oh dear. so here i sit, and i know i’m supposed to be packing for my trip with my lover and my friend to the Island, and writing my methods chapter, and sipping herbal tea and being all thoughtful and erudite and organized…but i went off and looked on crackbook, (aka facebook), and i see that this woman with whom i once worked at the radical feminist anti-violence collective got her first T-shot today.
Now, I’m not really up on the lingo, but this woman’s been doing ‘drag-king’ shows the past few years, and hanging with a bunch of women who call themselves “bois” and so forth. And I might be a bit dense, but i can put one and one together. She’s getting her body mutilated so she can think she ‘belongs’ to the queers and the freaks and the ‘transgressive’ gender-benders…I could just fuckin’ cry. She’s not transgressing anything, she’s just drawing the binding of rigid gender tighter across her woman-ness. She’s seen what freedom could look like, she’s seen what damage men have done, and seen what she could have if she did the work–she didn’t want to do that work. But she wanted the social stuff, for sure. she wanted to belong to a group that identified with some shared vision and one that was tight with each other, had a language and did stuff that meant something important to the women who were members of that group.
I guess the ‘bois’ can give her that social stuff, but not ask for the work. cause, you know, it’s not much work to be masculine. except, i suppose, for that part about trying to run away from your womanly hips. but the other stuff–talkin’ about cars and ‘transformer’ movies; fishing and pumpin’ iron; drinkin’ beer and farting…heck. easy-peasy. you can’t really scratch yer balls, but you could stick a sock in your pants and scratch that…
no. it’s MUCH harder to reject gender altogether and try to figure out how to be human. you’re not going to get less lonely by getting hormone injections, J. It’s not going to fill the empty spot where meaning wants to be. When/if you become a sort-of constructed male, you’re going to be further from all you can be. There will be all the shots and the dressings and the lies between you and your essential humanity.
Each time one woman turns her back on her woman-ness, and on her sisters, therefore, my heart breaks. makes my work harder, but even more necessary. I’m so sorry that she has such self-loathing, such loathing for women all, that she wants to do this. i think i’ve let her down. and i know she’s let me down, too.
we’re so hard on each other. in the world that hates women, it’s hard to find the love between us that will lift us and save us. so many of us are giving up. damn.