Woman La La La


Prompt:
“I want to hear about how it is to live as a bio woman for you”
~ Jane

Bio woman sounds like a bad word because I don’t feel like a bio-woman most of the time. But there are some physical things that remind me that I have been assigned female due to the body parts that I have. And though I have questioned gendered constructs, I have never really questioned my gendered body. So, writing this felt a bit weird, but I get why it can be important to reflect on this. Women with vaginas have a weird relationship with their bodies too. There is shame/guilt. There is discovery or disassociation.

Brace yourself for some ⚠️super-confessional shit⚠️.  Please skip if you will be embarrassed for me. Confession is my writing style, so…  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Breasts

I think I have already spoken about how I saw my breasts during puberty here. I  am sure there will always be more to excavate if you think about it. I was embarrassed about having small breasts initially, but now I am more intimidated by big breasts. And I don’t know how I would assert being queer with huge breasts. Also, I think about how I like to be a bit invisible and anonymous, so big breasts definitely make you hypervisible and I would hate that. Now, I am much more comfortable with my breasts.

⚠️Superconfessional shit– My breasts were not part of self-pleasure until like last year! I think participating in the #identitty project did help after all. I do not actively still know how to be super proud of my breasts, but it was a learning lesson anyway.

I feel like your parents teach you to be embarrassed about your breasts and always worry about covering up. It is so ingrained this rapey way of looking at your own body. Feel sexy, but not too much. That’s such a weird balance to maintain.

Uterus et al.

Contrary to the majority opinion of women with uteruses, I feel happy during my menstruation cycle. I think I associate it with the relief I feel after the week of mood slump due to PMS. Also, when the period is late, then the mood slump continues for longer which is the most terrible for a depressive person like me. I cannot escape the fatigue of a mood slump even in the most optimistic of mental states.

But I manage the periods well! I feel like I take care of my body and have to monthly because of it. I love to update my period tracker app. I guess, it is a weird joy of gender confirmation for someone like me who feels boyish most of the time.

Menstrual cups have been a huge blessing too. I hate sanitary napkins. I haaaaaaaaaaaaate them. Even when I feel lazy sometimes with the menstrual cup, I remember the rash and the cloth stains that a pad entails. So, to avoid that ordeal, I take up the slightly longer ordeal of menstrual cups. It is great to be on periods when you feel dry and can ignore it for the most parts! Also, for a boy like me, it is the movement of manspreading that I value most that menstrual cups afford. Thank god for its discovery right around when I had control over my money. (My mom’s first reaction to it was conservative and also slut-shaming but luckily, I rebelled and took a risk that paid off).

Vagina

Menstrual cups also fucking taught me so much about my vagina. The amount of research I did on this was crazy. I still couldn’t visualise it but if you told me to draw a rough diagram of how a vagina looks like from the inside, I think I could draw it pretty well. Some people live their whole lives not really exploring their bodies because there is so much shame attached to it. But for the sake of comfortable menstruation, I learned something!

⚠️ Superconfessional shit: This may seem like a weird trajectory but I had had sex first. Then the next year, I started using the menstrual cup. Then, after another year, I started masturbating! This is actually quite reasonable of girls really depend on guys to help them figure out their bodies. That’s stupid because they too don’t know shit. But then after I realised people with penises are on the same boat as me, I took more initiative to discover the secrets of the mysterious vagina. So, menstrual cup obviously is the more scientific, nerdy way to start that journey then. 

Clit

Then, finally, you reach the clit! I have a vague teenage memory of trying to masturbate and the pleasure was so strong that I was afraid to touch myself again.

When I became braver later, I just couldn’t match what I had imagined. There was a disassociation to overcome. I could just keep trying and trying and nothing would happen. I have watched Feminist Youtube videos on how to get into the mood, read comic strips about how to do it. Nothing. I just had to persist. I think by this time, I also had a dildo, but it didn’t help shit. I even thought what if I didn’t have a clit and I will be barred from this amazing experience of multiple orgasms that women have.

