May 14, 2009

How Do You Fail at Gender?

I'm not always very good at performing my gender. I can't sew, my cooking is sometimes really good but often not, and I don't much like baking even though I try to force myself to like it, but that's okay. Moments of gender failure can be a radical feminist act if you own up to them and highlight them. The fact that I, a biological female, suck at certain things girls are supposed to be innately good at, shows that both sex and gender are largely socially constructed. I have compiled a list of five things I'm not good at that chicks are "supposed" to be good at as my monthly service to the mission of de-naturalizing gender stereotypes. Come up with lists of your own and share them!

1. I'm bad at manicuring my nails. Women are supposed to love getting their nails done and be so detail-oriented that they're good at doing them themselves. I am bad at this. I get bored. I always fuck them up so it looks like a four-year old did them.

2. I'm really bad at participating in any type of romantic moment, like getting flowers or having poetry read to me. I'm supposed to be all mushy because I'm a girl, but, like, WTF, it's all so insincere and cliche! I don't like this crap and I resent the fact that I'm expected to perform the part of someone who loves it every time it happens.

3. I'm bad at wrapping presents. This is another detail-oriented, domestic thing women are supposed to like and be good at. Not me. What a fucking waste of time! You're just going to open the present anyway! Why delay the surprise 30 seconds more? Why does that make it better? Also, it's a waste of materials, and aren't we supposed to be in a green-conscious age? Fuck wrapping presents! Fuck it hard.

4. I'm bad at eating like a girl. Seriously. Looking at television and movies, one would think girls genuinely like not eating or subsisting only on salads, that this is what they genuinely want to eat and only this. Not me. I like real meals, like pasta and sandwiches stuffed full of yummy ingredients like avocado, chicken, basil, pine nuts and more. I also like steak, and would never be that girl who says no to a starter at a Michelin-rated restaurant. I like food.

5. I don't look good in pink. This is the signature colour of girls, so we should probably all look good in it, right? Nope, not me. Sadly, it's not my colour, but, ironically, I do looking pretty cute in blue. I love blue and wear in ALL THE TIME. Maybe this has some sort of semiotic significance? Maybe I was meant to fail at being a girl from the start?

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