Gender. The word signifies the behavior of a person, not the anatomy. How feminine or how masculine a person is. And it is relative too, no? Culturally speaking... masculine and feminine behavior fluctuates. Americans seem to have a pretty hard line when it comes to what masculine traits are versus feminine traits.
I have never been all that good at being a "girl" in the American sense of the word. I don't enjoy manicures and pedicures. I don't wear make up ... okay, some mascara and A&D ointment on my lips... and if I am REALLY pale, some blush... but not makeup, makeup. You get my drift. And I have never looked good all dressed up. I look much better barefoot in a white t-shit and a skirt from the salvation army than I do going to work or to a party. And when I do happen to gussy up really well... I fall apart FAST. Hair is everywhere, mascara running, shoe broken. Yes that happened to me. At a wedding. That was fun.
But I do adore being a woman. I like pretty smells and pretty things. I like to be treated softly and assisted with overwhelming tasks like opening a door... the hard stuff, you know. I like the masculinity of my husband. I like the soft pink fuzziness my world has taken on because we have a little coven, Bill and I. Three girls and that is all God wrote for us. They will be our only babies. So our house has run amok with princesses and movies about princesses and video games that help princesses return to their castles, and princess pool toys and princess dresses. Even the oldest princess, who is above all the fake princess bull crap BELIEVES she is a princess (sometimes of the Cinderella variety, but a princess none the less.)
There is a debate that rages in sociology called the nature/nurture debate. Are we born with certain traits, or are we taught them through the process of socialization and social interaction?
My life experience leaves little room for this debate. It is a mixture of the two, in my opinion. It is nature and nurture. I firmly believe it. Though I am the least feminine person in the bags, shoes, makeup sort of way.... my oldest is the exact opposite. She couldn't care less who opens the door for her, but god help us if there is not a bag to match a shoe to match a lip gloss.
And the middle one? I really thought she was going to be our "boy" but ohhhhh nooooooo. She has the bag/shoe problem as well.
And the baby? Here is the impetus for this post. Last night I was getting ready for bed. I am at my most feminine then. I wash my face and put on cream. I like nightgowns. I have A LOT of them. Sometimes, when I stay home, I wear them all day. Shhhhhhhh. Anyway she was in our bed and she had on PJ's (pants and top... cute... candies on them) and I got into bed next to her to cuddle her close and get her to sleep. She started to cry and scream. I thought she got hurt! I asked her..."Grace, what happened?" and she cried "I want to be a princess too!"
It took me a second, and then I realized that she was upset because I had on a night gown (dress) and she was wearing PJ's (pants) and this WOULD NOT DO.
So I did what every good mother and sociologist would do. I corrected her immediately. I told her that dresses and pants were insignificant and that a princess isn't only a princess because of what they wear. I mean... sheesh! And then I went on and on about how every girl can be a princess but that women needed to be strong and independent and we could do anything we wanted to do... blah blah... and I said all of this to her while quietly, and with joy, I slipped her out of her PJ's and into a filmy blue nightgown. One with Princesses on it. From the Disney store. So there.