May 16, 2007
You might be a woman if… (three)
…you’ve ever said “nothing” or “I’m fine” when asked what’s wrong, and the significant other — or friend, or family member — has expressed frustration at the obvious lie.
I say I’m fine all the time. More often than not I’m able to convince the people around me it’s the truth. But I’ve had SOs get frustrated with me because of it. A few years ago I was able to determine that part of the issue is that I’m not always great at verbalizing my feelings, particularly when I’m upset or angry. So, often what I mean by “I’m fine” is “I can’t yet put what I’m feeling into words and thus am not ready to discuss it.”
However, lately I’ve been thinking there’s more to it than that. I’ve known for a long time that I’m not supposed to feel angry, because good girls don’t get angry. (And now I can say, well, fuck being a good girl, then.) If I’m sad, though, I’m just sensitive. Or on the rag. Either way, I’m oh-so-female. So I’ve been conditioned not to express those emotions in order to appear “normal” — because everyone knows that men are the norm, and women are deviations from that norm.
But, of course, that’s a double-edged sword. If we express those more “negative” emotions, then we’re just being “female.” If we don’t, if we say we’re just peachy even when we’re clearly not, then we’re being manipulative. Welcome to the fun that is being female in a man’s world.