For as long as I’ve been friends with David, he has always been in the habit of tucking me to his left every time we walk along the road. Now while I find that habit almost ‘sweet’, I must also point out how annoying it is. It’s something I’d do with a child because my maternal instinct is all for keeping him safe, but having another adult do the same to me is somewhat disconcerting. My mechanical response to this has always been, “I wonder how I ever survived walking without you”.
A week ago I was taking a walk with another friend. When we turned the corner on to the main road, I noticed for a moment he hesitated. It occurred to me at that instant that not only were we walking on the wrong side of the road(the right), but I happened to be on the left—which of course put all in coming vehicle right behind me. For a moment there I expected him to tuck me to his right just like David would, but after that brief hesitation, he just took my hand and kept walking. Now I had two reactions to this: on one hand I was glad he didn’t follow the more masculine routine of playing the ‘protector’ to the fragile female; on the other, I was almost disappointed he didn’t.
Thinking about this has made me realize how at war we are with our bodies; and I think to a large extent this is so because our culture is at war with the female body.
Femininity means different things to different people, but mostly I believe this is so because being feminine is unique to individuals and not some rule book of perfect and ideal female behavioral pattern. Continue reading