I LIKE LOOKING ANDROGYNOUS Story 28w
“Are you a boy a girl?” the boy sneered. I was in the cafeteria line at Rose Hill Junior High in Redmond, Washington, a 7th grader with short hair my mom had cut off. I felt humiliated, mortified. It was the last haircut I allowed her to give me.
Looking back, my slight figure and short hair probably made me safer during those years. It was a hell of a lot safer than when I grew boobs and ass later.
And treated like a toy that men thought they could grab and poke.
There are a bunch of reasons I like having super short hair now - it’s low maintenance. I get why soldiers have short hair. One less thing to distract me from survival.
The other one is more subtle.
I get more respect from men.
I’ve lived in a lot of different places, traveled the world and I’ve never, ever gotten so many straight-in-the-eyes looks along with a chin-up nod from strange men. Ever.
I fucking love it.
I’m sure it’s because they are making assumptions about me, my sexuality. Or, maybe some of it is because I’m older now? Glasses?
I don’t really care why I’m getting the respect but I welcome it.
I think a lot of why I was miserable in NYC was because I tried hard to fit into a feminine mold. I’d been a hippie in Seattle for so many years, I didn’t know how to handle the attention while dressed up. Especially so soon after being attacked by someone I trusted.
Now, if I dress up in a feminine way, I know what to expect. I’m mentally prepared. Although I admit, after doing a photo shoot last weekend in a clingy dress, full make-up, and the hair (coming soon), I still got uncomfortable when men stared as they walked by. I’m 46 years old and it still feels awkward!
I think dudes think we ALL find that attention flattering. Some women may feel that way. I don’t. I grew up with all boys. All I’ve ever wanted was to be treated with the respect they automatically got. And I’ve had to fight so hard for. Still fight for.
I’ve thought a lot about my next chapter. Ran through all possible strategies. I could have kept growing out my hair this winter. But this persona seems like a safe choice. A smart option.
Women are conditioned to not want people to be afraid of them (another clever trick of the Patriarchy).
Yet, we can’t win a war against an opponent who isn’t afraid of us. Not gonna work.
My mohawk, upcoming tattoos, rocker photos, they are all intentional part of a narrative. A strategy.
Because what’s happening now to so many innocents is fucking bullshit. And if I can’t embrace a leadership role, a badass persona, then how can I expect anyone else to do it and fight alongside with me? I can’t.
I also enjoy being unpredictable. I like that I can still throw on a dress, and my old wig and try out another look. I’m playing around with the idea of even shooting videos with different characters…
It’s fun, discovering different sides of myself without adhering to the impossible beauty standard set by a bunch of twisted, old white perverts.
They want us to hate ourselves and hate each other. It makes it easier to keep us down.
Fuck that shit.
It’s sad, isn’t it? That I have to look and dress mannish in 2018 in order to be given the respect I rightly deserve. That I’ve managed to keep myself alive after four cancers and some still patronize me, doubt my intelligence, my strategies, my….
Oh yes I forgot, I’m a woman and therefore not allowed to compliment myself on the Internet. Tsk, tsk.
It makes complete sense to me now all these years later why I didn’t want a traditional life. So many restrictions. Too little power.
The night before my colonoscopy I found Cutting Edge on Hulu - yes, I can be a badass woman and still enjoy the BEST rom-com ever - which was actually pretty feminist now that I view it through these old eyes.
My favorite line is at the end when she says “because I’m in the mood to kick a little ass.” That’s how I’m feeling these days.
Damn it was a long journey getting here.
But totally worth it.
I LIKE LOOKING ANDROGYNOUS Story 28w