Written while digesting: one slice of foraged blackberry and courgette bread, 5 nasturtium leaves, 4 pea pods, and 2 nasturtiums from my garden.
What you wrote about gender and neurodivergence and being a girl! OH MY GOD. This is how I feel, too! Something about girlhood and being childlike feels so expansive and liberating to me. I know that second wave feminists were concerned with being called a woman instead of a girl and the third wave opened up discourse around celebrating girlhood for some of the reasons youve laid out. I guess I want to be referred to as a girl not in a condescending way but in a way that recognizes the heightened imagination and energy of childhood. And I feel mostly feminine so "girl" is what fits for me.
Really enjoyed reading this, Lydia! Your thoughts on identifying as a girl vs a woman are so interesting. I am in the early planning stages of an embroidery project in which I will refer to myself as a woman and I am having feelings about it!!! Not bad, just strange. Was nice to see someone else puzzling through the same concept.
Oh that is so fascinating re parent gender and how it shaped how your gender materialised. This stuff is endlessly interesting to me
Love the gender/neurodivergence/parenting thoughts. I feel like I haven't seen so close a map to my experience before!
My mother through most of my 90s childhood very much used "lesbian" as an ersatz gender descriptor, and these days claims she "would have" identified as agender. (She has yet to get the memo that she still could, though there's a good layer of internalized transphobia to work through first.) It really complicates the standard gender narrative to trace that legacy of a complicated relationship to misogyny/transphobia/neuroqueerness through our early years.
As a genderfluid transmasc femme, I believe I threw my mom for quite a loop in her attempts to be the perfect second-wave feminist mother to a daughter who wasn't there, and my absorption of her gender journey (plus just the time period I grew up in) made it hard for me to define my identity for a good three and a half decades. It's thrilling to see more of us grapple and come to terms with the intense intrapersonal and interpersonal aspects of these identifiers!