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Yes. This.


I am a dyed-in-the-wool, unapologetic feminist, but I never was particularly conscious of being denied anything because I was female growing up, either. Which is only speaking for me, and not anyone else. In fact, I remember both as a kid in school and later in college, the male mentors in my life pushing me to excel as if I was their own kid, which helped break me out of a shell of shy geekiness that was the truly uphill path I had to travel in school. I felt denied and left out for that all the time, but I also felt that I had a choice in that matter: if I'd wanted to conform and be one of the drones, I could have. I always lived on that cusp. I chose not to.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 13th, 2012 07:18 pm (UTC)

I can't ever remember being told I couldn't do something because I was female. Looking back, re-reading some of the stories I loved then, I can see the sexism (and the racism and the classism) but at the time, it all went blissfully over my head. I never wanted to be a boy. (I did want to be a tomboy, most terribly, but I was not athletic, and was doomed to a lifetime of being picked last for whatever teams were forming.)
Jun. 13th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
I do recall wanting to be a boy at times, but it never had anything to do with perceiving them as having privileges I couldn't have. It had more to do with confused sexuality as a kid. It was a "safe" way to imagine myself in sexual situations with a girl.
Jun. 13th, 2012 07:31 pm (UTC)
I wasn't denied anything but I remember feeling very conscious that when I went into the sci-fi section or the comic book store I was going into boys' territory, something that was re-inforced when so many of the stories were about boys or featured only one woman among many men. And there were times when I was at the height of my early teen awkwardness I wouldn't be able to make myself venture into those spaces. I don't remember ever wanting to be a boy but I do remember the characters I would invent in my head to join in on these adventures were usually male until I made a conscious decision at some point to change that.
Jun. 13th, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
I don't have any particular memories of how I felt in the sci-fi section of the library or store, except that most descriptions of the stories on the back of the book (or the inside sleeve) sounded really boring.

I was picky about my ssf.
Jun. 14th, 2012 03:40 pm (UTC)
This is really fascinating. I felt denied many things growing up because I was a girl and it was because of that I found feminism. The so called ah ha moment. I remember wanting to be a boy because then I could have those privileges, but I realized that most of the boys and men I knew, I didn't want to be like. They were stupid and not kind, and misbehaved regularly. It was a conundrum. It was not fair and I knew it. Ironically enough, it was the Catholic Church that taught me that sense of fairness, and even though I was an altar girl, I could be no more than that. Not a nun, because all I ever saw them do was laundry, and praying. No fun there.
Jun. 14th, 2012 04:11 pm (UTC)
I think my own experience comes from the gender dynamics in my family. My mother is a very strong-willed woman raised by a strong-willed woman, and my dad was a very quiet, anti-social, laid back kind of guy. So she ruled the roost. And my older sister was equally that way, not to mention bossy as all hell. My brother was the youngest but never favored for being the only boy. He had a lot of difficulty when he was growing up with being too passive and cerebral compared to other boys his age. He's less so that way now.

So if anything, I grew up feeling put upon by the women in my life, not the men. But at the same time, I was raised to be a feminist by a feminist and so had that consciousness early on.

Once I got into school, many of the boys of course were awful to me, but I don't think it bothered me as much as it did the other girls. Especially as I grew older and I was just sort of oblivious to those boys and what they thought or didn't think of me. OTOH, I worried incessantly what some of the girls thought of me. I was very used to having to work twice as hard to impress the females as the males because most of the female were oblivious to me, which I hated.

And I did have a few male mentors, teachers, who really were the ones who helped me get over my shyness and assert myself more.

All that said, I have a number of trigger issues now that are very much sexism-based, so much so I again have to ignore them as much as I can because they bend me so far out of shape.
Jun. 14th, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)

Our parents were entirely opposite.

I can ignore them too, mostly, except for now I see how it affects my kids. It's like a whole other generation of stupid being perpetrated. It's better now than it was, but still no excuse for how girls and women are treated.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )