I love women.
Which is not astonishing news since I’m openly bisexual, but for once that’s not what I mean.
We live in a world where being a woman is still a difficult thing, for many reasons, and we all know that.
I just want to say I love women, I love having female friends, I love being surrounded by girls and spending time with them.
The thing is, I was born surrounded by boys and I grew up only with boys. And not “regular” boys. Tough boys. Boys I climbed trees with, I rolled in the mud with, I fought and bled with. Boys who, unfortunately, were so emotionally constipated that I ended up thinking that was how people were actually supposed to be. How I was supposed to be. We didn’t hug each other, we didn’t talk about feelings and emotions and all that “girly stuff”. Have you ever seen the movie 300? There’s no room for softness… not in Sparta. No place for weakness. Only the hard and strong may call themselves Spartans. Only the hard, only the strong.
You think I’m kidding. I’m not.
We showed our affection by being loyal to one another. By including each other in what we believed was important, and cool, and amazing. We used to challenge each other, everyday, all day, about anything. Not only physically, that was just a small part of our challenges; no, we challenged each other intellectually. We were nerds and proud and those who didn’t like us, or weren’t like us, could go fuck themselves. Hybris at its finest. It was like playing Trivial Pursuit 24/7. It was exhausting. And I loved it.
I loved it, I was the only girl allowed in the group, because I was the only one who watched all the movies, read all the books, got all the references, was interested in science and mythology and martial arts and comic books. I was a tomboy, almost one of them. I was smart, they knew it, they liked me. Had they been superheroes, I would have been their Watchtower. A nickname they actually gave me at some point and stuck with me so far.
But as I said, it was exhausting. I hadn’t learned how to be a woman. I was not a boy, I was not a girl. I wanted them to keep me with them as if I were a boy, but sometimes I wanted them to see me like A GIRL, but not like one of THE GIRLS who were so silly and, well, girlish, because WE didn’t like them. They were stupid and we hated them. But some of them were also their girlfriends. “Say what?! Wait, why not me then? Come on! I’m a girl, well ok I’m like a boy, but I’m actually a girl! But not like the other girls! Am I missing something here?”
Yep, I was. So yeah, I didn’t know what the hell I was supposed to be.
My first true female best friend arrived when I was 16. She’s a butch lesbian and I love her like a sister. I still learned nothing on “how to be a girl”.
I gave up on it and shrugged it off, but the first year of college was the first year of my life that I spent far from my group of Spartans, because we all went to live in different cities.
AND THANK GOD FOR THAT.
I started dressing in a more feminine way, applying makeup differently, trying to act less, uhm, boyish. Guys started asking me out. And they were terrible. I didn’t like any of them, they were just so…. Feminine. Dude, if I wanted a girl, I’d just date one, I’m bi remember? I want a Spartan, dammit! Because that’s how men are supposed to be, right? Right? I’m missing something again, uh? (Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a feminine guy, just like there’s nothing wrong with a masculine girl. But for me, personally, it wasn’t working.)
Then depression fully kicked in and the rest of my university years are a supermassive black hole of dub-con sex, drugs and rock and roll, literally.
But something good happened too: I discovered girls. GIRLS. At first I was a bit reluctant, but slowly, patiently, they won me over. They were not stupid! They talked about girly stuff but they were also smart and funny! And I was like “wait a minute, you’re telling me that I can be smart AND girly at the same time?? WHAAAT?”
Le shock. And they constantly talked about feelings, expressing everything they were going through. They talked about boys, and love, and relationships, and makeup, and sex, and everything in between.
A new world laid before my eyes. I was allowed to be a woman, and still be cool. I had found girlfriends.
Through the years, I met more amazing women, spent more time learning how to be one of them, how to be MYSELF.
I realized I attracted feminine guys because I was also a fucking Spartan (and not Gorgo. I was more like the other dude, Dilios. Le sigh). If I wanted a masculine man, I had to be a feminine woman. It only makes sense. So I studied. I studied a lot, I observed, I practiced, I studied some more. (That’s just how I am: when I’m anxious, I research and I learn everything I can on the subject. I said I’m a nerd, didn’t I?)
