I’ve been musing on what I want in life lately. What I guess I truly want, is freedom.
I suppose I should define what I mean by freedom. I guess I simply don’t want to be confined by what a woman is limited to.
But Queen Legbeard, you say, this is the modern world. Women can be whatever they want! Sure, as long as you’re feminine enough first.
Women like me are invisible in this world. In media, in the minds of others. When most people think “women” they think of someone with nice, styled hair, plenty of makeup, and body-fitting clothes. Appropriately sized and slender in build. So in broad terms, people think of “women” as the women they are attracted to. The rest of us? The older woman, the large built, the obese, the plain women, we simply don’t exist.
I’m aware I’m railing at a wall. I am coming to terms with the fact, slowly, that if I live a life free to look and do as I please, I’ll always be an outsider. Women who don’t wear makeup and who have clean hair without product are inherently untrustworthy. How does someone know a woman is obedient if they don’t bow to beauty culture, if they don’t know that their purpose is to please the eye?
I feel like I’ll always be somewhere, in my head, between a man and a woman. I’ve never felt drawn to the pageantry of womanhood. It all seems like a play I was recruited to without my knowledge.
I don’t fit in the role I’ve been cast into. I never have. And every day I feel the pressure to just.. not be me. To invest in and play the role anyway. Maybe I should just give in? It would make others happy if I did. If I woke every day early, before my husband, just to put on my costume others would see it as me “caring” about myself and being “hygenic.” I know enough to know wearing makeup and styling hair doesn’t mean either of those things. I’ve seen plenty of women who make terrible decisions in their lives while beautified to the max. Hair product and makeup are not hygiene. Cleaning your body, hair, and teeth is hygiene.
To show how toxic femininity is in my life, I’ve managed to convince myself that the things that bring me joy are off limits to me, simply because of biology. The stories I build may never reach screen or paper, because graphic novels are for men, not women. Certainly not high-action sci-fi with worldbuilding and character development. Not allowed. Not for me. And yet, the stories are what keep me going. I always have that world to dip into, an escape no one can take away. Same as when I was a burdensome weirdo in my childhood home.
No. My place is to be pleasantly feminine, full time worker and keeper of the home, always made up with a smile on my face. I’m not allowed negative emotions, only positive ones. Then I’ll be loved and wanted by others.
No. I won’t be obedient. I won’t take the well-worn path before me. It doesn’t matter that I won’t ever be accepted or cherished.
That’s the schism inside me. Obedience vs. freedom. Each with their own perks. Each with their own magnetic pull. Each with its own pain.