June 05, 2009


Doesn't it always seem that when life gets a bit more stressful, little annoying things seem to get magnified? Here's just a couple (yep, just two) of "annoyances" that have irked me lately:

1. Judge Sonia Sotomayor being criticized as potentially "too compassionate" and "emotional" or, conversely, as too "agressive, outspoken, and controlling." Of course, those are the standard "criticisms" of womankind going back as far as one cares to. You're either a bitch-with-a-capital-B or a weak and emotional crying mess who can't be given the authority to make important decisions. Grrrrrr.

2. Suburban straight-girl college culture. Admittedly, I know little of this from personal experience, but I've glimpsed a world through the eyes and stories of The Nurse that at once made me shudder, and be thankful that I attended art school in the big city. Apparently, gay-bashing and homophobia is alive and well at suburban colleges -- even in programs where the average age skews a bit higher. Twenty-six-year-old women routinely shun lesbian students for group projects, make obscene homophobic comments, and fear being called "lesbian" if they are too friendly with gay students. Do straight women generally harbor a paranoia that lesbian women are hitting on them if they are simply "nice"? Or that you will be considered gay-by-association?

My co-workers are all in the same age range (and 95% women), with The Nurse's classmates, and I have never yet experienced this phenomenon, so I have to blame the suburbs. I know other women — even straight girls who were "mistaken" for gay (short hair and tattoos perhaps? not enough pink?) — who have been accosted by total strangers. So I'm stayin in the city. Humpf.


veganmama said...

It's odd, because women don't generally worry if they're nice to a guy that HE will take it the wrong way (though studies show that men view niceties as come-ons, whereas women don't, regardless of their sexual orientation). And I'm one of those folks considered gay if I go to the burbs... sigh. Can't we all just get along? (I will say, in addition to your comments, though, that I've found people use "lesbian" as a way to marginalize or categorize people... if I'm a "lesbian" then they can chalk my tattoos and hair color and piercings up to that, rather than getting to know me or learning more about who I am... ya know?)

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