I am Feminine

Of course, I have been this feminine before. I have expressed it, mostly when first coming out. When I first showed Sheena how I looked, female, she said “I would stare at anyone as feminine as you”. I went out with Carol for eighteen months. She had considered (and rejected) transitioning the other way, but came to a transvestite dance as “Charles” once, and complained to me about how difficult it was to get a hairdresser to give her a man’s haircut. They would go only so far. On feeling that feminine, I wrote this while I was going out with Carol in 1999, and see that when I copied out all my verse into another book, I omitted it. I have not shared it before:

You don't like me in trousers
you want me in a skirt
but that makes me feel vulnerable
sometimes it really hurts

I want to be all fluffy
(the word "feminine" is taboo)
I want to be all girly
playful and childlike too

Tell me that I'm pretty
and smile at me, I plead
without constant reassurance
I'm crushed. I'm weak. I bleed.

Guan Yin is sometimes portrayed as a male, “Kannon”, or as androgynous. Enlightenment has no gender, non-duality precludes it. This statue is flat-chested and narrow-hipped, however feminine the base of flowers may seem.

There is a difference between the femininity of having compassion on all created beings, wanting none of them to have to endure reincarnation any more, and the femininity of passivity, wanting to be asked out, asked to dance, kissed, heard and consoled and cared for. How may I be positive about the latter, see it as Blessing? In one tale, Guan Yin rides on a tiger, like Durga. Perhaps they are two sides of the same characteristic of “Femininity”. You cannot have one without the other. The sensitive flower, vibrating so much she feels with everything, cares for everything, needs to be cared for.

Or perhaps at least they are two facets of me- without both, I would not be me.

Fearing myself and my responses, including that passivity, is the way to hold myself back- I cannot engage, because I might respond in a bad way. What problems does my passivity actually cause?

If I have the unconscious thought, “Oh God, it is that bit of me coming out, that will screw everything up and thwart me” then I go into battle against myself. And I cannot ever possibly win a battle against myself. It is the fighting and the suppression that thwarts me, not the characteristic itself.

4 thoughts on “I am Feminine

  1. I think of Femininity as the Yin balanced with Yang, just as Masculinity is Yang balanced with Yin. Neither is 100% passive or aggressive. As with everything in in this wonderful world there are no absolutes, just unique individuals along a spectrum. Even in the Yin Yang symbol, each side contains a small circle representing inclusion of the “other”. So all we have left to do is the hardest thing of all, let go of fear and trust ourselves to be who we are. I’m wishing you peace on your internal battleground.


  2. I do not agree with the current Oxford dictionary that suggests Feminine equals nurturing and weak, whereas masculine equals bold and strong. (Obviously patriarchal bias)
    I have met some strong nurturers and some bold but weak people.
    Diametrically opposed genders and opposites are rubbish. They leave no room to wiggle.
    That’s just an opinion of mine.
    Always nice to hear your fresh voice on thoughts Clare.


    • You drove me to my SOED, published 1993, which at that time confined its definition to feminine gender in language, and “characteristic or regarded as characteristic of women” without defining what such characteristics might be. I do not think there are opposite genders. I think any characteristic thought masculine or feminine will follow a bell-curve pattern in the population, and the bell curves for men and for women will overlap- and the women’s bell curve will still be at the “feminine” end.

      I am trying to work out Who I Really Am, so that I may survive. The word “feminine” is part of that struggle for me, how do I relate to it within my culture and upbringing and deepest motivations.

      Thank you for commenting. I am interested in your opinions, especially when they may differ from mine.


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