Tuesday, February 24, 2009


When I was a kid, I thought I wanted to be a boy. But I understand now that I didn't really, not penis and all. What I really wanted was to be awesome. I didn't hate skirts because they were feminine, but because you can't climb a tree in them. (You can if you really want to. But you'll scratch up your legs and adults on the ground will give you shit about not being "ladylike.") "Ladylike" was my mother's word for what I should be--modest, polite, boring. "Stop playing imaginary-laser-blaster in synagogue, it's not ladylike." No wonder I didn't want to be a fuckin' lady.

At around four years old, I wanted to be Batman. My grandma made me a Batman headband and I wore it everywhere. (Not a cape, not a cowl. A headband. You know, like Batman wears.) "Don't you want to be Batgirl? Batwoman?" "No! I'm Batman! DUHNUHNUHNUHNUH BATMAN!" I don't think this was because I didn't want to be a girl; it's just that I knew a secondary character when I saw one.

Back when I got to watch TV at work, the guys liked to watch a show called "Manswers." The basic theme was answering questions about dangerous animals, extreme sports, drinking, explosions, and sex: you know, man things. Because what use could a woman have for explosions? There's no "Womanswers" show, but I have a sinking feeling that it would not address explosions.

Now I get told a lot (particularly at work) "Holly, you're such a dude." But I'm really not. I am (or aspire to be) physically strong, mechanically competent, funny, self-reliant, playfully irresponsible, and blunt-spoken. I didn't find owning a vagina to be a hindrance to any of those things. If being awesome is inextricably male, well, I'll strap it on.


  1. Aside from the part where I didn't want to be Batman when I was four, I wanted to be Optimus Prime, I could have written this.

  2. Dude!

    I'm not sure how much I can add to this one, other than to say that I agree with you, and that it works both ways... As the owner and operator of a fully-functional penis, I'm not necessarily psyched to be the exclusive presumed target of ATV, Budweiser, and Power Tool ads, as well as Booby/Explosion Movies and Crappy Mainstream Porn. (not that there is ANYTHING wrong with any of these things, with the possible exception of ATVs and Bud [my personal prejudice, flame away]; I'm just say'n, there is yin and yan in all things). As far as I'm concerned, awesomeness doesn't (or shouldn't; your point about Batgirl and Wonderwoman are well taken) have much if anything to do with whatcha got goin' on between yer legs. Strap it on Girl, you're awesome!

  3. As the owner of an improbably well-documented penis (alcohol + cell phones = uh, yeah) I admit to being attracted to "physically strong, mechanically competent, funny, self-reliant, playfully irresponsible, and blunt-spoken" women. One of them occupied much of my brain through college. Admittedly, we never got to the point where I could verify that she lacked a penis -- even a strap-on -- but I had other evidence.

  4. LabRat - Awesome. It should be noted, I also wanted to be a Ninja Turtle. Usually Donatello.

    Lawrence - No one here's going to defend Budweiser. ATVs are pretty awesome though.

    Bruno - PIX PLZ.

  5. I won't defend Bud. Now, start trashing Miller High Life, and we'll have trouble.

  6. There's nothing wrong with that. I DO have a problem with people who think femininity = incompetence. Or worse motherhood. Don't tell me how to do things that I know how to do. Don't act like my mother, I have one, thanks. Don't pretend to be weak and helpless, I might just decide to take advantage of it if I'm in a sufficently evil mood.

    And, yes, don't presume because I'm male and carry a weapon I have no taste for quiet, contemplation, art and good food.

    I'll happily go see La Boeheme. I'll be packing, however.

  7. I'm pretty sure Womansers=Oprah. So, good luck with that.

  8. Hm. I once spent a large chunk of a Shadowrun gaming session wearing a long skirt that I'd tucked up to function like pantaloons because I was hanging upside down from the monkey bars ....

    (There are reasons I find gender confusing.)

  9. I know this is a really old post, but I had to comment, because I has the same problems, despite the fact that I was also often girly. I loved dresses --- but even if I wore shorts, I couldn't hang upside-down from things! So lame. And I was batman for Halloween around 4 years old, and this little boy came up to me and said "you can't be batman! You have to be batGIRL!" and I said, "Yes I can!" and then proceeded to ignore his ass, because he obviously wasn't cool enough to hang out with.