When You’re a Girl

When You’re a Girl

When you’re a girl, something is inherently public about you. Directives, mandates, unsolicited advice and demands are your life. Give him a hug. Fix your hair. Straighten your hem. Be nice. Be sweet. Be happy. But none of these things will ever make you happy.  They didn’t make me happy. I was quite sad in fact.  No, angry.  I was angry at the barrage of opinion. Though I was small I was put off and pissed at the world’s determination to craft, frame, and mandate all of what I felt was precious about life:

Food.                   Fun.                      Frock.girls

Food

When you’re a girl, food is something you cook but don’t eat. It’s what you use to establish your place, prowess and power in a house you rent. It’s how you find a niche to get invited to parties you actually loathe but must attend to ensure you are invited to more parties. Food is a skill. Food is the language we speak without voices in the kitchen. We speak through seasoned cast iron and bamboo spoons with cracks down the middle. With the scratched grease stained pyrex. This is only dish in which you are allowed to make Muh’s cobbler. Ever. Sometimes new stuff is best.  Other times, only old will do.  This is truth and law.  And it is annoying.

Fun

When you’re a girl, fun is redefined a revised a thousand times for you. And you must keep up. Keep up with what’s up. It’s fun for girls to have fun.  Girls just want to have fun.  That’s what the song says, see. Fun is girls only. No boys allowed. But it’s fun to talk about boys. Want them. Attract them. But not fun to fuck them. Ever. THAT is the opposite of fun. If you fuck them, you’re fucked.  Your girlfriends unfriend you and you are left alone to find your own fun. No fun.

Frock.

When you’re a girl, you dress out of consideration of others. Like with manners. Like elbows off the table and napkin in your lap. But instead of a salad, you are dressing your body.  But it’s kind of like their body.  And they want your/their body to remind them to not look at you.  Because you are a girl. Girls can be the death of a boy. And girls like to chase boys. It’s fun. See, sometimes fun and frock meet in the middle of a girl.  This is where it gets interesting. You and the girls go shopping (fun), and find fashionable yet modest outfits that remind boys not to try (frock). Exasperating.

When you’re a girl, you sit. You sit for so many things. At desks and church pews poised for instruction. Waiting for curls to set and for the doctor to return. You sit at trials to defend your son and yourself. And you learn very early to sit in judgement. Mostly of other girls. Girls are the worst. I want to be a woman.

 

A Must See

Hi all!  What a weekend! I went to the opening of the HIDE/SEEK exhibit at our very own Tacoma Arts Museum.  A provocative and compelling exhibit, HIDE/SEEK spans about 50 years of American portraits through the unique and striking lens of sexuality and gender identity. You can read more about the exhibit here:

https://www.tacomaartmuseum.org/Page.aspx?nid=409

Incredibly eye opening and haunting, HIDE/SEEK demonstrates what an integral part gender roles, sexuality, and sexual politics play in the development of American culture.  Early paintings, sketches, portraits, even 8mm videos weaved together the collective pain, pride, turmoil, community, and incredible innovation of the human mind and heart.  Especially powerful were the pieces featuring works from artists expressing the struggles of the HIV/AIDS movement (Bill T. Jones) and Keith Haring, left.  I also loved  a beautiful portrait of James Baldwin that conveyed his self-imposed isolation, and the difficulties of the intersection of race and sexuality.

As the ONLY West coast museum featuring this exhibition, I give mad props to the Tacoma Art Museum.  The 253 is often overlooked  for big name, controversial or edgier events, and I’m thrilled at this opportunity for our city!  Please go out and see!  $10/adult for admission, or go to FREE day on the third Thursdays of every month.