I love pink, I love pop music, I love curls, I love painting my nails, I love playing around with makeup, I love high heels (the higher the better), and I LOVE pretty underwear, amongst a myriad of other supposed innately feminine things.
Conversely, I love sports (I can argue baseball semantics better than most men I know), I like to “wear the pants”, I can burp very loudly, I can intimidate other men, I can be more manly then some men, I can “think” like a man, I can “talk” like a man, I can “joke” like a man, even a large portion of my wardrobe was found in the men’s section. So I mean, for all intent and purposes these things plus more could be interpreted as supposed innately masculine things. Right?!
So where do I fit in? I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a woman, but in today’s world or at least the world that I live in, the older I become the more I feel the need to be a “better man”.
Now, I can’t take credit for this concept. Heck, this concept was lost on me until I picked up the book Resurrecting Venus by Cynthia Occelli which explores how femininity and the embracing of femininity by today’s woman has been either lost or reluctantly thrown out of the window and traded in for masculinity.
So I’m reading the book and all of a sudden it just hits me, I’m the woman that she’s talking about! Though I try to find the balance, I realized that I have adopted a masculine mindset and traits that I didn’t have even so soon as 3 or 4 years ago. Where did this come from? Why did I feel the need to do this?
I’m all for feminism and women’s rights and equal pay and equal opportunities, but this masculinity has seeped, over time, into how I’m living my everyday life. Constantly trying to out-think the man I’m dating at the time or out-think most men in general. I want to wear the pants, too (not all of the time, but a large majority if I’m honest). I want to be in control. I want to be the one who guides the direction of where things go.
BUT, and here’s the kicker, I want a SUPREMELY masculine guy, not Mr. Macho male chauvinist, but divinely masculine, and I want this guy to be the one who asks me out, who pursues me, who pays (most of the time and this isn’t because I don’t have my own money!), I want him to tell me that he thinks I’m beautiful and to hold me and hold my hand and make me feel safe and secure… I also want him to respect my femininity and not expect me to be Mrs. Cleaver and super domestic and cook and clean all of the time. I want him to respect that I have my own mind, my own thoughts and opinions, that I make my own money, and that there are times when I will “wear the pants” in my life and him not feel threatened by that. Does this man exist? Or is that man…me?
Now I’m wondering if the guys that I’ve dated felt like they were dating another man when they dated me.
Ok, so let’s move from dating back to my everyday life.
Professionally, it feels like to be a woman and to be a successful woman requires the acquisition of certain male traits especially in a time where equal pay/equal opportunities are still wishful thinking at best. I feel like I have to be stoic professionally…I can’t have problems, I can’t show emotion on the clock, I have to take things to the chin, I have to transform into a man basically…well a man in a pencil skirt wearing fabulous heels that is. Ha! Take that dudes, take that!
Seriously though, where does it end? When I get home and can “take off the pants” do I still need to be the man if I’m dating someone? Or can I let my defenses down and not be worried about being taken advantage of if I embrace my complete feminine self? Can I still be Ms. Independent even in the arms of someone who I would like to be able to depend on? Can I still feel like myself, a woman who is proud of her accomplishments and of herself, but enjoys the company of a supremely divine man? Does that balance still exist?
Part of it may be fear based, having taken so many Sociology classes that I know the unfortunate statistics that women are doomed to if they become a stay-at-home-mom or quit their careers and their husband leaves them barefoot and pregnant! Wanting to be able to financially provide for myself and be A-OK if my partner decides he doesn’t love me anymore, you know, not having my literal world fall to pieces because I became accustomed to a life that he afforded me. Because that’s what it all comes down to, really, security. Me feeling like with or without a man that I’m secure. That it’s okay to want to have a man in my life, but not needing to have a man in my life.
That’s the provider in me and I don’t think that that trait is either innately masculine or feminine, I think it’s human.
I don’t want to be a better man. I want to be a better woman. I don’t want to think like a man and I damn sure don’t want to be with a man who makes me feel like learning or having to think like a man is necessary to be in a relationship with him. Can’t I wear my pretty lacy underwear set under a flannel that I bought in the men’s section to bed? Can’t I retire the “pants” to my closet and wear them when I so choose and not when society dictates? Is this possible? I think so.
I think there’s a balance. There has to be! I know that it’s out there and I know that there’s a person out there who I can share that balance with. I don’t want to be a better guy than the guy that I’m with!
I mean, hell, in that case I should just date myself. Don’t get me wrong, if my life goes that way and for whatever reason I remain single, I’ll be one hell of a wife and a husband to myself, but then again…I’d rather hold someone else’s hand and not my own because, well, that’s just AWKWARD.