Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Essay Time, Part III...Easing Out of Womanhood and Into Humanity
Androgyny is a term derived from the Greek words ανήρ, stem ανδρ- (anér, andr-, meaning man) and γυνή (gyné, meaning woman), referring to the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics. I gather that I don’t understand exactly what female clothing and grooming mean to a male, specifically an American male. The idea of seduction; of purposely doing everything to gain the attention of a man has always been alien to me. In the 1960’s we all wore jeans and ponchos and had our hair tied back in colorful bands of cloth and we had a Hell of a lot of sex and it was all pretty damned good. We expected our men to know what they were doing. And then The Big Chill hit and we became consumers with the advertisers telling us what we want. Sex Kittens started moving in and taking the men away from liberated women and they didn’t mind wasting money on makeup and lace and dressing to please. They only wanted to please the men. I have often been called a Lesbian because I continue to dress in the comfortable and sexless. All I can say is “I wish.” What I am is androgynous: A straight woman who wants to dress as easily as a man. No makeup. No high heels or tight bodices. I don’t judge anyone else as long as they’re not being used or abused by a man. Most of the women in Montclair travel the middle ground. Montclair women are well groomed and comfortable, with a minimum of makeup and deeply committed to the sweater set. Jersey ain’t all “The Jersey Shore” or “The Real Housewives”. We are Montclair. We have mansions and consciences. What I like about my car is not her color but that she has Rack and Pinion steering…racing steering. I like that I have control of my money and no one is complaining about my cooking or housecleaning. My face is too wide to be beautiful and my body is acquiring a middleaged duck shape that can’t quite pull off the leather bustier these days. Relationships can’t be about sex any more because Multiple Sclerosis isn’t sexy. And things like brains and courage are great in Facebook postings, but they don’t get you any wolf whistles on the street. My big challenge right now is accepting this and learning to be alone. It’s difficult, but it’s easier than walking in spike heels.