After studying gender for eight years, I’ve reached an impasse. I’m not inspired anymore. Things that used to feel cutting edge feel old and overdone. I wanted to write about gender today. I wrote it in big block letters in my schedule. WRITE ABOUT GENDER. Write about men, write about women, give trans resources, offer definitions for new or unusual language. I think it’s because I’m not learning about it anymore. Every day isn’t a new connection being made. There are no new epiphanies. Most of the time I hardly even think about gender. I meet people and I let them tell me who they are.
I suppose the other thing is that gender is exhausting when you’re a woman. Every day you are gender. People flirt with you, cat call you, harass you or comment on your ability.
Just yesterday at work I was carrying a large delivery and an older man looked at me and said “isn’t there a man available to do that heavy lifting?”
We’re reminded women aren’t safe, women are paid less, women should look and act a certain way, and every day there is a soft echo of what should or shouldn’t be wrapped around every thing you say or do.
I suppose the way to tie it together into a big beautiful bow would be to think about gender in how it relates to myself. That’s what I’ve been doing lately. Blogging about myself. Like any good, self-absorbed writer, processing the truths and the lies and the little grey areas in-between.
Frankly, that’s kind of exhausting too. My boyfriend asked me the other day if I’d read the latest update on the rape in the news and I asked “which one?” Every day it’s a flow of new articles. If it’s not hard hitting journalism than it’s women doing what I don’t have the energy to do. Talking about how shitty it is to be a woman sometimes.
I’d rather talk about what is happening right now. Literally, right now. The way my chair feels or the sounds outside. The absurd conversation the group sitting next to me is having about Trump’s electability. I’d rather talk about all the things other people aren’t talking about. The only way to do that is to stream it directly through me and my experience.
How can I make this old, exhausting conversation about how we’re different or the same feel new and exciting? Once you leave college, can you ever really good back?
Have a question about sex, love, life… or gender? Submit at www.suggestivetongue.com/ask and I’ll answer it on my blog.