Women of Steel
credits of awesome women: (msg me as you find them!): Image 1 and 4 http://www.virginiahankins.com/
Oh my GOD.
I wouldn’t necessarily mind people not knowing I’m gay, but I don’t like being thought of as straight — in the same way that I don’t mind people not knowing I’m a writer, but it would be awkward if they assumed I was an extreme skateboarder, because that’s so far removed from the reality of my life. But there is no blank slate where orientation is concerned; we are straight until proven otherwise. And if you’ve never seen how dramatically a conversation can be derailed by a casual admission of homosexuality, let me tell you, it gets awkward.
This speaks to me so much, and is probably the most important part, but let me tell you, I like this bit more:
What would be great, I think, is if I could hire some kind of old-timey town crier to precede me into any room I enter, shouting “Lesbian coming! Lesbian coming this way!” and possibly ringing some kind of bell. Then everyone would already know before our interaction commenced, and they could be pleasant or horrible as the spirit moved them, but at least we’d be communicating from a place of honesty and I wouldn’t have to worry about whether I’ll inadvertently reveal myself.
I don’t think it’s terribly controversial to note that women, from a young age, are required to consider the reality of the opposite gender’s consciousness in a way that men aren’t. This isn’t to say that women don’t often misunderstand, mistreat, and stereotype men, both in literature and in life. But on a basic level, functioning in society requires that women register that men are fully conscious; it is not really possible for a woman to throw up her hands and write men off as eternally unknowable space aliens — and even if she says she has, she cannot really behave as though she has. Every element of her life — from reading books about boys and men to writing papers about the motivations of male characters to being attentive to her own safety to navigating most any institutional or professional or economic sphere — demands an ironclad familiarity with, and belief in, the idea that men really are fully human entities. And no matter how many men come to the same conclusions about women, the structure of society simply does not demand so strenuously that they do so. If you didn’t really deep down believe that women were, in general, exactly as conscious as you, you could probably still get by in life. You could probably still get a book deal. You could probably still get elected to office.