August 17, 2011

Guest Post: Masculine/Maternal

A while ago, I asked several of my friends how they thought about their gender - then, when their answers proved really interesting, asked them to write them down for me so I could post them here. This post is by my friend Michelle, who can also be found blogging at Paladin and Dragon. If you find all this personal identity stuff interesting, please feel free to write a post of your own and send it my way!

It took me too long to write this. I over-thought how I would phrase this part or that part, and then wondered if I would sound too extreme or too moderate. I feared that I would leave something out and sound ignorant.

Now, the irony does not escape me that I was the quickest to respond to my friend’s question about how I identify myself, and yet, quite late on my promise to write for her this guest post.

I am a female. I have the anatomy of a woman. But, in terms of my personality in light of today’s gendered culture, I would say that I have a masculine personality. I am aggressive. I like to be in control of things. I like to be the leader. I am independent.

And I am still female.

My most recent thoughts on how my gender and personality co-exist are that I often assume a maternal role. Mothers are generally accepted as protective, and in doing so, aggression, strength (emotionally and physically), and assertion pay off.

Perhaps some would argue that mothers should be subservient to their children. I doubt they are reading this, but I would ask them this: who is most likely to be a child’s first role model? I certainly know mine was my mother, and her mother, and my father’s mother. This isn’t to say that I have horrible paternal figures. That is far from the truth. Rather, I identify with women who were not ashamed of themselves.

I identify as myself, and all that that may entail. I over-think things. I want to be a nice person. I like playing with my hair. I don’t feel entirely comfortable in skirts. I was the girl who terrorized boys on the playground. I am the woman who wants to solve the world’s problems, and the woman who sometimes needs to remember to step back and solve her own, first.

But in the end, I know who I am. Do you?

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