work or anything like that. This was mostly due to the fact that I was the “tomboy” and was the one who always helped Dad, I was the one he became used to coming to for special projects around the house like little household repairs. As I grew older when he had a job he couldn’t hire a guy for to help him out, I was his go-to girl. Yeah it was nice having the extra cash in my pocket, but at what cost? I was basically the “son” of his 3 daughters. Which I did enjoy. I love my Dad and I was always learning useful things as he is something of a handyman. Was it worth my manly time? Yes. But at a cost? For sure.
When in school, growing up I was forced into dresses which I never felt comfortable in. Once I was of an age when I had the choice to pick out my own clothing, I would always choose the looser clothing, the pants and not the skirts, the blues and greens rather than the pinks and purples. My friends and schoolmates would say things about me being a girl and I would always retort back at them that “I am a man!”. My masculinity was always something I’d felt sure of since I was little. I didn’t necessarily feel that I was more of a woman than a man, but I never wanted to have to feel like less of a person simply because I was a woman. I wanted to be counted as an equal. And indeed, I am just as much of a man as any man out there. The way I see it, we are all humans. Simple.
As far as the physical aspect of things, certain parts of my body weren’t to my liking. I have always been rather busty and so I would end up wearing baggy tops. I did this to not only steer attention away from my womanly figure, but because I never liked them at all. If I had to choose, I probably would say that I would prefer I’d not been born with them at all. I realize that they are necessary when breast feeding comes into play, but I’ve never thought of myself as a child rearing woman. If anything I’ve always wanted to adopt. I also, like many women, hate menstruation. However, I was born into this body and so I have learned to accept that part of being a woman over the years. The breast size though has always been an issue, and I plan on possibly having some work done later on in life to reduce my burden.
When I reached college, the stress of seeing beautiful young women dressed in hip clothing and wearing makeup made me want to hide my womanly figure in my oversized sweaters and my men’s clothing. I had never worn makeup. Yet, here I saw it everyday on girls that I would go to class with. I wondered how they could do such a thing to their faces each day. Why bother? I just never understood the fascination and the infatuation with painted faces. My younger sister as some know, has quite a gift with makeup and for a time I couldn’t understand it. I thought she looked beautiful either way, but I guess it was a way for women to “dress up”.
Eventually, I decided I wanted to explore. The older I got, the more curious I became. I lost some weight and began exercising regularly. When this happened, I sort of along the way became a bit more confidence in my figure, and so I just naturally had to wear clothes that fit my body as my larger men’s clothing could no longer do the job. The smaller my size, the tighter the clothes and the more I enjoyed seeing my reflection in the mirror. Was this it? Was I enjoying being a woman for the first time in my life? Something had definitely changed.
Then. One day, it happened. I asked my little sister to put makeup on my face for a date I was going on. I liked it. A lot. I liked the way she painted my face with all the colors and made all of my features stand out. My eyes, eyelashes, eyebrows (which were nonexistent), lips, and cheeks were all painted, powdered and pretty all set for my date. This became a regular thing. Each little time I wanted to dress to impress, I’d not only have her do my makeup, I’d ask for her to approve my wardrobe as well. I was getting good at this. So good, I began learning about makeup application myself! I’m no expert, but I definitely have improved my skills within the last year. At least in my opinion I have. However, their are days when I choose to not wear the stuff, or at the end of a day of wearing a face covered in makeup, all I want to do is “get the shit off my face”. It’s always so refreshing to have my natural plain face staring back at me in the mirror once I’ve washed the crap off.
Recently, as in my most recent post about sexual harassment at my last job, I realized that some people of my generation are STILL sexist. I was sexually harassed verbally while in the workplace, sitting at my desk, at the other end of the office away from my coworker while he chose to say those things to me. He mentioned the lack of “estrogen” in the office, the lack of certain female physical parts being shown, and he mentioned to myself personally that I must have “too much testosterone in me or something”. I was attacked and since then I realized just how much I’ve always struggled with being a woman. I cried and cried over that incident because this internal struggle has always existed for me, and this man had no idea that what he’d said to me was going to upset me as much as it did.
All of these personal feelings, and now with people becoming more educated on the matter of gender and the gender spectrum, I wonder how people would feel if I told them I’ve never really thought of myself as a woman, but just as a human being in general. This is why I now realize that my gender is gender-neutral or genderless. This means basically that I don’t feel I am either male nor female. I am agender, neutral-gender, null-gender, gender-free and so on. Having said that, I will always outwardly dress as a female, however, I still choose to identify as neither male nor female. Maybe one day I will appear more androgynous than other days, but I still will physically look like a female. I am gender-free and loving it!
Thank you all so much for reading this and listening to my very personal thoughts. If you have any questions, please know that I am open to answering any of them either in the comments here, or via a personal message if you prefer.