Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

On Peg's gender post

I've been thinking about pegkerr's post about her identity as a woman ever since she put it up lo these days ago. The main conclusion I've come to is that I have an extremely strong sense of myself as feminine. I don't mean that I consider whether what I'm doing is feminine and try to hold to an external ideal of womanhood, but the opposite: everything I do becomes Stuff Women Do to me by virtue of me doing it.

In the right atmosphere, it can be a really powerful feeling to be walking gender integration. You can stand at the door of some classrooms and pull your foot in and out: "You're integrated! You're not integrated! You're integrated! You're not integrated!" My girl cooties trump all your cootie shots effortlessly. They are mighty, mighty cooties.

So all sorts of things with grace or beauty, ethereality or curves: meh. None of it got very solidly associated with gender for me, because it was so clear that People Vary was the principle in operation.

We joked about my friend Jeff in high school having a portable right-of-way: when Jeff was on his foot, pedestrians had the right-of-way, and when Jeff was in his truck, vehicles had the right-of-way, and we suspected that if he'd gotten a pogo stick, jumpers would have had the right-of-way. I guess I feel that way with femminess. Mine is with me always. If I start taking things apart to tinker with them, taking things apart to tinker with them becomes femmey, and the rest of the world will just have to deal with that.

My most solid sense of What Women Do is that women do What Needs Doing. That is also my most solid sense of What Men Do: it is a grown-ups thing, not a gender thing.

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