Feminity : injonctions in society and how I Deal with it.

I cut my hair on June 2013. I cut them for good, that is, I got a bowl haircut.
I cut them as I was feeling fury, anger, and even joy: exams were done, my school year was finished; I wanted change, I wanted my mind to be free.

I cut my hair because I was angry at myself, who I was, but also because I took people’s opinions too seriously. I think a lot, some would say too much. My hair has always been associated to a fighting force. I had a Walkyrie’s hair. It protected from the cold and from the outside world. I like my hair. It was long and red. And even though I’m currently trying to ignore others’ opinion, I have to admit I liked that people liked my hair. I liked to be seen as some kind of fiery-haired Greek goddess that made me seem ferocious. I liked that the people I love saw me that way, that they identified me as such. I identified to my hair and to everyone’s eyes, it was the symbol of a fiery feminity. It was my symbol.

But I had trouble with feminity: that is, I hated it.

I’ve pondered a lot on gender, on my gender, on other people’s gender. I couldn’t define myself as a “woman”, and if I did, I wouldn’t believe myself. I was not one of them: I wasn’t one of those brainless idiots who cared about futile, feminine things. I didn’t like what was associated to feminity because it was connected to something weak, fleeting, stupid and soft. I grew up with a violent father and violent men. I learnt very soon that feminity was synonymous to weakness. An enormous weakness. So I had my long hair, I wore lipstick, I had long nails but I wasn’t feminine because it was crucial for me not to be: it was crucial for me not to be weak.

Turned out that I liked girls. I liked their touch, their skin, their look, their breasts, their thoughts. I liked girls and I think girls liked me back. Unfortunately, girls’ gaze wasn’t always rewarding. When I wanted to let them know that I loved them or desired them, they thought that the way I looked, with my hair, my lipstick and my high heels, took away from my message. I looked too much like a straight girl being bi-curious. Many lesbians and bisexuals are conviced a feminine woman doesn’t belong with them. I didn’t belong. But I didn’t belong with straight people either.

So I got mad, angry, and after listening to people too much… I cut my hair.

It was a surprising, overwhelming experience. I played with my gender: suddenly, I was who I thought I was within, what I had always claimed to be me: that is, a non-feminine person. I was boyish. All at once, girls understood I could hit on them. I belonged. I was a boyish lesbian. Straight guys understood as well they couldn’t hit on me, not really. Things were clear.

I went to photoshoots and liked it. I discovered myself, I learnt about myself in many ways. I had another armor, a temporary one: I was labeled a lesbian, but I had the feeling I was someone I didn’t want to be and it annoyed me a lot.

I realized several months later something was missing. I felt like I was choking. I was only perceived as the boyish lesbian. I had never been labeled in such a cold, definite way. I have nothing against labels but I need to be free of them; that’s why I call myself a queer, a bisexual, a lesbian, whatever strikes my fancy. This short hair is not me, it’s never been me. It’s been a distraction, a change, an experience. It wasn’t a bad experience. I learnt a lot and I thought a lot about gender, as well as who I am and how I’m evolving. It’s hard in a society that forces you, as a woman, to love yourself and to know where you stand. I’ve never been completely at ease either in the pink box or the blue one. That probably was the problem.

I grew up during those months and realized I had to make my peace with feminity and the violence I endured. I can’t force myself to be someone I’m not because society annoys the hell out of me so I can fit in a box. I can’t force myself to lie about who I am because some stupid lesbians can’t deal with the fact that queer people like me can be feminine. I no longer wish to spit on feminity because I’ve been taught I had to be strong no matter what. To be accepted in men’s mensclub, since they rule the world, you had to be like them and never show weakness.

I’m slowly working on accepting myself. 4 years of feminism, and I realize just I’ve been my own worst enemy. I like high heels. I like expensive lingerie that covers nothing. I like nail polish. I like giggling in front of cats’ videos. I liked my long hair and I’m waiting for it to grow back. I like feminine stuff even though I’m not “feminine”. I’m tired of spitting on who I am because I show weakness since I have a vagina or a woman’s appearance.

My armor, my strength is not within men and women’s gazes, as they judge me and tell me how I have to be or what I’m doing to them. Deep down, I know I like women and I like feminity. I may never like pink but I will no longer scorn women who do, or women who get flower tatoos. I don’t want to be anyone’s enemy or side with people who hate women and feminity.
Fuck other people’s gaze.

(thank @karrie788 for traduction !)

2 comments

  1. Virginie says:

    C’est un très beau texte, je suis très émue. Je me retrouve beaucoup dans ce texte et j’espère un jour me sentir aussi libérée que toi vis à vis de ma féminité et de mon identité. On a tous du chemin à faire et tu nous prouves que toutes les expériences, qu’elles soient faciles ou dures, peuvent changer notre vie pour le meilleur.

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