Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. This is a day for acknowledging the contributions of women to the world, and for honoring the women in your life. (Protip: Instead of giving flowers because you think it’s expected, try asking the women in your life what they’d like. Also, how awesome is it that a day dedicated to honoring women’s contributions has been turned into another flowery gender-role stifled holiday? SO awesome.)
Even a genderqueer individual like myself can enjoy and promote IWD, and ask people to focus on women’s voices. Because I understand that in the fight against sexism it’s important to centre women’s voices, and that’s part of what IWD is about. (Before any of you closet-MRAs say “Well why don’t we have an international men’s day? Whinge whinge whine,” let me remind you that every day is international men’s day. Welcome to kyriarchy; enjoy your stay, try to damage the furniture. Oh, also, you have it, so shut the fuck up.)
I hope that someday there will be an international non-binary folk day, but until that day allow me to celebrate with the gender I used to ID as.
They keep telling me to find a writer brand, something that I can stay consistent with. And the only thing that I can think of as consistent with my writing is that I write from a feminist pagan perspective, and that will never not inform my writing.
Ok, so, feminist pagan perspective. Putting it that way reduces my readership considerably. As much as I’d like to stand on principles alone, I need to eat. That means increasing readership.
A big part of feminism is centering women’s voices; more largely, centering the voices of the oppressed. And there are many people who will not even admit to being feminist, but who will actively search out things dedicated to women’s voices, women’s contributions. That’s why we have GeekGirlCon, or Women of Google+.
There’s no GeekGenderqueerCon, or Non-Binary Folk of Google+.
So where do I make my place?
I’m asking the universe, the gods, because I’ve been considering a) trying to attend GGC as a guest and b) submitting my profile to Women of Google+. Not because I ID as a woman, but because most people will see me as a woman and choose to refer to me that way.
Question becomes: do I stand by my principles and wallow in obscurity? Do I refuse to be erased, refuse to enter women’s spaces?
Or do I bite the bullet and let the world continue to coercively assign me as female?
Because what I write about, the stories I create, are important to women. To young women, to old women, to in-between women. To gay women, het women, cis and trans women. To all women, I’d like to think.
And if I want to reach those women — to increase my readership, yes, and so I can eat, yes, but also so they can read my books, so they can have more strong women characters to relate to in a sea of male heroes — I have to travel in these circles. I have to announce that I write for this demographic.
And, you know, it’s important that we have these spaces to focus on women’s contributions. It really really is and I don’t discount their importance one bit.
I’m just feeling lost and alone again, and not really sure what I’m going to do.
I suppose I’ll just roll over and give in, as I do with so many other things. For now.
Maybe some years into the future there will be space for us. And it will be glorious.