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Entry #1 – Monday, May 3oth


Dear diary,

It’s strange for me to think about events that make me notice my gender, as I feel I don’t often think about it. I especially don’t think about it on a daily basis. I’m apprehensive but also curious about how these journal entries will go for the rest of the week because of that. I think, looking back on today, that I mostly recognized myself as being the gender that I am when I went into work at 4 PM until about 10 PM. I am a waitress at a local, family-owned restaurant. I noticed that there are only a couple male servers left. I have been working at the restaurant since it’s opening this past March. I also now recognize that there weren’t many male servers in the initial group of employees. However, many male servers have since quit, or at least it was rumored that that was the reason why they weren’t employed there anymore. I also notice that the interviews for potential servers my boss has conducted since the restaurant’s grand opening have all been with females. I’d like to add that, in general, all of my female server coworkers are at least fairly attractive. I’ve noticed the opposite trend, in terms of male to female employee ratio, happening with the bartenders employed at this restaurant. Also, all the “utilities” who work, and have worked in this position, there are male. I find this especially interesting as the job of utility would definitely be considered the most physically demanding position at this restaurant.

Love, C.M.B.


Entry #2 – Tuesday, May 31st


 Dear diary,

Looking back on today, I initially became self-aware of my gender due to the extensive amount of time it took me to get ready (just to leave my house) this morning. I was almost late for my doctor’s appointment at 11:30 AM, even though I made sure to be up and out of my bed by 10 AM. I had a hard time covering up my unfortunate, recent breakout with even my heaviest duty concealer. This breakout is probably happening now because my biggest high school crush and prom date is on leave from the Marines and he is back in town, but that’s just me thinking out loud. I also popped my “lipstick melting in the car” cherry today, so that’s super exciting. I quickly became annoyed with wearing my sunglasses because, apparently, the concealer I chose this morning melts/fades/rubs/etc. off on contact. Every time I put the sunglasses on, and for no amount of time, there would be two spots of open, makeup-less skin showing through on either side of my nose, because my “heavy duty” concealer had faded off (or rubbed/melted off/etc., I don’t really care the excuse, I paid good money for that makeup and I feel cheated and lied to about this “five star” product.), by the time I went to take them off. I guess that I’ll have to find a fix for this, and hopefully, a better and “heavier duty” concealer, before I get into the dead of summer in this ridiculously humid area of Maryland.

gender_identityLove, C.M.B.

 


Entry #3 – Wednesday, June 1st


Dear diary,

Today I went to dinner with my father. He’s pretty sexist so I thought that I would write about it in here. My sister wore a hat to dinner that she wore when she played in her baseball league when she was about twelve years old, she’s 17 years old now. Although I really do hate how sexist my father can be and often become confused by it’s inconsistency with him and how he can raise two daughters from childbirth and still think the way that he sometimes expresses that he does, I am also extremely proud of him when it comes to raising my sister. His family is just as sexist (and racist, homophobic, etc.) as he is and gave him a hard time about the way my mother and he decided to raise my sister. My sister wanted to play baseball because she wanted to play baseball. That’s the way that I see it and I’m sure that that’s the way she saw, and still sees it. She played softball before entering the baseball league and she was, without a doubt, the star on every team that she played with. My sister has also always been a BIG “tomboy.” From the second she could figure out how to express it, she was telling my mother to get any dress in sight the hell away from her all around the same time that I refused to leave the house without my tiara on. She went on to open toys like a “Buzz Lightyear” action figure and “Rescue Heroes” anything on Christmas morning, while I sat next to her opening “Barbie” dolls and “dress up” clothes. I never thought anything of it either. I always knew that my sister was a “girl” but her having friends who were all guys, punching kids for pushing her off her “Big Wheel,” and absolutely refusing to let me put my “dress up” makeup on her was just her being her. When we would go to Christmas dinner at my dad’s sister’s house, things would change. Although my dad would shop in the “boys” department at “Target” with her, and even pick out things for her, his sisters continued to let her open a present with a dress for her inside. I would cringe at this, even the thought of her at that age in a dress makes me cringe. I respect and am proud of my dad for not taking any crap from his sisters about the way my sister acted and dressed. To this day, my mother and I, and probably my father and the rest of our extended family, are just waiting for the day my sister comes out to us as a lesbian or transgender or whatever she feels she identifies as. My mom and I will both not be surprised because we now know that that is just “her being her.” My dad says things that let me know that he is at least slightly homophobic, at least in a political sense he is, but the thing that he doesn’t understand is that my sister may be gay and that is, once again, her being her. It’s funny because my father has basically already approved of my sister’s coming out in a way because he has continually approved of her ways, and even participated in them with her, since her birth. My father approves of my sister and “her being her.” So, without knowing it, my father approves of gay marriage (even though still today he says that he doesn’t) he just hasn’t connected the dots yet. This is a big deal, for someone of my father’s generation especially, because it is a change in ideology in him that he’s been taught since his birth. That is why I am proud of my father.

