all-mighty uterus

So last night was a work party, and there were lots of wimminz about. Interesting to be around such a group of people, with enough sexual tension to build a suspension bridge with (maybe the Religious Right would make better infrastructure for our country).

Later in the night, everyone moved to the Spoon (of course, we just can’t stay away) and discussion continued. My good friend and co-worker Blaine was there, along with one of his Rastafarian brothers, Anthony. We talked about what it is to be gendered in our society, and what it means to be a woman (after all, I am not used to spending time with women – Red, V, P, etc do not count as female – and I also don’t consider myself to be very feminine). I was a bit too inebriated to wax Constructionalism with any sense to be made of it, so instead we talked about personal experience.

Here’s the thing. I don’t like being a girl. Well, I don’t dislike it, but I don’t like all the baggage that automatically comes along with it (and I know no matter who you are, all sorts of things give you baggage). Especially this idea of growing something inside of me and then pushing it out into the world. It’s creepy. I can’t deal with it. It’s like a parasite.

So Anthony, Blaine, a random guy and girl, and I are talking about this on the porch. And Anthony says “Your gift as a woman is your innate ability to create. That doesn’t have to mean a child.”

It’s the first thing anyone’s said to me in a long time that’s made me not just accepting of my double x’s, but a little proud of them.

I’ll still stick to pursuing androgyny though, because I love throwing people. I love how they correct themselves, embarrassed, after calling me “sir,” and the conversations that ensue when I say it’s ok.

Eep, /pontification

22 thoughts on “all-mighty uterus

  1. Paragraph 3: YES.

    Paragraph 4… Um, boys can create too, and I don’t really see many more females than males doing a damn thing useful. What can the XX people create BESIDES a creepy parasitic thing that sucks your entire life away from birth to at LEAST age 20 that XY people can’t?

    And I cannot thank you enough for saying I’m not a damned Woman. Chris called me that the other day and I know he didn’t mean it that way, but it really felt like a racial epithet. Ugh.

    • I think I cover this stuff in my reply to Darja.

      Still, I think everyone has at least some ability to create. Being expected to create is different, though. Or having it assumed.

      I guess, then, it’s more in my interpretation than what he said. Huh. Speaking of constructionalism… 😀

      • Actually, the only thing that ever made me LIKE the idea of “Female” better than the idea of “Male” is the painting in my icon (and my apartment). It embodies all the good things I perceive as possibilities within the stereotype. It IS a more slow, creative, smoky thing than its companion painting, “Male”. So, yes, it happens occasionally, the Positive Version.

        I feel all warm and cuddly now. I do so love my painting…

  2. Not to rain on your parade or anything, but…to me, the idea of a woman’s “innate ability to create,” even not including offspring, is as essentialist and problematic as saying women’s innate value is in our ability to reproduce. How do women have more claim to an innate ability to create than men? It seems like just another way of fetishizing femaleness, though in a new way.

    • Well, I’m more of a constructionalist as well, but I also feel that you have to start with something to mold. Our genes do direct us towards things… but that direction can be encouraged, rerouted, etc.

      Sure, way back in the day maybe it wasn’t woman’s role to be creator of life and therefor creator in general, but that’s what it’s become. And if that’s what we’ve made reality, then that’s what reality is. We can work on changing it, of course (and I work on that every day), but that’s not going to be something that happens soon. Hopefully in our lifetimes, but even that’s not guaranteed.

      • It just seems like, based on everyone’s responses, that they’re assuming to create is to construct or to bear (in the instance of babies).

        I think it’s a sweet sentiment; I think it gives credence to women’s often limited roles in regards to construction of things, but still giving them importance as creators.

        I look at it in artistic terms– men for many centuries, have been the dominant creator of art, or the constructor of art. But creation is equal parts perspiration and inspiration. While women weren’t always in positions of power to construct art, they helped create it by other means.

        It just seems like some of the above comments are trying to diminish that ability to create by making it synonymous with men’s ability to construct. I think they’re intrinsically related, but not always necessarily the same thing.

        I guess I just don’t understand why people are so upset or defensive against by your friend’s comment, and negating women’s ability create in other ways, that aren’t limited to physical creations. I personally thought it was something to be proud of, because it’s highlighting and paying respect to creation in a way that is often overlooked.

        • Yes, he never said anything about men not being able to create, just that part of being a woman is creating.

          Thank you for explaining further. Food for thought.

  3. walk the walk

    woo hoo!

    And I don’t give a FUCK about the gender of a creator. The sheer fact they’re creating is all that matters, really.

    • Because I will kick her if she says I am 😉

      No, I think it has to do with the stereotyped “Woman” role in our society. At least it does for me. And you can say all you wish that that role doesn’t matter, it’s socially constructed, we don’t have to apply it to ourselves, et cetera; but the fact remains that other people apply it to us, and one of the more horrifying things in the world is watching them apply it to themselves as well. I am also not down with the social construction of “Man”, but there are some parts of that that are more comfortable for me than the assumed passivity and dependence of the assumed definition of “Woman”. I do not call into question anyone else’s right to interpret these roles however they want, or apply them to themselves in whatever manner they find appropriate. Many people I care a lot about, including one I am dating, do that. I just don’t happen to like it myself.

      That’s why *I* jump in, anyway. Willow’s ideas on the subject may well be entirely different.

    • Well, I’ve done a fair bit of gender studies (although not nearly as much as some people I know), and while the study of sex versus gender is prominent, in most cases a person who is female is also considered feminine. It’s the way it works out right now, though perhaps it will change in time.

      So that’s the start.

      All three of these ladies do not act feminine (or at least what we currently define as feminine). I am also not sexually attracted to Red and V (although we joke) – P, I think I likely have a lifelong crush on.
      So both sex and gender for these folks is not present (or at least not gender). So they’re not female.

      Make any sense at all? Maybe?
      Also, I don’t look at most people with any idea of sex or gender in mind, if I can help it. The group of ladies I was talking about were very “into” being female and talking about stereotypically female things, and not asexual topics.

      Good to see you last night. Good luck on the papers!

  4. I deal with similar issues at times. I don’t mind being a woman, but I wouldn’t mind being a man at the same time.

    I get a lot of “pardon me sir” and “hey MAN.” depending in my hair, my clothes, etc. even when i think i’m girlie i still get weird comments like that. always have as a kid, and still do.

    i like being an it, the inbetween, the miss bowie the mr. bowie. at the same time, i love being a woman – and i know that my boyfriend appreciates that too. but we also joke a lot that he’s prettier than me, i’m more of a man when it comes to interests (the other day at a bar we were watching indy car racing and he called me a “weird girl” and “please don’t leave me for a woman.”), etc.

    even though i did make up for years, i’m bad at being a girl.

    ok i’m rambling

    good post!!

  5. Innately? Hmmm… I’m hesitant.

    Setting aside the sense of pride his statement elicited… I’m not buying dear Anthony’s assertion that non-bambino creativity is an innately female trait.

    I tend to think of the attribution of personal volition, the ability to affect change in one’s environment and the ability to create new things is innately human and neither male nor female.

    Even when considering creativity that includes babies and considering a cultural anthropological argument with due weight given to earth goddess myth and whatnot… it is still a biological fact that it takes two to tango.

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