Introductions: Jo

You know, I’m really much better at introducing myself person-to-person. Still, I volunteered for this: I may as well.

A friend of mine posted a link to this site, and it just so happened that there was discussion of adding guest posters / regular bloggers. So I did volunteer, quite literally. I’d been thinking about the question of gender for a while now, and realized that I’d actually been concerned with what it meant to be a woman vs. what it meant to be human for a much longer time than I gave myself credit.

I was a ‘tomboy’ as a kid. How I understand that today, it means I did things kids do, like running and wearing jeans and climbing trees, and I didn’t do things girls do, like speaking when spoken to and wearing pink and pretending to be domestic servants. I remember articulating this while still relatively young, maybe high school, maybe earlier, that I didn’t feel like a “girl”, I just felt like a “person”.

Silly, silly me, trying to be a person while female in a patriarchy.

Not being how I wanted to be, how it felt right for me to be, always seemed to be an odd thing for people to tell me I was in trouble for. That natural sense of myself as a whole human being was gradually eroded by a decade or three of relationships with entitled males who insisted that I was not as good at math, mechanics, thinking, or being happy as I thought I was, and that they had the ultimate solution to my happiness, which was usually me doing what they wanted me to do. Even basic foundations like “I’m a human being” need occasional reinforcement, which I only began to get with any frequency and strength in the mid-2000s, when I started really reading feminist blogs. Between Twisty and Shapely Prose, I began looking at what was really there in myself, and seeing where myself as human being was being ignored into non-existence, by myself and by people who’d claimed to love me, when all they’d been doing was claiming me as property.

During this time, I ran into another human being who thought I was one, too, and acted accordingly. Turns out we work well together, and as long as we do, I plan to spend a good chunk of time living with him. We even managed to spawn, which has led to a whole other series of questions about gender for me: how to raise a child to not listen to the hype, but to listen to one’s own sense of self.

So here I am, a cisgendered het woman, juggling a bunch of hats the patriarchy wants me to have, and trying to work out how I do this thing I’ve set forth for myself without getting bogged down in yet another set of gender-binary-based roles which do not suit me at all.

I’m hoping that, by writing on this blog, I’ll have the opportunity to figure some of that out.


One Response to Introductions: Jo

  1. […] has an intro up here and her first post here. You can see all her work at Gender Goggles here. Make her […]

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