Monday, October 7, 2013

On Being a Woman

A friend who I've grown to love, recently told me that he thinks he'd rather be a woman. That's right, he's a man but he feels like a woman inside.
That got me thinking about being a woman. I've always taken for granted that I feel like a woman inside, and would rather be a woman. Fortunately for me, I am a woman, which makes everything a lot easier. Still, even if you are a woman, sometimes it's hard to feel like a woman. 

For example, I don't especially feel like a woman when I'm working at home in my pajamas and I sort of look like this:

When everyone knows women are supposed to look feminine and perfect like this:

Speaking of what we're supposed to look like. Sometimes it's a challenge to feel like a woman when you're 6 feet tall, which I am. (Ok, for all of those who know me, I may have tricked you into believing I'm only 5'11" and a half, but who am I kidding? With shoes I can be anywhere from 6' to 6' 2" tall. If I'm going to a standing room only concert I'll turn up as 6'9" just to ensure a good view.) 

I'm often the tallest person in the room and sometimes I end up feeling like this:

Then of course there are all of those snide comments over the years related to your tallness that can resurface in the back of your mind: 

"For a second I thought you were a boy." 

It was a cold morning. I was wearing ten sweaters, a baseball cap and my hair pulled back into a bun. I also had my hoodie pulled up over my baseball cap. My roommate in college said that to me. She saw the look on my face and added, "Well, because your so tall." But it was too late, she had already conjured images in my mind of soft downy facial whiskers, a cracking voice, the tendency to masturbate into socks and watch porn online and (if he were around then, which he wasn't) Justin Beiber. None of which I'm particularly fond of. 

Then there that time in high school when someone called me RuPaul. 

I was dressed up, wearing a super short skirt and heels because I was on the volleyball team and everyone was supposed to dress up that day to show team spirit for our match. I wasn't thrilled by being called RuPaul at the time, but if someone said that to me now I'd probably say, "Shut up! Thank you, that's awesooooome!" Looking back on it, I think the guy was trying to pay me a compliment while at the same time, looking cool in front of his friends. So thanks man, it took me years to get back to you on that one, but thank you!

There are so many things I love about being a woman. We can wear make-up, or not wear any. We can have short or long hair. We can dress like woman, or dress like men. If we cry that's OK. If we don't that's OK too. We carry and give birth to babies (how amazing is that!). There are smart, funny, successful woman out there who give us tips like Caitlin Moran's, How to Be a Woman or Tina Fey's Bossy Pants.

We aren't in the majority of the leadership positions, but that's because we're shaking up the world from the grassroots upward. Leadership won't look the same when we're done. It'll look more like a collaboration. When we're in touch with ourselves, our ideas spring from our rootedness to the earth, from our collective role as mothers, who understand instinctively that we must care for the land we live on for the sake of our children and our children's children. When we are in touch with ourselves, we are present, and we walk in love. 

Here's a shout out to all the ladies in the house.