Do you remember an exercise in school where the instructor asked you to make a list of things that would be easier if you were the opposite sex? What advantages do the opposite sex have?
Maybe you never did this exercise. I remember doing it in like middle school and then again in college. I remember some of the males answers had to do with the fact that men won’t hit a girl (that is not true and we know it), girls get things for free (drinks at a bar etc).. Some of the female answers included the fact that men do not deal with menstruation or labor and birth.
There are things I love and do not love quite as much about being the gender I am. For example, I could totally do without breasts. I think they are cumbersome and unnecessary. I look forward to having a different relationship with my breasts when I am a mother one day but until that time I have no need for them. Another example is dresses, love dresses. Comfy ones made of cotton or jersey, it is a whole outfit in one. They are easy and comfortable, dresses are great.
So again, before I go any further I want to acknowledge that dresses are for everyone and not all women have breasts and some men do. This post is about not fitting neatly into a gender box. I do not fit neatly into the box so I hear you. We are all worthy and whole just as we are.
So when I talk about the gender box, that box looks different based on your perspective. I am speaking about the box from the angle of normative white, christian, American culture and in those terms here are some ways I enjoy being a rule breaker:
- Shaving only when I am in the mood. A guy once said something to me about how another woman’s arm pits that were maybe two days out from shaving were grody. Grody? Really? It was like being in middle school. I am not going to lie I did not meet this remark with compassion. I did not call him in which is something I totally preach about. The truth is in that moment I could have cared less about having that guy as an ally so I called him right out by making a comment about if she was grody than he was straight up filthy! I mean when was the last time he shaved his pits?! Gross man, go get a razor!
I do not enjoy shaving and I made sure to marry a man that does not police my body. I do shave but like I said, only when I feel like it. I shave for me not for the world.
- My hair. I have a pixie and it is everything. It is easy and it is easy and it is easy. I have a million reasons why I love this cut and they all come back to it is so freaking easy. When I go to get a hair cut it I get what the boys get. It takes about 15 minutes costs about 15.00-20.00 less (which is total bull) and I am on my way.
- Bras. Don’t like ’em, don’t want ’em, go without them as often as possible. Now I cannot pretend to be some bad ass I don’t give a crap what other people say in this area. I totally wear bras when I do not want to. I hate it but professional standards are what they are for women and sometimes whether I like it or not I have to play by the rules. I will go out in the world with no bra without shame though. At Publix, watch out! Therapy, no bra don’t care. Family dinner at a restaurant, my girls are free. Hanging out with friends, I hang out.
- Domestic life. That is not really a thing in the traditional sense in our home. I do the chores I either like or don’t hate and he does the chores he either likes or does not hate. Luckily he hates to clean the toilet and that is not a problem for me and I hate to vacuum and he could care less. It works.
I do not bake as we all know by now. Cooking is okay because it is not an exact science but if I don’t feel like I don’t and we either make do or he cooks. Nobody is forced into a certain role based on gender in this house.
- Make-up. Pretty much not a thing for me. I will wear it if I feel like it from time to time but make-up is rare for me. I do like to paint my nails. I have a rainbow of choices when it comes to nail polish. Again, I keep up with my nails as I feel like it only which means at times I may have nothing left on my nail than a small single turquoise polish chip. My favorite part of my beauty routine is lotioning my face after a hot shower, I look forward to it everyday.
- Clothes. I wear what is comfy and feels most like the person I am on any given day. That usually results in loose fitting jeans with a tank and possibly a cardigan (bra optional) or a loose fitting dress, or athletic wear. Comfy is key.
After reading all this what must your impression of me be? This girl is a total slob! Yeah, maybe, but am I any more slobbish than any of the men in your life who do not wear bras, or make up, or shave their legs or pits, or choose to wear comfy clothes, or hate baking, or have short hair? I am not a slob. I am my own definition of myself, and I do not fit neatly into a box, and the very best part about being a rule breaker is that I am super fucking comfortable with that. So comfortable in fact that I make others uncomfortable at times, that is for them to figure out though.So in what ways are you a rule breaker? And who are you making uncomfortable with your unapologetic authentic approach to your life? You answer that question for yourself and know that you have a fan in me.