Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Identity’ Category

I don’t know how I managed to go so long without realizing this.

The other day I had an epiphany — not a huge “OH!!!” moment, but a little one. A little realization that was really a big deal, but it kind of slipped into my brain while I was doing other things, and rattled around in the back of my thought processes until a related discussion brought it to the forefront.

My awkwardness around other women has almost nothing to do with my sexual orientation, as I had previously believed. Part of this is that I’m not even sure of my sexual orientation any more. I went through bisexual and lesbian phases as I tried to figure myself out; they were originally triggered by the fact that I was constantly tearing my eyes away from other girls’ figures. But in the last year or two, I’ve gotten involved in a subset of Reddit.com — a subreddit — that is designed for geeky women to discuss “girly” things. What you find there basically includes everything you’ll find in every women’s magazine ever, from Cosmo to Bitch and beyond, but the discussions are intelligent.

One of the things I learned in that subreddit is that even straight women check out other women all the time. And I started to wonder about my own sexual orientation; I based that part of my identity on where my eyes went, and for the most part I didn’t look at guys, only at other women. But how much of that was comparing myself to them, rather than sexual attraction?

I really don’t know, but I suspect the answer is “a lot” if not “most or all of it”. So now my identity is more “I don’t know” instead of “bisexual.” And I’m okay with that; for one thing, it doesn’t change what I do. I’m with the only person whose physical attractiveness hit me like a bus. That alone would rule out any possibilities that didn’t include his sex.

Anyway, since I had that realization, that left open the question of why I’ve always been so awkward around women. If it wasn’t attraction plus never having to learn how to interact with them (because it was easier to interact with guys, who were more likely to be attracted to me, so I had the upper hand in many interactions with them), then what was it?

A few days ago it occurred to me that I never really got crap from guys. There may have been a few critical comments or some instances where a guy messed with me, but the vast majority of shitty comments and mean behavior directed at me has been from other girls. Even several of the girls that were my friends from 3rd grade through middle school, some of whom I kept closer contact with than others in high school, were often mean to me (well, one in particular was mean to everyone, and sometimes the others followed her lead). Add to this the fact that my instinctive reaction to being treated badly is to duck my head and ignore the behavior, and it’s not surprising that I have what seems to be an instinct to stay away from women in general.

I’m so glad I’ve finally figured this out. I feel like a block has been removed and I can now finally make progress on this thing about myself that I’ve wanted to change for a long time.

Read Full Post »