had my mother been different

Someone wrote…

My mother isn’t very girly, so I never was, growing up. I didn’t start wearing girls’ jeans until late high school, and that was primarily due to peer pressure and the fact that I wanted boys to notice me. Then again, I didn’t start wearing jeans at all until high school either.

I’ve been wondering, lately, how different my life would have been if my mother had conformed to gender norms. There are times when I think that the only reason I’m at all comfortable being female is because my mother always was, and she’s a lot like me. Neither of us likes girly clothes, although she likes skirts (and I don’t). Neither of us likes shopping, or the color pink, or talking on the phone. I’m often jealous of her for having smaller breasts and hips than I have. But she’s never seemed uncomfortable being a girl, so I don’t think I ever considered the idea.

If she weren’t like that … If she were more conventionally a woman … Would I have grown up to be how I am, except more resentful, more confused, and less comfortable with myself? Or would I have become more girly by following her example? I have no idea.

I’ve become progressively more confused in the past year or so … I don’t know exactly how to think about myself. I’m female, and I’m fine with that. I wish I didn’t have big breasts, or big hips, and I wish I could wear boys’ clothes all the time. I dislike skirts, and girls’ clothes are too tight and revealing. On the days when I wear turtlenecks to work, instead of women’s button-down shirts, I feel much more comfortable. So I guess I’m just a girl who doesn’t conform to gender norms.

Nonetheless, I can’t help but wonder about how it would have been different, had my mother been different.

How did your parents affect your identity?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on December 7th, 2008 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice Comment »

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