Autism & Gender Expression

The fact that I’m a woman who is attracted romantically/sexually to women makes me very much aware of femininity, presentation and it’s various assumptions.

 

Being A Queer Autistic makes me even more aware because I had to learn via deliberation all such assumptions people make. They don’t make sense, but I’ve got some of it figured. It’s a hard lesson with realization that life and society is bigoted and unfair, again.

 

To some, I don’t seem womanly at all. Many have such a strict idea of womanhood, such a strict conceptualization of what is meant by society as womanly, as female, that I’m often mis-gendered or given no gender at all. My experience of myself and my gender is taken from me.

 

This is wrong.

 

I don’t dress as some women do because I don’t, but also because I can’t.

Lotion irritates my hands. Scented lotions and perfumes make me sneeze and break out. Make Up, I can feel it on my face. Flowy fabrics and big earrings irritate my skin. Long hair causes sore blemishes on my face and shoulders. Rings hurt my fingers.

 

I get overstimulated by what is conventionally used to convey, ‘feminine presentation.’ I get angry when people think identity is so dictated by a hair style or a piece of clothing. I get it. Society has paradigms. Yes, statistical averages play out that flowy fabrics, bright colors, jewelry are feminine in many societies.

 

I find long hair on women gorgeous. Women are breathtaking.

 

But, I don’t take a persons’ identity away if they present less feminine but are woman. I don’t think someone is less woman if she doesn’t wear make-up or jewelry or has short hair. A dapper dressed female is just a sexy to me as a long haired goddess in a gown.

 

Woman is as Woman Says She Is.

 

Because I’m autistic, I’m more apt to take people at their word as they identify themselves. I’m not as able to determine via dress and visual social cue how someone identifies. And, ultimately, because I don’t have the practice, I’m often wrong. And, well, assumption makes a what out of you and me… To assume is discourteous. As Autistic, I need to be directly told who you are. Because I’m not so programmed to assume, because my brain struggles with such social reading, I just don’t assume you are different than what you say.

 

And, too, as Woman is as She Says She Is, so, too is womanhood and femininity about behavior.

 

Misogyny doesn’t allow me assertiveness nor aggressiveness at the same time my womanhood is taken from me because I’m not feminine enough. My gendered ambiguity limits my power and self-actualization. Limited is the impact I can make in social situations where some gendered males have decided I don’t have power. Limited is my impact in social situations where some gendered females have decided that I’m trying to command for they feel me not feminine enough, fear me being toxically masculine.

 

Behaviors given womanhood, given the feminine exclusively, are strangely behaviors we should all have. Empathy & Compassion should be genderless. Intelligence & Maturity, too. Meek is often a result of oppression, not a feminine trait. Weak, prim, are just adjectives that can be ascribed to individuals in situations and not to an entire gender or group of persons with certain physical characteristics.

 

I argue that I should be able to be Woman as I say I am, but, too, Woman as I define Woman.

 

As should we all have the power, and respect, to dub ourselves thus, make-up and flowers, or not.

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