Rambling session: I never asked to be a female
This is just one of those thoughts that ramble around my head that feel really right to write down and share. Every now and again I get a lightbulb moment where I understand myself, and the world, a little bit more. Those moments have a tendency to allow me to work on aspects of myself that are maybe holding me back from a full relationship with myself or the world around me. What I’m about to talk about does fit in with my idea of health- allowing myself to process evaluate and reevaluate things, as well as developing a healthy mindset, can only count towards good mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, social, and sexual health.
I never asked to be a female. Such an obvious yet healing thing to state! I have never really thought about it in that way before. As an individual self expression is extremely important to me meaning being free to express myself in any and every way I see fit and to sustain my right to be the individual that I am, free of any labels. Inevitably oftentimes I have found myself treading on the toes of what the society around me seemed to expect, demand even, of a ‘lady’ like me. My clothing style which was downright boyish at one time and still falls short of the ideal trendy girl prototype. My ideas on freedom and independence which according to my parentals went so strongly against Polish and Nigerian cultures. (which as an adult I would disagree with, I can see there is a bit of everything in every culture) The pressure I have felt only ever made me want to tread on those toes even harder but also, admittedly, have always felt like a pressure of sorts to stand up to, judgement to bear, a lonely road to walk.
Recently I was helping a male friend pick out clothes for a work occasion. Bless his handsome face- he had picked out lovely albeit totally safe pieces yet he still had doubts about wearing them. He was so conscious about his buys as he felt like his choices would have such an impact on how he would be viewed in his work environment. I just wanted him to stop worrying and wear whatever! He was looking fine! But upon a bit of introspection I realised that I didn’t want to gloss over the issue and unfortunately, to some degree he was right- society judges like mad and all too often we let ourselves be judged. But why do we do this!? We benchmark against society afraid to stand out in a crowd. We play to roles set out by a nameless mass. We allow ourselves to be impacted by groups or even a few people who likely don’t care about us or notice our happiness or discomfort? The pressure is pervasive and it really is very much there. It is so infuriating! It is a cage out of which I constantly want to break out.
And then it hit me- you didn’t ask to be a man any more than I asked to be a woman. Wow, empathy. You have your pressure too. Suddenly my lonely road is not so lonely at all. Here we are both so weighed down by society expectations, standards, norms, tied to a concept we never even agreed to. Both of us, men and women and anyone in between or outside of those definitions. We may get benchmarked to different standards but we both get benchmarked all the same, when we all just entered this Earth as individuals and never asked for any of it. The struggle is the same. We get told what we can or should wear, how to look, how to act, what ‘self respect’, looks like, what to do with our sexuality, what life paths we should follow. We get told not to be like all men, or that women should be like this. By our parents, by media, the clothing sections in the stores. We get constantly compared. It is stifling! But it’s so healthy to consciously recognise that I didn’t agree to any of this so it has no control over me but none whatsoever. My image is mine to do with it whatever I wish, to use it, build it, let it go and change it at my will. And so is yours.
When I got to be around the age to get my period I remember feeling a lot but a lot of dread. It was nothing to do with the physical changes which weren’t at all my primary concern. I did not want to become tagged as ‘one of them‘, women. I knew what it meant. I was very much a tomboy and wanted to remain so. I didn’t want to be told to sit like a lady. I didn’t want my actions to start getting judged through a prism of what was expected of a ‘woman’. I didn’t want my body to stop being just my vessel for exploring the world. I didn’t want it to suddenly become something to be sexualised. I was surrounded by adults who had so much to say about how I dressed, how I was to express myself. But if I wanted to wear a short skirt on a hot summer’s day as a fragile teenager, how dare anyone tell me I was trying to attract boys? How dare anyone spoil my mind with suggestions that my legs would be looked at? That is the kind of bullshit that plays with your esteem, confidence, relationship to your body, to the opposite sex, to the world, to your own sexuality.
It feels so good now to take back control and know that actually, my body IS just my vessel for exploring the world. Always will be. It is mine not yours. I take care of it, I love it. I appreciate that I have two arms and two legs. I appreciate my health. I appreciate that I can physically share in intimacy with another person that I have chosen. My body can be sexual but only when I choose to; and when I choose to, it’s without any shame. I express myself in any way I choose or see fit. Ahh, that feels good to say.
Peace peoples. Enjoy your physical forms (V)