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led astray

January 2013

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amulet

feminism

So this class I'm in gets me thinking, and that always gets me into trouble.  I think about my role, my identifiers, my labels, my place.  I think about the things I see and the representations and archetypes presented to me.  I think about my interactions with other women, men, people of different ethnic backrounds, ages, religions.  And the only conclusion I come to is that I am dissatisfied.  It is impossible to live a life unlabled.   Even when I am with some of my closest friends, I cannot help but see the difference with which genders are played.  The men will talk over the women.  The women will allow it.  I witnessed the tail end of a meeting of the staff of a game...all men.  The two women in the house were in another room talking quietly about bathroom fixtures, while the men argued over how to run the alternate universe I go to escape to.  And it reminded me why I almost quit playing, and still might.  No matter where I go, there is some old boy's club calling the shots.  Oh, they stopped to ask my oppinion on something.  They may even take note of it later.  But it was an afterthought.  I think my presence, sitting quietly in another room and ignoring them, made the men uncomfortable.  I wasn't talking to the other women,  I wasn't listening intently to the men.  I was alone and I was fine being that way.  I'm not always fine being alone.  Most of the time I hate it.  But I don't know how to be with other people anymore.  I not that girl who gets naked at parties anymore.  But that also means that most of the men in the room don't know what to say to me.  And I don't know what to say to the women who are talking about kids and houses and husbands.  I am eternally liminal.  I think that's my new favorite word; liminal.  And there are these gender frictions that I try to ignore or move past, but they're so stuck both inside me and outside in the world of other people that there is no escape.  There is gender and it's the very first deliniation you get from the time your cells decide how to divide and there's no undefining it.  I don't want kids.  Does that make me a failed woman?  I don't mind having doors open for me.  Does that make me a failed feminist?  Why, when I'm walking abrest of two male friends and someone is comming the other way, why am I the one to stop and step out of the way behind the men?  Does my sense of space/place fail at that moment?  

I didn't want to appoligize, even though I know what I said was rude.  I thought he deserved it for assuming I should get out of his way.  For implying it without asking for it.  For having it taken for granted that I would/should move so he could make a shot at pool, even though I had been sitting there for an hour while he decided with other men how they would change the way I play a game.  Yeah, it was rude.  I meant it that way and he deserved it.  But I appologized.  And I can't decide whether I am more dissapointed in myself for saying it or for retracting it. 

Comments

Liminal, I think, is a new word to me. I'll have to look it up.

Oh, the boys' club. How well acquainted with that I have become.

This post got my mind stirring - thank you for that.
In my opinion too much emphasis is put on feminism these days. It's nice to open a door for someone, not because they're a woman or a man - but because it's polite. That's the way I try to look at it. It's nice to move out of the way for someone. I think people need to think more in the way of manners and less in the way of double standards - if we stop acknowledging the double standards and start opening doors for men because we want to be nice and start interjecting ourselves into conversations because we're interested, etc.- maybe others will follow suit and people will start doing things because they are the nice things to do for another human being, not a man or a woman.

I'm tired - that might not have made any sense
I may regret this post tomorrow
I was glad to see you there, even if we didn't really get a chance for more than just a hug. I miss hanging out with you.

If it makes you feel any better, I totally get what you're talking about with the whole "talking over" thing. It's not always a male thing, though it's (IMO) *way* too prevalent among males. Certainly in that bunch. Getting a word in edgewise was nigh impossible.

And I'm trying to fight the whole "old boy's club" thing. I mean, yeah, I'm a guy, and I'm on staff, so, in one manner of speaking, I'm nominally a member. But I'm also not on any teams, am the quiet one, and have some different ideas and attitudes, so I'm something of the outsider, at the same point. ::shrugs:: I'm trying to do what I can to correct a couple of things, so that things are fair for all players, correct some inequalities... having good stuff happen in game, or having your suggestions listened to, shouldn't revolve around your gender, your SO, or who you're friends with. Dunno if I'll have much luck at it, but I'm still an idealist at heart.

As for the thing about kids - why would it? It's a choice, and it's not for everyone. ::shrugs:: So what if you don't want to have kids - you're more than just the ability to reproduce.