Finally, when I conquered the tiny Everest, I was elated. I felt free. I felt like I will conquer sex like a beast now. That didn’t happen. Because it is still dependent on the vibe with the other person. But still, we will be proud of the baby steps we’re taking in getting to know each other’s bodies I guess.

⚠️ Superconfessional shit: Isn’t it the best depression medicine ever? I could have salvaged some teenage sanity if I had pursued this adventure earlier.

I mean, I can write a whole more provocative thesis on the Magic of the Clit but I’ll move on.

XY chromosome

Who the fuck gives a shit to trace gender at that level? Transphobic people, that’s who.

Being seen as female

Again, in the last five years, I must have taken up the label of “genderqueer”. It felt like a better explanation of myself. I could explain why my expression to be not so “feminine” is more than just internal misogyny. It is not just the hatred at being disrespected when coded as female. I also am incapable of performing femininity. I feel like a fraud in a costume who is trying to doll up, which is not a comfortable skin to be in.

I don’t like being seen as female but I know I am because my genderqueerness is not gothic rebellious or confusing. It is just plain. Like I said, I prefer invisibility. It is not trying to be too boyish nor too girly. It is a mismatch of things. So, I feel uncomfortable when somebody reminds me I am a woman. I feel watched and I can’t chill in public spaces, even if I am the only person on the bus or at the station. I am expected to know everything related to household chores, which I have never volunteered to do ever. I will help if you ask. But I refuse to be seen as an efficient expert at it. I definitely can’t dress up so I hate office-HR-celebrations which decide the dress code according to gender. It sucks so bad. I hate dressing up because I have not found clothes which feel like “me”.

I think I know exactly my dress sense is but the world is not nudist enough for that shit!

10 Ways Celebrities Are Wearing a Bra as a Shirt | Who What Wear

I mean, this is my gender expression. Can’t wait for when this becomes the norm and we are okay with all types of bodies in this world.

The truth is I don’t hate my femininity either. I am just uncomfortable to be just one gender. Even if someone boxed me into a more masculine role, I would just rebel against that too. I like men who can be chill about gender themselves bcz there is a sense of freedom in breaking these arbitrary rules of presentation. Gender truly is a performance of self-expression, and that expression (for me, at least)  is moody. So, I just cannot choose one thing as my permanent gender forever and ever.

I am glad that I am not finally confident in calling myself genderqueer. I used to feel like an imposter (bcz I benefit from being coded as cishet automatically) but then life has only confirmed what I already know to be true for myself. So even if someone accuses me of being “just a girl”. I will just shrug it off. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.

 

Queer Free!
tame shewolf.


PS: The title is a Harry Styles song because I am in love with that boy and the chorus was playing in my head while writing this.

Imposter Syndrome and me


Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

I don’t know why I feel so under-confident sometimes. As if, my experiences are not my own. Like, I am not supposed to be where I am. When I am actually somewhere non-stimulating, I keep trying to get out of that space. I‌ have been thinking about why I feel so disconnected and like a fraud all the time. What could be the psychological root for this?

As a teacher

Currently, I am working in an ideal job. It is all that I‌ have been wishing for– Teaching late teens, about politics and sociology, well-paying and yet not working 5 days a week. It is literally what I‌ have been screaming into the void, “why can’t you give me all this?”. (you= void) The void said, “here, everything you wish for, but only for six months.” Kill me. I‌ cherish every moment of being well-paid.

When I am at this job, or prepping for the lectures, I feel that ‌I am faking it. I am the best person to be teaching Marxism. I am the best person to be teaching to be the go-to person for politics and sociology.‌ I‌ have not put in my time. I have not put in the readings. Someone else must have read thousand more things, or could point out more nuances that I could. Someone else doesn’t have to prep this much maybe.

I‌ know. I know. Rationally, I know that this job is me putting in the time. I know that I do already have a good base for this, and I am passionate about it. But, still, the people ‌I‌ look upto were better off when they were 27. They were more ambitious about growing in academia, that I‌ seem to be. Am I copping out when I reject the academia machine, or am I really rebelling on my own terms? What a loser.

