10 Things I Do Not Own (and Yet Still Manage to Be a Woman)
1. Razors. Or Nair. Or wax. Or any form of depilatory.
2. Bathroom scale. (We do, however, own a kitchen scale. The Man uses it to bake bread.)
3. Wrinkle cream. Or cellulite cream. Or “age-defying” anything.
4. Underwire bra. (I was going to say “bra” at all, but I do technically own a couple soft/sports bras. I just never wear them, unless all my tanks are dirty. And sometimes, even when all my tanks are dirty? I don’t wear anything under my shirt at all.)
4.5 Matching bra and underwear set. Or anything that could be called “lingerie”.
5. Diet books. Or weight-loss cook books. Or calorie lists. Or anything from Weight Watchers.
6. High heels. (After shopping for this year’s Halloween, I do now own a pair. Since my Halloween party plans fell through, however, I have yet to wear them outside the house. Or in the house, except for ten minutes the day I bought them.)
6. Pantyhose/tights. (Though at 5’10″ and 300 pounds I likely couldn’t find any to fit me even if I tried.)
7. Hair spray. Or gel. Or mousse.1 Or a blow dryer. Or curling iron. Or flat iron. Or any hair-related appliance more complicated than a brush. (Though I do own two of those, and a comb.)
8. Purse. (When I say this, people ask me where I keep my Stuff, to which I reply, what stuff? so: )
8.5: Stuff. (I do own a knitting bag, though. Which holds all of my knitting stuff. And, since women’s clothing manufacturers decided Women Don’t Need Pockets, not even in comfy unstylish jeans, for fuck’s sake, it also holds my wallet. Except for when it doesn’t.)
9. Diamond ring, earring, necklace, bracelet…
9.5 Ear piercings in which one might wear diamond earrings (or not). Or, technically I did, for about six months when I was 20. Now I have tiny pin-point scars.
10. Anything that has ever been declared “this season’s must have”. Ever. Not even was-declared-so-five-years-before-I-bought-it, as far as I know.
And yet, somehow, I am still a woman.
5 Things I Do Own (and Yet Still Manage to Advocate for Gender Equality)
1. Makeup that costs more than $25 for one bottle. (Though I must confess, I’ve worn it all of twice. But that has far more to do with laziness than lack of slightly-more-often desire.)
2. A dress. More than one!
3. Knitting supplies. Lots of knitting supplies. Which I use to make things. For other people. Even for men.
4. High heels. (And I’m so looking for someplace to wear them. Any suggestions?)
5. A corset. (I used to have a strapless suede bustier, but the dang cat puked on it, and it was never the same.)
And yet, somehow, I am still feminist2 and advocate for gender equality.
The thing is, stereotypes are shit. If you don’t want to shave your legs or armpits or anywhere else, don’t. If you want to wax your genitals, go for it (though, um, OW?). If you don’t particularly want to go along with societally-imposed gender roles, but can’t afford the spoons or loss of social capital or risk to your job or the custody of your children or your life (especially if the gender assigned to you is not your gender, and especially if your gender is not even recognized by wider culture), then you have my sympathy and my solidarity in working to expand the options available to you.
You aren’t not-your-gender because you say “no thanks” to things society says your gender is supposed to own or do, and you aren’t not-a-gender-activist because you say “yes please” (or “fuck it, fine”) to any of those things either. It’s well and good to have conversations about the pressures people3 are under to conform to gender expectations, but if the end result of the conversation is not an increase in the options available and in acceptance for diversity in choices, then we’re doing something wrong.
So, if it’s your thing, shave your legs, skip your pits, buzz your hair, put on a slinky strappy dress and comfy flat shoes — and come dance with me.4
- Or, for that matter, shampoo. Baking soda/apple cider vinegar. Look it up. ↩
- An adjective meaning “acts mostly in accord with the radical idea that women are people.” ↩
- Both women and men — not to mention the pressure for everyone to neatly fall into the limited categories of “woman” or “man”. ↩
- Or invite me over for D&D. I could go either way. ↩