Saturday, March 1, 2008

Female Impersonator?

Here's a brief explanation behind the choice of my blog's name:

I actually took the name for my blog from the name of the radio show that I co-host with Kate. The name comes from a Susan Brownmiller quote. Brownmiller is a feminist who is best known for her pioneering work in the field of the politics of rape, which she wrote about in her book Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape (1975).

The quote of hers was: “Women are all female impersonators to some degree.” I identify with this quote very much, because to me, it speaks of how women often have to act in certain ways to conform to what society deems is appropriate for women. That means that a lot of the time, women are acting when they present themselves to their society, because society often prescribes traits that it thinks women should have, even if many women do not have those traits.

I feel like I am acting when I put on make up and do my hair before I go to work. I know I need to look good in order to succeed, but that doesn’t mean that it comes naturally for me. Those are just some of my thoughts behind my blog name. I know that not all women feel this way, but that’s how I see things.


JPR said...

Interesting. So, because you conform (to an extent) to the expectations of society, you're an impersonator.

Pick a factor of existence (male, female, gay, lesbian, black, white, latino...) and there's a stereotype for it, and that's one that at least many will live up to. What about people who try to buck stereotypes? Don't they fulfill some sort of societal expectation too? I'm not really sure but I think that you could find evidence to support that conclusion.

Nice pic on the top; note on accessibility though: have you considered allowing anonymous or unsubscribed signed commenting? Might make it a bit more accessible... you can always turn it off later if it gets to be a problem.

Geoff said...

Conforming isn't always a bad thing: it's been found that as women become more "equal" to men they tend to commit more crime. Also, when Colt and I go to Basic, if we don't comform we'll have to do more pushups :)

Annie said...

More often than not my interaction can come across as very undiplomatic. That is not my intent. It is my hope to help anyone who may read this to have a better understanding of how to "find themselves." Being an "impersonator" sends a false message of one's self. There is an answer that you do not have to doubt. Please consider this:

As I read through the comments I see a common thread. People looking for what they believe and who they are. They want to convince themselves and the reader of what they do not know. To know who you are and to determine what you choose to believe you need to know (fact, not opinion or feelings) who created you and why. Scientist have proven time and again that indeed the bible and its data is fact. There are NO FACTS, only "theories" to back up evolution or any other means of our existence. Therefore, a womans role in today's society can be found in the bible. We can choose to strive daily to live out the role God intended for women or we can choose another (whatever we "feel"). Keep in mind not all choices lead to the same destination. Call it old fashioned, "back then," "does not apply to today," whatever you like. That is your CHOICE. People really have not changed maybe just a pend elem that is swinging back in the wrong direction in America as we have lost sight of God and therefore lots of questions come in to play about your beliefs, right and wrong, acceptance, tolerance, etc... You may already know but evil has existed from the creation of man (Adam) to today. God destroys evil and continues to do so. A few examples: 2500 B.C. the earth was filled with sexual wickedness and "God's heart was filled with pain," so he wiped out the entire earth with a flood excluding Noah and his family who were blameless among the people. God gave the people hundreds of years to repent, they did not.
1446 B.C. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were filled with sin... rape, incest, men having sex with men. The Lord rained down burning sulfur onto the city, only after allowing the city, anyone, to repent. (Lot and his two daughters were spared). They were instructed by God to "not look back," however, Lot's wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt. 1440 B.C. After the Israelites were led out of slavery in Egypt by Moses they began worshiping idols. God in turn had them wander in the wilderness for 40 years. 1000 B.C. While returning the ark of the covenant back to Israel from Egypt one of King David's men "reached out his hand to steady the ark because the oxen had stumbled." God struck him dead because he had disobeyed God's commands. Many nations and people have risen and fallen due to their heart. One example is King Saul. He became selfish and jealous of King David. He died by falling on his sword. "The Lord is slow to anger and great in power. The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. 5 B.C. God sent his ONLY son, Jesus, out of His perfect dwelling to earth to once and for all (this is the last time) save us from our sins. He paid the penalty dying on the cross paying the price for our sin so that if we CHOOSE we can one day dwell with him. Why do I tell you all this? To try and impress that God MEANS what he says. He is patient. Not wanting anyone to suffer. When I read your post "Female impersonater," I could relate to some of your comments regarding the make-up, etc... Getting prettied up. So often I don't "feel" like it. Often times I don't. However I do not think I am a female impersonator for doing something I don't want to because the world has conformed me or white washed my mind. There are gray areas and there are black and white areas. How do I determine what is "right for me?" I seek God's word, the bible. This is some of what it says about being a female/woman of God. Women should be modest, to seek the advice of those older woman. God looks at your heart not outward adornment (perhaps makeup). A woman is the glory of man. Kindhearted women gain respect. A quiet spirit = unfading beauty. We were given a womb & breasts to bear and nurture children. A married woman is worth more than rubies. She takes care of her family by means of preparing food, makes good investments, works vigorously. A married woman’s first priority is her family, after God. Women are also to be man’s lover (within marriage). The depth of a man’s desire for sex is very descriptive and helps women better understand their desires in the book of Song of Solomon.

God compares the “bride,” to his church. God loves his church and he loves his bride. God wants you, a woman, as his bride. He is waiting as he has waited for so many before us. He wants to take you home to an imperishable place. A place that will be beyond our wildest dreams.

My favorite woman in the bible is Abigail. She was an awesome woman. She conformed only to God's will. She was married to a rich, selfish drunk named Nabal. I admire her.

Abigail teaches me that life is not about me. It is not about what I want or what I think.

I have "impersonated," and am sure I will again. Giving off an appearance of what I want people to believe rather than what is. Thankfully I have a forgiving God that helps me be true to who He wants me to be.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Submitted with love and good intentions.

Kathryn Cleve said...

I am so embarrassed that someone who is allegedly a mature adult would spout all this hoo-haw about a supernatural "god" and what HE thinks of us. Belief in God is common among less-intelligent people but why do they have to crash an otherwise intelligent blog?

JPR said...

And I am embarrassed that someone who implicitly claims to be one of these so-called "intelligent people" would take the time to bash somebody for having found their own place in life, apparently having taken at least moderate consideration into account.

My god, you make us moderates-liberals look bad. Especially for having dug down this far to comment... and now I'm trying to figure out why I was emailed about this.

Renee said...

That means that a lot of the time, women are acting when they present themselves to their society, because society often prescribes traits that it thinks women should have, even if many women do not have those traits.

Actually I completely agree with the idea that gender is something that we are socialized to conform.

If you think about the everyday behaviors we do everyday from crossing our legs to carrying purses and putting on makeup all of it is behavior that we have been told from childhood is what constitutes childhood. In most cases it becomes so naturalized that we don't even realize that we are performing.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to read the Brownmiller quotation--perhaps out of context--as telling not of a theoretical measuring stick or set of delimiting societal boundaries for women, but of an "essence", the Platonic female quality (its existence doubtlessly inconstant and prone to subjective appropriation but undoubtedly certain) which all women--to a certain degree--impersonate?