I will freely admit that I have been struggling to find things to put on this blog recently. I leave for Scotland in 2 weeks and 2 days, so mostly I am frantically sewing on a variety of things and organizing my life and picking up a WHOLE NEW HOBBY while I’m at it because, well, why not?
So while my Facebook and Instagram have been active, this blog has not. I have a Thought, though, so I am going to sit here and write at 10:30 at night when I should be sleeping because I’m going to an event tomorrow but the words are here so this is happening now.
I consider myself a feminist. If you are a person who thinks that is a bad word, you should leave now (why were you even here??). I’m a cis female and my general world view is “y’all do what makes you happy and as long as that does not threaten anyone else’s life, happiness, or existence, we’re good!” and I think feminism is an important aspect of that. Women (cis or trans or nonbinary femme or ??guess we’re presenting as Girl today) should be allowed to live their lives in the way that makes them happy, and be treated equally for that.
And this sort of ties into another, slightly more personal aspect– femininity. Stereotypical “girlness”. Now is the point where I should probably explain that I spent most of my childhood wanting to be a cross between asexual Lara Croft (with more clothes, and a practical bra) and Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones. I was a tomboy and I wanted to be tall and strong and able to hold my own with guys and fight and
And I turned out to be 5’1″ tall with a face like a demure 19th C heroine and tiny feet and delicate wrists and, well, fundamentally feminine. Nobody looks at me and is intimidated. Every man I have ever met has been taller than me.
So in the SCA I am a young, small, feminine, well, female who is almost exclusively involved in feminine activities. There aren’t very many male embroiderers around, just like there aren’t many female knights.
I’m not a female knight, I almost certainly will never be a female knight, and honestly I probably shouldn’t be heavy fighting since my career is so dependent on fine motor control. As a result, I feel like a bad feminist. That I should be out there with Sir Helga and Duchess Mari and Countess Annora kicking butt and not sitting in a pretty dress in a corner with my needle and thread.
Even though sewing makes me happy. Even though I can tell you that embroidery and knitting and weaving and sewing involve just as much math, logic and intelligence as fighting. That for a lot of history mathematics was so tied up in female activities that it was considered to be nigh unto witchcraft. But still, these are soft things. Female things.
For me personally there is yet another layer– I left a competitive, prestigious career path that paid well for one that is less well respected and also very female-dominated (lower pay in a mostly female field. I would never have guessed). Even though I am so much happier, I still feel like I have downgraded myself. That I should be tall and broad-shouldered, putting on armor every weekend and studying glioblastoma at work during the week.
I’m not that person. I never was that person, and I never will be. I’m learning to not apologize for that.