And now I can say I’m closer than ever to the ideal woman I want to be. Most of all, I’m a woman, and proud to be one. I’m happy with my body, my curves, my hair, my clothes, my flaws. I accept and love myself completely. I feel sexy and free.
And I’m happy with my female friends. Sometimes our lives are a mess, and yet we’re always there for each other, we listen to, understand and support each other, we spend hours and hours on each other’s couches, crying and complaining and asking why that guy we liked so much hasn’t called us (He’s just not that into you is actually one of our favourite movies ever, we constantly watch it and refer to it when in need), because MEN are so damn weird.
Women shouldn’t hate each other. Women should not body-shame each other. Women should not condemn each other’s sexual behavior, using words guys will feel allowed to repeat.
Women shouldn’t talk behind each other’s backs, shouldn’t throw each other under the bus just because there’s the interest of a man at stake. Women shouldn’t aim for setting themselves apart in front of a guy by saying they’re not “like the others”. What does that even mean? What are we so afraid of? That a guy will think we’re girly? WELL, WE ARE. Deal with it, Mr. Guy.
We’re also crazy, all of us, no exception, just in different ways. What can I say, blame it on the hormones. We have absolutely no idea what we want, and we change our mind so fast you just can’t keep up anyway. Sorry.
Matera (Women’s Fiction Festival) has been an amazing experience because of that too. I met many women, many DIFFERENT women, with many different stories (both personal and fictional), and every single one of those women was special in her own way. We listened to each other, we understood each other, we supported each other. HOW AWESOME IS THAT. I loved them all.
Then I came back and told HotSwedish Guy (well, he’s not Swedish but he lives in Sweden. And he’s the hottest guy you could ever picture in your mind. Ok I might be biased, but trust me, he’s so.damn.hot.) that our thing couldn’t be a thing anymore, because now I want more. I deserve more and I’m asking life for more (in the meantime I had met SuperPolite Guy and, even if there was nothing actually romantic going on between us, he still managed to open my eyes about the kind of standards I should set for guys to date me. Guess what, they’re high. Not impossible, just… You gotta be a decent guy, if it’s late and you see I’m freezing give me your jacket and walk me home, ya follow me?).
And I shared the HotSwedish Guy story with my girlfriends, some of which told me he’s a jerk, others that he’s just not that into me and I should just forget him, others that he just didn’t know what I wanted but now that he knows and he’s coming home for Christmas, things might actually change between us.
We also shared stories about all the other guys we met: Mr. I Say I’ll Call But I Never Do, Mr. You’re My Favourite Booty Call, Mr. Yep I Was Actually Just Being Super Polite And Nothing More, Mr. I’m Kind Of Married But You’re A Babe So Let Me Buy You A Drink, Mr. We Live In The Same City But I’m Lazy, Mr. You’re Hot And I Really Want A BJ, Mr. I’m So Boring It’s Not Even Funny But I Wrote You A Poem So Please Love Me, Mr. I’m Thirty-Five And Still Living With My Parents, Mr. We’ve Met 5 Seconds Ago But Here’s My Cheesy Line And I Hope You Fall For It, Mr. The World Revolves Around Me, and so on.
Let me just say that He’s Just Not That Into You has been quoted many, many times these past few
You know what, I don’t know. I don’t understand men. None of us girls really do, because we, men and women, are DIFFERENT. We’re supposed to be different.
My Spartans will always be in my heart, and every time we see each other now we hug and have an amazing time together. But I’m not like them anymore. I don’t try to be a boy anymore.
I’m a woman, and happy to be one. And I’m happy that my girlfriends are always here for me, to listen to me and understand me and support me and make me feel better, and I for them. I love them. I love women.
ps. My lovely redhead friend sent me this on Twitter today
And I got nothing but looooove for ya, sister.