Something I don't like: when people refer to my bag as a "purse". My grandmother carried a purse, purses have prescriptions, off-brand candy, old receipts and silverware stolen from restaurants. More than that, I think what I don't like about that word is that it is distinctly feminine, and there are often times when I feel extremely uncomfortable with being womanly. The thing I carry might be pink leopard print with ruffles and I would still call it a bag because the gender neutrality names me comfortable.
Now, there are a couple different directions we could go with this, it could be that I resent society for making women seem weak, it could be a subconscious gender identity crisis (doubtful) or it could be that I am not comfortable with the kind of attention women typically get. Realistically, as much as I try to avoid thinking about it, it is the latter much more than either of the former.
This rule fluctuates though, for instance, I like flirting, I really do, but there always reaches this threshold point where I will pull away. This is by no means an uncommon phenomenon, but girls, why do we do this? I'm not talking about creepiness, just put that aside. If a guy asks for my phone number, I may or may not give it to him, if I like him, I will, but the chances of me letting me pick me up in his car, and go through the normal dating rituals are very slim, so I just don't call him back. This isn't digression I promise, because it's more than just dating and insecurities thereof, it's the pressure of filing a specific niche well. I have dated a few guys, but never had a serious boyfriend, and this is why. I feel like if I don't look a certain way and act perfectly I have failed at being a girl. Does this make sense? This has caused an enormous amount of stress in my life.
What does it mean to be successfully female? Is this a healthy conversation for me to be having? Should I not be thinking of myself in terms of my gender, and characterize myself more individually? There are things about me that are incredibly girly; I'm emotionally a girl, my tastes in literature and film can be super girly, I like the company of other women in book clubs and stuff, but I am afraid that there is something in the way that I present myself that just comes up short. Whatever the shoulds are, I know that I feel pressure to be pretty, graceful, and just generally feminine, and I feel like I suck at it. If I were good at those things, I would be able to call my bag a purse.