*A version of this was posted on Facebook in late April.
I've been thinking, lately, about cis men's acceptance into — and often domination of — feminine-coded spaces. Mainly because I have this clawing, gut-wrenching resentment of it that's been building over the past few years. It's like acid reflux but less pleasant. I tried to flip it around. To interrogate it from a different perspective. "Suleikha, if someone was this resentful of your inclusion in an exclusively white space, what would you say?" But you know what...? That's not the same thing. Because in NO WAY would I be allowed to gain the kind of power and notoriety that men acquire amongst women's groups. I would not be ceded the floor at every opportunity. My word would not be treated as gospel. You can be the token minority, but you can never lead the pack. That is not the case when you're a dude surrounded by women.
And, honestly, no matter how you identify gender-wise, that's annoying. Get a dog if you need that much validation. A couple of dogs. But don't expect women to be your bitches...unless, I guess, they're willing to be.
Because that IS part of the problem. How we shuffle to make room, step back down the ladder, put ourselves in a supplicant position to these kinds of men. So that when they give a shout-out, it builds us up. When they deign to talk to us, we blossom. We become the student to their teacher. Even when we're smarter, more accomplished, more well-informed on the subject matter, we fall into this trap of "A man said it, so now it MUST be true."
Why? Are we really so easily swayed? Do we really want men to speak for us? I can't believe that.
Why don't we see that the emperor has no clothes? More importantly, why don't we embrace our own wardrobe full of beautiful things?