EDIT – More than 50% of the women I know are scientists and mathematicians, bear this in mind when I use 50’s definitions of “woman activity”.  This is the modern age, I sometimes write about it in older, inappropriate language.  Sorry about that.
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I wrote this post, Femininist, a couple of years ago, because I was tired of being that man wearing a skirt, and NOT trying to be Trans, A Girl, (well, alright a woman, but I’m still so young in my head…), gay, in drag or anything else.  When I was married my wife hated me wearing a skirt because she a “a little Welsh Girl”, bought up in rural Wales where, with all due respect, there are mostly farmers and Men must be Men.  As farming fails this culture is changing.  But she would fight like a tiger for it, my right to do it.  I had a lot of reasons for doing it, read the post.

My wearing skirts had a much more profound effect on my boys than I had thought we were more grown up as a society than we are.   While my friends are universally supportive of whatever I do, the general public is not.  Bigoted attitudes have come from parents and been passed clearly to their children.

Moving on.

Point is, that up until a short time ago I was just fighting the good fight, being that guy, taking care of my kids, teaching them that true equality does not come out of watching every word you say, (though I have been banging on at them for ten years now that the term “Gay” should not be used as a term of derogation, I have succeeded, largely), it comes out what real respect you pay, out of recognising the shortcomings of each side of the fence, (Equal pay anyone?  how about equal Marriage rights, let alone this article and my commenting blog), it comes out of accepting that people are not the same, and that our differences make us strong.

I was asked recently what the real difference is between Men and Women.  I don’t know, I am beginning to think that in an advanced, civilised, modern, society

that the differences are ineffable.  Nevertheless I have had to teach my boys to be Men, (as I have said elsewhere), one of the things that I have had to teach them is that they must respect women and a woman’s right to say no.  The flip side is that I have also had to teach them that they must trust any woman they are alone with implicitly, an accusation of rape or sexual molestation can blight a man’s life forever, true or not.  Let’s be clear here, this is about their behaviour, not necessarily about false accusations, though that possibility is included.  This is a dreadful thing to have to say to a young man, but I shall not dwell upon it, that’s not the point of this entry.

The point is that I have had misogyny when wearing skirts, in the street, and in work; at a University I might.  You can imagine that I slapped it down pretty hard.  I felt minimised, and I don’t bloody take that well.  Especially someone in Uni should be thinking about my head not my ass, or about if my skirt is “too white” and thus “too transparent in the sun”.  Fuck off.  I can tell the difference between jokes and misogyny.  I slapped down 18 year olds when I was doing my degree, sure as hell wasn’t going to take it from a work colleague.  And I might add that at the end of that degree, the now 21 year olds were right in my corner, and their parents thanked me for guiding their sons and daughters, for showing them that it was ok to be them.  Apparently many of my uni colleagues mentioned me to their parents, I didn’t think I had made that much of an impression really.  Many of them are still my friends, we’re around the country now, so this means Facebook, but they are mature and clever young Men and Women and I am proud of them if I may be so arrogant.

So why am I going Girly?

I ask myself this, and I outed myself on FaceBook without even meaning to as such, it came as just an off remark about wanting to be less mannish and enjoying the feminine clothes that I had been wearing recently, yes, drag mode, and enjoying the iodea that many of my friends see me as not worldly, (I am aware that have just insulted Real Women everywhere, sorry), and that I have had many many, talks with people about sex and love and child rearing and friendship and life and feelings and fashion

and shape and desire, and that all of them, ALL OF THEM, have eventually said to me,

Gosh Friday, you really are such a girl.

It’s not what I wear that makes me a girl inside, that is outside, I like it because I see men as not pretty, and I want to be pretty, well, alright, prettier, I don’t ever think I’ll get to pretty; it is what I say and do.  It is the sewing and the cleaning and the cooking, and the career break to look after children, (which by the way started and shagged my career path at the same time), the protesting at being a Man with what is done to men, (I refer you to the blog entry, Boys will be boys) once more), the tightness of corsets, the feeling that I’m missing a part of my body, (yes breasts), the feeling of emptiness in my belly because I can never carry a child under my heart, which has sometimes made me howl in the pain of that emptiness.  (So yes, ladies, I do know, intimately, something of what you are going through if you cannot get pregnant, except that there is, and never was any hope for me, I lived it vicariously through my wife, when we had our boys).  It is a hole in my very soul, and nothing can fill it. So yes I have been a “girl inside” for a long time.

