svollga: (heel)
[personal profile] svollga
There's the thing: while I support the feminist agenda, I sometimes feel that some everyday things I do or don't do, I allow or don't allow to do for me, can't be quite correlated with it. Mostly the questions arise because of my own bigendered nature, and of genderqueer nature of my circle. A lot of genderqueer people in my circle, mostly female-bodied but leaning to male, try to affirm their maleness by conforming to male gender stereotypes. The stereotypes work like the code for gender: if you behave like a stereotypical man (generally an idealised chivalrious gentleman) than you are a man and are treated as such. If you behave as a woman (generally with a tint of an idealised lady or a vixen) than you are a woman and are treated as such. And if you claim you're a man but behave in any 'feminine' way - show your emotions, have tantrums, show weakness, ask for help - then you are lying. The situation is certainly influenced by the fact that we are all role-players to some extent, and it's easier for us to play the suitable role. (I went through several types of manly man roles and have even had relationships built on those roles.)
It's not as bad as it may seem. Generally, my circle is very comfortable to exist in because it accepts any personal quirks including specific gender variations. It's a safe space to be queer in, and a pretty much egalitarian, too, but it's tinted with the sort of medieval fantasy mentality when a woman is a lady to be cherished and honoured and marveled at, but being male or at least lean to maleness is somewhat better. Though being a woman gives you more leeway with behaviour and emotions. (Well, it's like in the 'real world', only better, actually. Easier and with less differencies and limits.)
It doesn't bother me much, but it does sometimes when I have a feeling that I'm not a feminist enough because I play this game, too. In my male phases, I think that I have to be a head of a household, to be reliable and calm and logical; in my female phases, I'm flirty and attract attention to my female beauty and have a leeway on irrationality and emotionality because I'm a woman. It feels natural, but at the same time, a bit suffocating. I don't know what I can do with it, and I'm not sure if I want to do anyhing, but I've been thinking about it lately, and decided to write it down.

on 2010-06-25 11:52 pm (UTC)
helgawinter: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] helgawinter
Uh, if you don't mind me pitching in...

I think I know what you're talking about although I've never before thought about it in terms of conforming to gender stereotypes (although you are right, that's exactly what it is). And of course I've never been a part of the RPG-playing scene, but I did go through a time when I could draw a distinct line between my "male phase" and my "female phase". I don't any loger, but I can't really say if it's because the line grew less certain or just because I stopped paying that much attention to the transition between the phases. But there are still moments when I feel more like a "lady", and other moments when I feel more like a "guy" (and then, there are moments when I don't feel any gender at all, but that's another story).

Well, anyway, my point is... maybe it's the other way round. Being bi-gendered gives you freedom of choice that cis-people just don't have. Maybe it's not that in your "male phase" you follow some set of stereotypes - maybe it's that when you feel like following this particular set of stereotype, you call it a "male phase" (which is probably should be called "gentleman phase" - not quite the same thing as "male"); the same goes for the "female stereotype" and "female phase". I know it is more or less the case with me: sometimes I really get this urge to be a stereotypical girl - dress up, go out, flirt; and then there are times I feel drawn to the other end of the spectrum - but the thing is, following stereotype is part of the fun, because I know that I'm not defined or restricted by it. It's not the stereotype that defines me as a man or woman, it's me who chooses to play the game by these rules just for the fun of it. But if at any given moment I feel more like a "girl" and I have to do some "male stuff", I'll do it and I won't feel less of a woman because of it; same with the "female stuff" while feeling more like a "guy".

I don't know if this made any sense to you, actually, but there. :)

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svollga

December 2010

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