First, happy 21st birthday, twirlandswirl!
I went out to eat tonight to do my gender transgression assignment (mostly to get out and because going into a boy toilet wouldn't be that noticeable at Agnes). As excited as I was about my choice of transgression, I must admit that I was extremely nervous on the way over there. And by extremely nervous, I meant that I was afraid I'd chicken out on the way over there. I kept telling myself I wouldn't, just to build some confidence in myself.
So I went there and ate. The first shock for the hostess was that I was a party of one. "Yes," I said. "I'm really by myself." My seat had a good view of the bathroom, so I got to watch people go in and out of the bathroom. Sure enough, everyone went in the bathroom I expected them to go into. Then I wondered something. Are we really building a binary society? I thought of the people who didn't fit in this binary system, people for whom choosing a toilet to use would be really difficult. For me, it was just "Okay, use the other one", but for some people this could be a really big decision. Yet because of the same binary system we're forced to become one or the other, and there's no room to develop fully. Boys must acquire masculine traits, and girls must acquire feminine traits. There is no middle ground. Humans are oppressing their fellow humans in not letting them becoming all they can be.
Anyway, I was getting more and more nervous as I noticed that many more men than women were using the bathroom. Just as I was thinking, "Okay, I can pay, leave, and choose something else altogether to do," that Incubus song came on. You know, the one that was popular several years ago, "Drive". And I thought, how much do I let my fear take control of what I do? How often have I given up something because I was afraid--even if I didn't admit it--of the consequences? I didn't stop to count, but I realized that every time I do that, I let an opportunity pass, an opportunity that I shouldn't let pass. I don't know what could happen until I actually do it. Otherwise I'll just wish I had done it, and I'd rather wish I hadn't done something than wish I had done it. And then this line came up.
Whatever tomorrow brings I'll be there
With open arms and open eyes
Which made me think, I don't know what's going to happen when I go in that men's toilet, but I'm going to find it and embrace the moment. Besides, the very idea made me feel like a rebel, something that people didn't exactly encourage in me as a kid. After all, I was supposed to be the role model. (It's okay. You can laugh. Because we all know I'm a terrible role model.) Instead of doing it just for that toilet, I need to do that for everything in my life. I don't need to worry about not knowing about the future--next semestre, next year, after graduation, beyond--because, well, we don't know. I just need to be open to it because it's going to come anyway unless I actively do something to stop it.
This talked me out of chickening out. So after I finished eating, I went into that men's toilet. Unfortunately nobody was in there. I was looking forward to a reaction from them. After I figured out that a urinal was logistically impossible, I went for the stall because the world is divided into two groups--those who can hit their target when they pee, and those who can't. I did my thing, wiped, flushed, and washed my hands. Then I gathered my stuff and prepared to leave.
Just as I was picking up Dr. Nbook, I noticed that an elderly man was grinning at me. "Yes?" I asked. When he didn't say anything, I said, "You were looking at me slightly funny. Reaction?"
Finally his wife said, "He's just very friendly."
"Okay," I said. "Have a nice night, then." Nobody else there (and that area was pretty crowded) noticed. Boo. Looks like I'll be trying elsewhere tomorrow.
Bria got a better reaction from her transgression, though. She dressed as a man all day today. We received e-mails from Laurel (RA) and Brenna (RD--she's also in our women's studies class) about an unaccompanied male in the second floor bathrooms who surprised one of the residents going in or out of the showers; I don't remember which. Awesome. Well, not in themselves, but in the context of the assignment it was awesome. At first I didn't connect the e-mails to Bria, but when Bria came in and read her e-mail, she got to it and we all started cracking up. So we all went to confess to Laurel that Bria was the man. "I was the man," she said, and we all started cracking up.
Oh, and the person she startled? Is also in the class. Which made things even better.
So that's all. I still need to finish my astronomy lab (just a few calculations--not bad), write up my last one, and write up my extra credit. Not bad; I can do most of it tomorrow. I've read the first part of the story for French. Yay. But I haven't started my DE problem set or studied for astronomy. Oops.
Edit 8:34pm : We just got this e-mail from Brenna, clearing up the man!alarm:
Hi Lovely Ladies,
Just wanted to let everyone know that we've discovered the "man" in the bathroom was actually a resident who was doing an assignment for a Women's Studies class where she was bending gender norms (guess she'll have a lot to write about in her paper). Thank you to the residents who helped clear up this misunderstanding. Sorry for the alarm.
*giggles* I could hardly type for laughing for about ten minutes after Bria read the first e-mail. Fantastic.