A Call To Arms. Specifically Typing Fingers.

Hey ladies.

(Hey gents, scroll down.)

You know that thing you keep wanting to talk about with your friends? How annoying it is to get hit on at the bus stop, say, or how much you love how mascara makes you feel but you’re not sure if it’s anti-feminist to admit it, or your unique take on that thing that happens every month that some people hate and other people don’t mind?

Well today’s your lucky day.

I’ve been thinking lately about a new project, something I can work on that will get me fired up. And I started to think about my blog and about my periodic ranting about what it’s like to be female in this day and age. I wondered if I should take some of my entries, like the one about the lack of adventure heroines and plotlines that don’t focus on romance, and turn them into monologues, or even something longer.

I remembered Eve Ensler and thought, well, it’s been done. But you know what I realized? That there’s room for more than one play or cabaret or, hell, monologue, about a similar subject. There’s room on Broadway for “A Chorus Line” and “The Producers.” There’s room in the movies for “Ocean’s Eleven” and “The Italian Job.” And there’s room in my life, at the very least, for multiple perspectives on what it means to be a woman.

I’m not trying to exclude anyone. In fact, just this moment I realized how much richer it would be to have both sides of the story. I want to know what it’s like being a modern (post-modern? Millenial?) man too. I want to know that story you don’t like to tell around friends because you don’t know how they’ll react, or that encounter you’re so proud of that you tell everyone you meet. I want to listen. Or read. Or whatever. And I want to put your stories out there, anonymously, for other people, in some kind of theatrical medium. I’m not sure which format yet.

See, as a kid I became obsessed with the idea that there wasn’t any actual difference between boys and girls. I loved reading about girls who cut their hair and stowed away on ships, went to war, or trained to be fighters. I got into a couple of fights with neighborhood kids for questionable reasons having to do somehow with pride and the fact that, as a girl, I was still as tough as they were. And I clenched my teeth in my freshman year “Psychology of Gender” class when we went into the innate differences between men and women.

My mom used to say that she didn’t fully believe in the inborn differences in girls and boys until she had one of each and saw me daydream in between the goalposts during soccer games and my brother run down the ball like his life depended on it. I insisted on dresses, the flouncier the better, and Todd went for the trucks. We gendered ourselves, basically. Which is not to say that I didn’t love dinosaurs and want to be a scientist. I did, and there’s a video of my three-year-old self presenting my own thesis on their extinction to prove it.

Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to process gender and sex, embracing and resisting roles and expectations. It’s a subject that hasn’t yet lost the power to fascinate me, and I’m wondering if you’d like to dive in with me.

So I’m looking for paragraphs, pages, monologues, rants, and hymns of praise about what it’s like to identify as the gender with which you identify. Trans- individuals welcome too. They can be long or short, eloquent or explosive or both. All you need to do is send it to me and bear in mind that it may be used in original or edited form for theatrical purposes, and that by sending it in you relinquish any rights to the material or future blah blah blah royalties blah. This last part I have to put in just in case I get famous and leave you little people behind someday.

Let’s get a discussion going, eh? I’ll bring the booze. *

*There is no booze.


1 Comment

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One response to “A Call To Arms. Specifically Typing Fingers.

  1. My favorite story to tell regarding self-gendering is in fact my Sociology professor’s story from freshman year of college. He and his wife were both sociologist and worked hard to make sure their child didn’t learn gender roles from them. Both parents worked, both cleaned, both cooked, they dressed the kid in both blue and pink, etc, etc. And every morning the family would sit down together and eat a breakfast of jam and toast. His wife would always eat raspberry jam while he would eat grape. All the jam options were on the table, so they let their daughter chose whatever she wanted, and she always wanted raspberry. Until one day her mother changed to grape jelly, and the girl was surprised, not realizing that girls were allowed to eat grape jelly too.

    While I believe boys and girls do have some definite inherent differences (my mother claims that even as a baby she could tell that I picked up on people’s emotions better than my brothers did), but I think most of gendering is cultural. Kids pick up on the most subtle things that, no matter how hard we try, we really can’t avoid teaching our kids gender roles (among other societal roles). Kids are looking for a way they fit into the world and trying to figure out how to relate to other people (after all, we are social creatures so we inherently want to be liked and accepted). So, while there’s no biological reason why a boy should like a truck and a girl should want to wear a dress, kids will see construction workers are all male and models are all female, and will want to be more like the person they think they’re most similar too (generally the person of the same sex).

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