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.

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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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