As a writer

Since the pace of my blogging has reduced, I‌ keep thinking about how I have lost my voice. I‌ no longer create intentional art. It is always this stream of consciousness vomit. I am tired of my angst, my self-righteousness, and my pain. Haven’t I looked at all these facets in all its depth already? Am I‌ not bored of myself and my patterns? What do I want to say?‌‌‌ Why do I‌ write, other than just using it as a healing tool? Why can’t I‌ write for fun, when people can doodle for fun? When I show up at the keyboard, why can’t I play? Writing for me is treating myself. Definitely. I like the dim light and music that I put on in the evenings to get myself in the zone to right. I forget what the point was other than fossilize traces of me. What do I want to remember? I‌ am not ambitious, wrt external measures of success, but I‌ do have many creative ambitions that I‌ don’t really show up for.

I know. I‌ know. I remember that what got me interested with blogging was a really cool confessional blogger. But then, she went on to write fiction. And‌ I‌ am here, with ideas rotting in my notes section. I cannot summon the energy and discipline it needs to show up for oneself. Oh, you want me to write some piece for your brand, I will do that. I have to do it for myself?‌‌ Maybe next time. I‌ rest on the laurel of having great ideas with a writer’s block. What a loser.

As a political person

I have a debilitating imposter syndrome when I participate in political protests, or even try to write about political stuff. Who do I talk to and how?‌ I‌ must read more to be ready because I am always not ready. I‌ think of all the things I will have to lose if I am on this path– being stupid happy with my apolitical friends;, and being stupid, period. I think of all the things I will have to have already– clarity and tenacity. But here I am, standing as an audience to the suffering of the world.

I know. I‌ know. I am in the world that is burning and I can speak from my own social location. However, there remains a feeling of taking up space where someone else could have been and said it and done it better. I don’t end up saying anything at all. Sigh, what a loser.

As a lover

Oh ho, this imposter syndrome, you guys… it is an unreal, out of body experience. (Welcome to my over-confessional stupid blog.) When I‌ am in love in commitment, I feel like– it is just a phase that I am going through. This cannot be it.‌‌ Is this it? And all such self-doubt.‌‌ I worry about whether I am all present in the love. Could someone else love my partner the way they wanted to be cared for and loved? But when I am out of love, I am pining about hazy details. Did I ever love them truly? Did they even love me?‌‌ And all such pain. Isn’t pain more real than love after all?

I‌ know. I know. This is life. These are all our psychological patterns and I am untangling them one by one.‌ If only I could build a monument to all the people I‌ have ever loved. I‌ have actually; maybe not as grandiose as a monument, but then a small tiny shrine, definitely. And when I did try to speak of my madness to my friends, well one of them did say– What a loser.

Maybe it is all about that. Me watching myself from the outside, and being a harsh to myself. How do I‌ get back in my body?

I‌ am grateful, don’t get me wrong, but I am such a drifter. My soul is barely tied to my body, and it feels miserable.

Edit: Midnight Aha moment- I have to confront the inner glorified self that is being a critical bitch.

The perils of online dating


Ugh, I have been online dating for 5 months now. I was never really curious about it for so long because I had a moral problem with consuming “personhoods” like commodities. Then, I realized this is here to stay and my protest is ineffective. I am already in the system reducing my personhood in some form or the other- my resume, social media presence, this blog and any conversation really— because we tend to prepare a face to meet the faces that we meet.. Besides that, I was also damn bored. I do (controlled) reckless shit when I am bored.

Obviously, I have become numb to it now. But I credit myself for handling it well. Still, here are few perils that constantly tug at my conscience now and then.

The classist/racist rigged game

Let’s be real— any social app will reflect the stupidity of real life in its purest undiluted form. It is classist because you’ve to create your profile in English. In this country, it is a fucking privilege. So, getting irritated with someone for broken, strong accented English is just classist. Also, my soulmate could be a person who doesn’t speak English at all, but in this app, I’d swipe left because I don’t have the patience to discover someone.

