Helen Palmer (nice_cup_of_tea) wrote,
Helen Palmer

January: Sex Change (or, "On being a woman")

Journaleer Homework January:
Imagine you are member of the opposite sex. You can run with this in several different ways.

1) Write a creative entry about how a typical day might be. How is it different?
2) Focus on the serious aspects: how does society treat you differently? How would you imagine you'd act differently? Where do you think you'd be in life if you'd been born male/female?
3) Focus on the silly and menial ways your life might be different.
4) Go through your day watching for the different ways people treat men and women. Write down what you see and imagine how those differences might make you feel.
5) All of the above!

As I was growing up, people would ask - "What do you want to be when you grow up" and my answer at one stage was "I want to be a Daddy." I was a tomboy for a long time, stocky, short hair and was consistently mistaken for a boy until I was 10 or 11. I claim that my Mum wanted my hair kept short, and she counter claims that it was my choice.

I do still wonder what it must be like to be a man - how one makes different choices, receives different treatment an doffers, but how one must also reach and fulfill different expectations.

I struggle still with the shape of me and how far I match the image of "woman". I feel still that I am large lass, slightly ungainly and clumsy, not feminine or fragile enough. Not delicate, not graceful. I remember asking my Mum once, "Am I pretty?" The answer hung unanswered in the air. Isn't it interesting that I lay some of the "blame" at my Mother?

I struggle at the moment that my body is refusing to act in a maternal fashion - I am still waiting to have kids, still struggling with the pain of endometriosis. And yet I look at myself in the mirror and am reassured by what I see. I have an interesting face, not beautiful, but open, interesting, friendly, marked with smile lines. I am attractive enough. I dress in a professional way and I give out confidence. I hold my space in the world well. I have a strong body, I have stamina, I am stubborn, I have strength and keep going, running, swimming, running, yoga.

I think I'll accept the frailities, the strengths, the complications and the humour of being a woman!
Tags: journaleers, writing

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