Friday, September 10, 2010

Am I a Self-Hating Woman?

Continuing on from Wednesday's "Afflicted or Affected" post, I want to clear the air about how I feel about being a woman. I don't hate it, but sometimes, I will admit I'm not fond of it. Mind you, I don't for a second want to pull a Chastity Bono by referring to myself as "Chaz" and acquiring a certain appendage. Nope; Uh Uh; Not gonna happen. However, there are times when I wish my own gender would buck up and stop acting so fragile and "precious".

Above is an image of the Wilson sisters, two of the coolest rock 'n roll chicks ever. Loved by men because of their looks (and hopefully their collective talents as well), and envied by some women for being a couple of legitimate bad-ass rockers during a time when the world of rock music was dominated by all-male groups like Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Aerosmith, etc. I adored them then, and I adore them even more now. For Ann and Nancy, it was all about the music, rather than submitting to the subjugation of the male dominated genre of rock 'n roll. They legitimately kicked ass, but retained a degree of femininity that blurred the gender lines in a really significant way. They held their own with the men, and are still around making music. Here is a recent photo of them:

Click on this link to see a snippet from an interview they did in support of their new album, Red Velvet Car. What I wouldn't give for an actual album; downloading it onto my iPod doesn't seem in keeping with where the Wilson sisters came from, but I'll take it, considering the impressive legacy. I don't care how long I live or what's going to be on my iPod (or whichever device will be in use) in 30 years, but rock 'n roll will never go out of style; at least not to my ears.

I have to admit my gender "discomfort" and "tomboyishness" may have something to do with the fact that my only sibling is my older brother. If not for him, I would have turned out much more "precious" than I did. Make no mistake; I am far from fragile, and nobody in their right mind would ever consider me "dainty". That's not a bad thing. I revel in my independence and I pride myself on not backing down to the fears many women succumb to. I can recite the New York Islanders 1979-80 Stanley Cup Championship team roster by heart, answer the phone after dark, eat in a restaurant by myself; hell, I'll even jump in the car, by myself, and drive a few hundred miles if I need to. What's the problem? Yet, so many women are paralyzed by crippling, ridiculous fears that don't make me bat an eyelash. Does that make me any less female, and should I reconsider acquiring that appendage? Or, do I have a metaphorical appendage that sets me apart from a typical female? Sure, I like to joke about having balls or "cojones", but is that really an accurate assessment? I love being a woman, and I have no desire whatsoever to switch teams. I just constantly wonder why my gender can be so meek, frail, frightened, combative, back-stabbing, psychotic, jealous...shall I go on? I am not suggesting I'm immune to such behaviour myself, but sometimes, women tend to sabotage themselves in ways the male gender finds completely alien. Honestly, so do I. And despite all that, no, I am not a self-hating woman; I just wish being a woman didn't come with all the baggage it does. Not that men travel lightly by any stretch; Ideologically, you won't find many men who are afraid to go to the supermarket at night by themselves, but ask a man to purchase a box of tampons, and see what kind of a reaction you'll get. OK, maybe not from all men; I'm willing to bet there are still quite a few who won't do it.

In the meantime, I'll just have to keep hoping for a revolution. I am too far gone to be a revolutionary, but I can do my best to spread the word from my pulpit, such as it is. Ladies, do me a favour: try to see it my way. Just as you shouldn't dress, scent, or do anything else to please a man, don't deny yourself what you really want out of fear. Or, humour me by at least thinking about it.

Have a lovely weekend. 


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