Then my eldest son posted this thing, “Don’t assume I’m a Gender“, on FaceBook, a brave act I thought, but what he posted earlier, this image:-

He put this image on FaceBook from https://www.facebook.com/wipeouttransphobia, and I realised that he was grown up at last, muchly, and that I should think about my situation.

I thought, “Damn, where it matters, inside, I am a girl.  Everyone recognises this, even if they can no longer tell me what it means to be a girl.

And I meet so many people who are Gay or Bi or Pan or something else.  I have no radar for these things, so I often I plant my size nines right in it, but truth is, I like the people I meet, because they are so open and accepting.

And I’m a girl.

I like doing girl things, whatever they are, I like the clothes, I like the attitude, (with some exceptions), I like dressing up, I like being me.  That seems to include being a girl.

The ultimate think about this was when I realised that despite still liking girls, women really, I am 48 years old after all, but there is a piece of me that want to be liked by women who like women.  That is complex.  It needs addressing another time.  Anyway I have a girlfriend/partner whom I love very much, and while our situation is never simple, I am not looking for a girlfriend or lover.  (I am sometimes looking for a companion, but that is also something that is best left for another time, suffice to say that my partner doesn’t enjoy movies or motorcycling and I enjoy the company of enthusiastic and adventurous young women for Movies, Motorcycling and Coffee.  Nothing more is necessary).

That paragraph went off on one.  Despite the fact that I like women for my sexual and companionship preferences, I am a girl, (I use this term because in my head I am still 18 years old) and I like to do the things that girls do, and wear the things that women wear. (Except the underpants, too flimsy, I like a bit of support ok?  You were curious, just admit it and move on).

I like being decorative in the ways that women are, I like having that share that is missing from me, I like being a girl.

And it seems that in many ways I have been on a journey to this even though I have not realised it.  It’s not through the wearing of skirts that this journey has been realised, and that is what is bizarre about it.  I know that people will think it is, and the total inability of men to recognise the difference between skirts and dresses, (ALL MEN everywhere ask me why I’m wearing a dress if they are going to ask, it is a kind of put down, a diminution of me because I wear skirts and do the woman thing on purpose, don’t think even for a minutes that I have not known this, I have known it always, if you have ever done this, then you should examine your life, because if you are not aware of it, then your misogyny is deeply ingrained and buried within you.  There is hope still, think before you speak.  The enlightened just don’t ask, it is in fact, binary.  Alright, the enlightened ask later if it comes up, and they don’t ask about dresses, they ask about the whole thing), does get in the way somewhat, but it’s the influence of my friends, and my boys that made me realise that I had a need not to hide any more.  I am what I am, and I have a need not to hide it, not be ashamed of it, not to be concealed behind my anger and my frustration.  I have genteel side that constantly struggles to come out.  As a man even my girlfriend struggles to come to terms with this side of me, but as a girl she sees it clearly within me, and responds with tenderness and gentility.  Come to that, when I am being especially girly most of my friends respond with gentleness.  I know this says a lot about our culture and what it is to be a man, and what it is to be a woman, and this will have to wait.

Point is, I choose now to live more as a girl, not because I have been getting ready all these years, whatever it may look like; I choose to live as a girl, because I finally realise that my body, my gender, and my upbringing is at odds with the feelings that I have inside.

 

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As an aside, could people stop asking me if I wear skirts on my motorbike?  Would you ask a woman that or would you treat them as a sensible person who would wear the leather trousers just like a sensible man would.  It really does mark people out as uncomfortable and a bit daft as a result.  Actually I was being gentle instead of militant then.  it marks them about as being stupid and thick.  Quit it.

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A final note; I have had plenty of friends on FaceBook immediately and without hesitation offer their support and congratulations for my “coming out”.  I didn’t mean to “come out” I was just talking.  But I have been deeply touched to the core of my being by their solicitude, congratulations and messages.  I regret nothing.

 

As usual spelling is suspect and negations may be missing.

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