For a long time, I called myself a misogynist because I thought I didn’t like women.
What I have come to realise through age, experience and also a lot of the work done by institutions such as the Everyday Sexism Project and Upworthy, is that actually what I don’t like is what everyone has always told me it is to be a woman.
I was born female, and I identify as female, therefore having reached the tender age of 36, I am officially a woman. I haven’t always been comfortable with that title though, because it didn’t feel right. What wasn’t right about it however, was what other people expected ‘woman’ to mean.
I have never been ‘ladylike’. I have always walked like my father, because Genetics. I have always sat with my knees apart, because that’s comfortable. I have always slouched, because my back is twisted. I have never fought against what I am naturally inclined to do for the sake of what other people might think…much to my mother’s chagrin in my teens.
I have always found a certain twisted joy in challenging peoples expectations. “You look like a boy!” Not a boy, deal with it. “You look like a lesbian!” Not a lesbian, deal with it. “You look surly and aggressive!” Happy motherfucker right here, deal with it.
I have always liked tinkering with gadgets and machines to see how they work. I also like making and building things as solutions to problems around the house. I like to approach things in a practical and logical way. I used to call that collecting Man Badges, since those things were all traditionally viewed as male activities, but the truth is I just like Fixing Shit. Making Stuff Better is one of my strengths and I would go as far as to say, my primary calling in life.
I have an intense dislike of going shopping, because there are too many factors beyond my control; the people that I don’t know who I am forced to come into contact with, the soulless music that assaults my ears, the weird range of smells that I have to suck into my face, not to mention the ghastly array of shit that people are told that they need. I already have all the clothes I need, and anything else I can buy online.
Speaking of clothes, my wardrobe has remained largely unchanged over the last 10 years. The reason? I liked what I wore then and I still like it now. I have no interest in what anyone else is choosing to put on their bodies, other than to raise the occasional eyebrow at an outfit that I suspect someone is going to regret wearing in a year’s time.
I don’t wear fitted tops, I prefer to wear baggy slogan or band t-shirts. When people look at me, what I want is for them to notice is that I like Firefly or Korn, not for them to just look at my tits.
I also wear big baggy jeans because they are comfortable, and I like the shape of them. Similar to the t-shirts, I wear them to be a beacon to others of my kind, because that is way more important to me than wanting to outline my sweet ass in clinging denim. And I DO have a sweet ass, just so you know.
I don’t like handbags because for my purposes they are utterly impractical; I prefer pockets for their simplicity, and besides – whoever thought it was a good idea to put all of your important shit in one easy-to-steal container?
As a rule, I end out buying men’s clothes because – in the UK at least – I am reasonably tall and men’s clothes fit me better. Also because manufacturers don’t insist on sewing sparkly shit and DETAILS onto men’s clothes. It’s completely unnecessary and utterly infuriating on the odd occasions that I am forced to shop in the women’s section.
I love to travel, and I prefer to travel alone [on a side note, I’ve been told that’s brave; it shouldn’t be fucking brave, it should just be a choice.]. It’s a point of pride that I only ever take a rucksack, and never check a bag when I fly because 1) it’s way easier, and 2) it challenges the perception that I am supposed to travel with three suitcases because I have a vagina.
All of that said…
I like to draw in pencil, and paint in acrylic. I like to knit and create things for people. I like to make sock puppets. I like to grow flowers and vegetables. I like to make costumes. I like to cook roast dinners. I like to make the world a better place for future generations. My heart breaks easily when I see the pain of others and I will defend the rights of children to the death.
I like to drink vast quantities of beer and laugh at my own farts. I like obnoxious humour and children’s cartoons. I like loud, primal, aggressive music. I like to play computer games and immerse myself in Sci-Fi and fantasy. I love graphic novels and comics. I don’t like or want children of my own. I couldn’t give a rat’s arse what the rest of the world is up to.
I like kittens and bunnies and baby otters.
I like dragons and robots and demons.
I am gentle, I am supportive and I am kind.
I am bold, I am fierce and I am fearless.
I am EXACTLY what a woman should be – MYSELF.