I was born into a world in the 1950s where gender was a key component of who you were, and was to a large degree your destiny, even growing up in a perhaps more egalitarian and humanistic progressive university town community. Two clear discoveries in this area came out of my youth and young adult life, that have had a profound impact on the person I am evolving into.
The first was that gender was not a significant part of the nature of the individual human soul, just the “sexual plumbing” of the mammalian body our soul inhabits, despite our culture being built in every way around the supposed profound difference between men and women. A culture that seems obsessed with and even fetishizes whether your physical body has a penis, or breasts, vagina and uterus instead; and what that means to who you are and how you should be in the world.
The second was given that profound cultural divide between the genders, I became uncomfortable with the “men are from Mars” cultural expectations of my gender, and as a result increasingly uncomfortable in circles of men. Instead, I have gravitated to the world of women, and their insurgency to leverage the positive relational aspects of “women are from Venus”, while challenging its cultural limitations.
What follows is my best attempt at a narrative of my journey, from childhood to young adulthood, trying to navigate the minefield of gender expectations and find a safe and supportive place for myself in the world.