Sunday, September 28, 2008

How to be a girl

In my loneliness I've become entranced over reading what other people are looking for on craigslist-- and am struck by the endless variety and specificity of those needs. Especially in those of women. Of course, as a post-feminist, I think it's great that women are owning, asking for, and proactively searching for the things they want in their life. Craigslist is a strange phenomenon though, allowing for the people using it take control of their lives by asking for what they need, while pigeonholing them into that need and identity of not feeling whole. But what I'm really struck by is how members of the queer and feminist communities can classify themselves by what they need and don't have-- it seems kind of anti-progressive, potentially disempowering and counter-intuitive, right? Because so much of the female-bodied experience has been marked by our dependency upon other, usually male-bodied, people. We're taught how to be girls, in preparation for an inevitable classification of womanhood. How can the craigslist experience become a feminist one? I guess maybe if we don't list our need as part of our identity, and only describe ourselves in terms of what we are, what we have, what we like to do. For the queer community, this would open doors to a more gray and continuous spectrum of sexuality, which in this writers opinion, could only be a positive thing. In this way, the choice of whom to reply to is empowering for craigslist posters, rather than depending on others to classify your needs for you-- I guess I just imagine that a posting like "butch iso femme" could deter a lot of people from responding to it on the basis of how they define themselves in regards to a person they dont even know-- let's try to limit the weird remote human lenses as much as we can.

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