Love, C.M.B.


Entry #4 – Thursday, June 2nd


Dear diary,

I hope it is okay if I keep this entry a little bit shorter than typical, as yesterday’s entry was quite extensive. Today, I went to my sister’s graduation. I was, as to be expected, quite aware of my gender when I went to the bathroom in the college stadium. This time especially though because I was wearing a romper. This was a great decision before the event that turned out to be not so great of a decision when I had to be in my bra only in the bathroom stall. Luckily, those stalls don’t have inch-wide gaps between the door and the lock or anything. This is probably the same reason that overalls went out of society and, as of now, I strongly back that decision. I’ll probably wear the romper again and bitch in my head when I’m in my bra, alone in the bathroom stall again. The romper looks cute on me though, so I guess it’s worth it, or that’s at least what society says.

Love, C.M.B.


Entry #5 – Friday, June 3rd


Dear diary,

I went to a salon open house yesterday. The only men that I noticed there seemed to be the salon owner/manager (I’m not sure exactly what his role there was), employee’s boyfriends and “friends,” and guests husbands or boyfriends. It’s interesting to me that society only shows women taking pride in the way that they look. The open house had a makeup application, hair styling, eyebrow waxing, hair consultation and massage stations. If a man wears makeup, styles his hair, or waxes his eyebrows he may be labeled as “gay.” He would definitely be labeled this way if he were to go into a salon for hair consultations. Also, if you’re a man, be careful not to get one to many massages because you’re either “creepy,” if your masseur is a woman, or “gay,” if your masseur is a man. But, hey, at least if you’re getting massages you can choose if you want to be seen as “creepy” or “gay.”

Love, C.M.B.


Reflection


“Intersectionality” can be defined as the theory that we all go through life receiving different discrimination and benefits because we all have different identities.[1] My own intersectionality would be as a white woman. As someone who is white, I have not experienced racism to the extent that, literally, any other race has. I cannot speak of being waited on in a restaurant in a less timely manner due to the color of my skin. It is quite ironic that I often complain that I am pale, but that is, unfortunately, what keeps me from experiencing some bad experiences that people of other races may have been through many times in one day. I blame the fact that I complain about how pale I am on the fact that I am a woman. Women are taught, from a very young age, through the media to put value on things based on the way they look. They are further taught that women who look a certain way have more value than women who look a different way. Today, the normative standard is that it is attractive to have tanned skin. Therefore, due to my race, my skin is too pale. The media says that I should not and, therefore, I do not like my skin color. I remember noticing a lot of “body self-tanning” products at the salon open house I talked about going to in entry #5. Not only do I put more pressure on myself to look a certain way because I am a woman, but I also have experienced sexual harassment many times. I think every woman has experienced some kind of catcalling (whether it was wanted or unwanted) by the time they are around age 25. Based on one-part out of a two-part identification in “intersectionality,” I would say that since one part is not a minority, it is probably safe to state that most, if not all, forms of discrimination I have been the victim of have been directed at me because I am a woman.

[1] Lafayette College. 2015. “Kimberlé Crenshaw Discusses ‘Intersectional Feminism.’” YouTube website (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROwquxC_Gxc).

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