There are sometimes still that I legitimately wish I were a man. Of course, I have been attempting to discover for years what makes me think this, and it is really a lot of things. Sometimes practical little things, like how it would be safer to travel; but I think there are two main reasons that, distinct as they are in my mind, are also very hard to explain.
One is that I think men are easier to relate to now, and if I were a man, it would somehow finalize things. As in, it would not be Jessica plus The Guys. It would be me, a guy, hanging with the guys. (Not the beer and football all the time guys, but the more [I think] masculine creative types, the Gary Snyders and Tim Burtons of the world.)
And that brings me to my other reason, which is to have the subconscious cultured respect for my creative work that is simply not very often granted to women; I don’t even grant it to women very often, unless they are of the tongue-in-cheek variety, calm but authoritative, somewhat brooding but very bright and confident – traits that those men, such as I have mentioned above, possess.
When someone asks me who I admire most, my list is exclusively male; but when it comes to women, the type I just described inspire me more than anybody else, even as I often forget it. Their air far from that of a trying-too-hard feminist, I see myself in them: black sheep of the Gucci-sunglasses-pink-princess flock of girls in western culture. Often awkward when they are young, and beautiful when they’ve finally grown into that full bloom. By then, though, they hardly care to realize it, much less show it off – somewhat “hiding” under hats and in darker, duller colors, nothing inherently complementing their face or figure, but in truth they look the most beautiful this way, subtly wild and fervent, doing the things they are best at.
They are the Elizabeth Bennets and Jo Marches and Anne Shirleys of the modern, real-life world: they make me proud to be a woman, as mismatched and discomfited and flat-chested as I am. I can’t name most of them, but when I seem them I know who they are in my heart. I don’t smile at them and they don’t smile at me and it is better that way; we don’t say but instead know that a pretentious smile is what it is. And, in a moment, we smile real smiles, knowing we are kindred spirits.
(One person I can name is my Aunt Susan, and I know she is a huge part of my confidence in myself, whomever I may actually be.)
We have our girly friends and we love them and we have our guy friends and we love them in another way (and of course we have each other), and some of us find someone crazy enough to love us and, indeed, crazy enough for us to love; but I think most of us try romance for a long enough while and eventually find it trivial compared to the other invigorations we have found on this incredible planet.
All in all, these women are inspiring to me because they have embraced who they are, no matter what, without over-thinking what they should be in mind, body, or soul. They remind me that it doesn’t matter
, no matter what “it” is, and that nothing further than “it” not mattering needs to be discussed – just get on with things and stop doping around.
Okay, I’m going to stop doping around, wishing I was a man. I don’t have time for this! I’ve got things to write, pictures to draw, animals to play with…