Thursday, September 8, 2011

Feminine Domesticity

Wanderlust, the antithesis of domesticity, is a masculine characteristic. And, likewise, domesticity is feminine. I have a very high wanderlust and, frankly, I don't want this to be a gendered quality. For a few years, I've been exploring masculinity and experimenting with masculine traits. The implication, though, that feminine women stay at home precisely because of their femininity concerns me. I don't mean housewifery specifically, also settling down sooner/younger than men and not exploring beforehand.

Many feminine women, particularly from college, say that they admire my "bravery" in traveling disconnected from domestic obligations. That's great, though it isn't exactly "bravery" to follow your dreams and it would be more of a compliment for these women to live their own lives. These women also fear for me. What does this accomplish?!

Perhaps feminine women are more domestic because home is a safehaven from misogyny. Which isn't to say that misogyny doesn't happen in the home, but the facade of control can be held up there more than out in the world. And for all their masculinity, butch lesbians get very domestic and eager to settle down. They tend to get twice the bullshit: misogyny + homophobia. With the understanding that home is a safehaven from these social forces, butches would be even more driven to build and maintain one. This certainly helps explain why lesbians jump into relationships so quickly: to feel safe together from shared bullshit.

And I may be exempt from gender-related domesticity because home wasn't a safehaven for me. The road is my safehaven.

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