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Thread: What it Feels Like to be a Woman~

  1. #1
    failure to thrive Array AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Default What it Feels Like to be a Woman~

    Something came up recently about women competing with each other. And it made me consider how I feel as a woman, in relation to other women. And how I don't feel, but how others (males, etc) might *think* women feel regarding each other. And it made me want to start a thread to open a discussion about how we each feel (not just women), whether we identify as male or female predominantly, in regard to our womanhood in general, as it regards other women, as it regards men, as it regards everyone else, and as it regards (if you like) other things like work, family, etc.

    Right now, I mainly want to express my feelings as a woman in regard to how I feel among other women. First of all, I pretty much identify as 100% female. I'm not quite sure what that even means except to say that I never consciously think of (or ever have) myself as a male, or anything in between. However, I think being in the middle of that continuum is interesting, it's not who I am.

    Among female friends, I am aware of a sort-of place with them, I guess. A role perhaps that I just know and accept. Sometimes, as we get to know each other, those roles adapt and change, which is natural. This is less a hierarchical type phenomenon, but more an understanding that our qualities are just different, and appreciation (or frustration) of that. Sometimes there is energy which suggests a hierarchical type relationship, as I have with an esfp friend. This is not so much about personality type or enneagram, as strength of character. Strong women make me take more notice of our standing with each other, and I do often have the conscious awareness of who is on top or stronger or weaker or in charge, etc., as I'm sure they are aware too. We don't act on this, or play it up, unless we come to some sort of impasse which does occasionally happen when strong women interact much. I dislike this because I'm a 9, and because I just like equanimity in my relationships. For the most part.

    When I go out, I still do not get a competitive notion at all. What I feel/think when I'm getting ready to go out, whether it's work or for fun, is that I want to look my best for that situation (or maybe I don't given the day), and I am not thinking about other women at all in this process. I think not about what other women might wear. I think not about how beautiful or hot they are, only how beautiful and hot I can be. I am not saying if others do this, it is bad, but I just want to raise awareness that women don't necessarily exist in some realm of Mean Girls for the most part, though I'm sure those kind of women do exist. I don't really know any however.

    When I'm actually out, I take note of the hottest women and men, and of those who seem more eccentric or interesting. I guess in a sort-of scan to assess up my standing? in the place (i'm feeling uncomfortable admitting this). I find it advantageous to be one of the hotter women out of many women foremost (gives me some sense of success or power?), and I also like it when I'm one of the only women in the place amidst a bunch of men, as this makes me feel sort-of not only like "one of the guys" which feels comforting, but also that I'm more likely to be found acceptable due to lack of competition. Yeah, there is that competition word. The difference is that I don't consciously put much weight on competing with other women; it isn't a drive nor something that I play up or put energy in, it's more just something, as I said, that I assess instantaneously and almost imperceptibly. I consciously do not want to be used for my looks, but I do intrinsically understand that having good looks is more likely to bring in a wider catch to choose from perhaps, even if I'm just out for fun, it seems this mindset is almost a primal drive? Again, this is only something I'm just now aware of from consciously digging into it, and thinking about it.

    I don't, however, want other women to look bad. And I don't want to look good at other's expense, etc. That is just mean. I'm sure those girls exist, but it isn't the norm. Mainly I want everyone to be their best, interact in a quality way, and meet their own destiny, whatever that is. But we are biological creatures and that we cannot escape.

    It also seems like this newer generation of men is more reticent to approach women versus the men of my generation (I'm 44). It could be that I'm older, but I perceive it's that people are less bold to get out of their comfort zone with strangers.

    I'm interested to see what other people's experiences are in regard to this OP.

    Please, if you feel comfortable, identify your gender orientation when you post, so we can get an idea of where you are coming from.
    Last edited by AphroditeGoneAwry; 03-13-2013 at 11:56 PM.
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    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    Interesting post. I've never been much of a girly girl. Growing up it made it hard to fit in with the girls and the boys didn't want a girl hanging around. So among my girl friends I always felt like the odd ball. I've always had more boy friends than girl friends. That made selecting bridesmaids a pain in the rear. I digress...

    I'm a fairly competitive person.... I used to get upset when my girl friends would get hit on in a bar and I wouldn't. I swear it got so bad, I kept finding the lowest cut shirts, tightest pants, or shortest shorts possible. In fact, I got down right depressed about it when nothing I did worked...until I was talking to a guy who had a crush on me. He told me that the reason guys (himself included) never approached me in a bar is because I just have a look about me that screams challenge... And a guy in a bar isn't looking for a challenge, they want easy. Now, whether there is truth to that or if that's just redneck logic, who knows, but it made me feel better.

    What I hate the most is the "mommy wars." That's the competition I refuse to compete in. It seems like once you become a parent, you become the center of so much judgment. It doesn't matter what decision you make, someone thinks its the wrong one.
    Oh, you put your baby in your bed to sleep? What, are you trying to suffocate her? Oh you made your baby sleep in her crib from day one? What don't you love her and care about her enough to keep her in your room to make sure she's okay? You didn't cloth diaper your baby? Don't you care about the planet? You cloth diapered your baby? You must be a hippie.
    It's always something when it comes to parenting. That's why I tend to avoid topics about how we handled certain things.

    In general, I'm not interested in the same things my girl friends are. They enjoy fashion, and I'm content in jeans, tshirts, and chucks. About the only time I'm the chatty one in my group is when we are talking about Dexter or other shows we have a common interest in! I guess if it weren't for our drinking days I may never have ended up being friends with the few girls that I am friends with. Why am I still friends with them? Because for all of the things we don't have in common....we've all been super loyal and there for each other when we really needed it. To me that quality in a person really makes up for the lack of shared interests.

    To be honest, I'd be curious what the men think that we think... Judging from some comments my best friend told me... I'd say that the general assumption is that we are all catty and overly competitive with each other. Maybe I was that way in my 20s, but in my 30s I just can't find the ability to give a damn anymore.

  3. #3
    Alchemist of life Array Coriolis's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    Interesting thread. I have been intending to start a thread on "what does it mean to be a woman", but this may be close enough. I have had enough exchanges here to show me that it seems to matter much more to other people than it does to me. I just don't have occasion to talk about this with my RL associates.

    I have always understood that the world was pretty much divided into male and female (appreciation of the nuances came much later), and that I fell into the female camp. It's just something I have accepted, taken for granted even. I have no objection to being female, and have never felt or wished to be male, but I have always been female on my own terms. The only time it has bothered me was when I was very young and saw it as a limitation (e.g. "girls do this, not that"). I quickly realized that, with few exceptions that was untrue. I can't say I'm overly excited to be female either, though. I take care of my female body in the appropriate ways, and have always preferred men romantically.

    In general, though, I feel more like just a person, like my other attributes say far more about me than my gender ever will. I get along best with people - male or female - who share my interests, who think and discuss on the same wavelength as I do (though not necessarily with the same perspective). I have no patience with the shallow, idle chatter of women, about relationships, fashion, entertainment, families; or with the similarly pointless chatter of men about sports, cars, home repairs - unless I can learn something useful. I suppose that means I don't have patience with most people. When one does come along that I can really talk to and share with, I don't care their gender. I work with mostly men, and work out with mostly men. When I am in a group of women, it is strange and often uncomfortable/irritating.
    Hope is the denial of reality. It is the carrot dangled before the draft horse to keep him plodding along in a vain attempt to reach it. We should remove the carrot and walk forward with our eyes open. -- Raistlin Majere

  4. #4
    Blah Array Orangey's Avatar
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