It is racist, you know, because this works only for good looking people with the European standard of beauty. Also, it bugs me to realize that my match-percentage is highest among white boys, and it makes me reflect— am I a white gyrle with white privilege and white sensibilities and a white worldview? Whhhhhhyyyyyyyyyy.

It hurts me, because I am suspicious that it might be true. :((

The cheap thrill of swiping

Initially, I used to open every message or look through a profile to swipe left or right. Because, again, I don’t want to reject The One just off-handedly. He might be completely opposite of me, right? But now, I know, he is not the opposite of me. Some political views I just can’t take. And if you can only message “Hi” to my amazingly funny profile, then we really have nothing to talk about.

Also, I get annoyed with beard and it acts as a filter and contributes to 90% of the left swipes. I don’t relate to that kind of masculinity. Also, why do men aspire to look like uncles? You’d ask, “K, but a beard can be shaved off? It is a temperory state”. To that I say, “If all your pictures have beard, that’s your self-image; and I don’t want to be the one telling you to shave it off because I prefer it that way.” That’s just mean. So, I save myself that trouble.

Also, like exams and interviews and fame, swiping right on someone is so god-damn arbitary. I might have already lost The One.

Men

I am sure that I would have had an amazing experience just looking at and reading about amazing girls. But with men, the categories are cocky or clueless or innocent. Men have no game. And if you have no game, the least you could be is earnest. And fuck off, if you’re going to mansplain me about something I joked about in my profile.

And because I talk about sex openly in my profile, it was supposed to act as a filter for what I specifically want, it actually has the opposite effect. It invites everyone to imagine that I am in for hook-ups. Please, I am not. I am paranoid about my safety.

With dating apps, of course you’d argue, the game is in the favour of women. But mate, at what cost? Fine, I do not get as many advertisements as guys get. I definitely get more likes on an average, because I am sure the ratio for women to men is super-skewed. But, I also get more weirder messages and an onslaught of alpha-males entitlement. Even after the infinity filters that I have, I still end up having bad dates and bad experiences. Men seriously have no game because they don’t have empathy.

Also, again, do only white guys clean-shave, ffs? When will the beard/mustache/goatee go out of style?.

The fatigue of emotions

Any app where you have to put yourself out there is really tiring! I sympathize with people who are looking for relationships here. Because, it is just as emotionally draining as a job search. You have to go there, smile, say how much about them excites you, what you want and have to offer, and then it mostly closes without any explanation, or fizzles out naturally. And, then the cycle repeats.

I try to be nice about it if it is not working for me. But only, if the person hasn’t been a douchebag.

I mean, why am I still on this app?

Anti-hope

I am still on this app because when you find someone you gel with, that’s the little push that keeps you going on. I found a new best friend on this app, and the emotional care that is needed— the regular check-ins, the venting about daily life, the teasing— that is fulfilled because of her! But guess what. My perfect friend lives all the way in Argentina! I told her that I am on this app hoping to find another strong connection that may translate into a relationship. And she pointed out that that’s exactly the reason I should not have hope. If I do find a connection like hers, it would be someone miles away. The app is an anti-hope app! I have to agree with my new best friend!

Inevitably, the anti-hope app has contributed to me losing my zaddy-cum-trophy husband. Zaddy had messaged me first! He was beautiful and tattooed and he had pictures of him without a beard too! We hit it off. I, in my mindless swiping, saw his profile come up again, and wondered why does he have a different account with which he is sending me a “hey” again; and I swiped left. To my horror, I realized that his old account is not there anymore and he tried to get in touch again, but I have lost Zaddy forever! He is a model (damn yes!) so he is contractually obliged to not be on social media sites. You see my twisted fate!

I hope y’all will empathize as I try to search for meaning again in my life. My new best friend reminded me that I was not going to do anything about Zaddy in the first place but now that I have lost him, I dwell in possibility.

PS: Requested by Rivulet*, the person to whom I bitch about online dating. If you are online dating, please have a friend to touch base with, the app will mutate you!

July Edit: Zaddy was a catfish account. Can you believe it?!