Posts tagged "gender/sexuality"
Yentl

Yentl

(October 4-8, 1993) The film is nearly ten years old by the time we watch it in World Cultures. My classmates: all girls, all bored. I try to feign boredom as a way to fit in, but it’s hard to hide what I’m feeling. It’s also hard to explain. Yentl wants to study, so she...
Things I Can’t Do Right After Painting My Nails (Though I Do Them Anyway)

Things I Can’t Do Right After Painting My Nails (Though I Do Them Anyway)

1. Remove the corn husk from a pineapple tamal, layer by layer, as if unraveling a complex bandage. (The whole spongy mass flops off the plate and onto the table, despite delicate pinching and tugging.) 2. Prune a flowering crown of thorns I’ve revived from the dead. (When I try to reach a shriveled leaf...
A Reverse Chronology of the Body In Motion

A Reverse Chronology of the Body In Motion

26 years old. My husband and his friend David run together. They also take up indoor rock-climbing. They invite me, but I decline, remembering how awkward I feel in gym settings. An anxiety of taking up physical space lives in my body. They tell me that I would love rock climbing, how at its root...
The Chicken Whisperer

The Chicken Whisperer

Back when our oldest son was a girl, we called him the Chicken Whisperer. He had this gift of stepping up to unruly roosters—the ones that chased his brother to the carpool in the morning, zeroing in like cruise missiles, the ones that made our grown house-sitters sob and sniff—and scooping them up like babies. Cannonball,...
Whenever Men Think I’m Smiling

Whenever Men Think I’m Smiling

I’m on the elevator alone for one floor before the man gets on.  He stands in one corner, staring at his phone. I drink my coffee. At the next floor, two more men get on. They flank me, laughing and talking about some game somewhere. I pull my arms in at my sides, try to...
Dance Me to the End

Dance Me to the End

Four o’clock on a Friday afternoon. My grandmother slumps against the arm of the sofa, eyes half-closed, sinking down, down, down. The tips of her fingers graze the floor, and she moves them about, grasping at some hidden thing she keeps secret. Today is no different. She has just turned ninety. The dementia, the vision...
Chronology of the Body

Chronology of the Body

Five Years My hair is never brushed, and I always forget to sit with my legs crossed, ladylike, and for the longest time my only friend is Matthew Bickle. On the first day of school, he wears a red t-shirt, which sparks a heated debate amongst my classmates. “Matthew’s wearing a girl color!” Someone says,...
Our Bodies and Blood

Our Bodies and Blood

There is blood on the pool deck. Coach points and we stare: blood, in the small grooves between tiles; blood, barreling towards the nearest drain like it’s being chased. “Oh no. No, no no. Did someone start—” his voice trails off. “Is someone on their—” We lift our butts and examine the tiles around our...
Women These Days

Women These Days

[Compiled and arranged by searching “woman + [verb]” (walking) in national news outlets over the past twelve months] An Ohio woman was shot dead while cooking Thanksgiving dinner; witnesses report that at the time of the shooting, she was standing at a kitchen table, preparing macaroni and cheese. The body of a North Carolina woman...
Salt River, Tide

Salt River, Tide

One evening in the swamp-city where I used to live, at the mouth of a river opening into a salt ocean tide, in an apartment building known for jumpers, the woman upstairs tells me about her pain. We ride the elevator, laundry in our arms. The lift jutters as it passes each floor. Her back...
Glossary of Chain Accidents

Glossary of Chain Accidents

Because I used to stare at Mendy Frankl’s Adonis curls in statistics, because I had a pair of silver boots from Baker’s I got on clearance for $14.99 and Sharpied them to near-extinction, because I dreamed of being the kind of girl who had a red high heel on the end of a keychain, as...
When a 17-Year-Old Checkout Clerk in Small Town Michigan Hits on Me, I Think about the Girl I Loved at 17

When a 17-Year-Old Checkout Clerk in Small Town Michigan Hits on Me, I Think about the Girl I Loved at 17

When it opened in 1908, The New York Times called the PATH train one of the greatest engineering feats that has ever been accomplished: perhaps greater than, they noted, the ongoing Panama Canal project, which wouldn’t be up and running for six more years. Spanning only three and a half miles, the PATH train from...
Louie’s New Truck

Louie’s New Truck

The tiny Montana town I grew up in had one main intersection where two highways came together at a T-shaped junction. One stop sign told vehicles traveling east to give way to the north and south traffic passing straight through town. On the corner stood Dad’s pharmacy: a two-story, baby blue, eyesore of a building....
Little Rambles (Excerpts)

Little Rambles (Excerpts)

#20 Dear _______, I am studying the genetics of calico cats; taking formal (and informal) photographs of tissue boxes (probably best not to ask); and studying the design and psychology of contemporary sans serif fonts. Sometimes I write. Freud thought that people over fifty weren’t educable. Plato thought that fifty was a good time to...
After Losing 113 Pounds, Diet Alone is Not Enough to Keep the Weight Coming Off

After Losing 113 Pounds, Diet Alone is Not Enough to Keep the Weight Coming Off

So I ask Robert, the trainer who lives next door, what the neighbor rate is on a workout, and he teaches me to squat with my heels on the ground, to crunch with one leg bent high above my waist. He wraps my hands in tape and teaches me to stand with one foot perpendicular...
The Lunch Lady and Her Three-Headed Dogs

The Lunch Lady and Her Three-Headed Dogs

I raise my arm to write on the chalkboard, and the skin draped over bone and muscle swings in contrapuntal melody. I am ashamed to be caught in the act of living in skin. I hope my students are not hypnotized by the distracting motion. I hope no one sees this hammock of flesh and...
Symbolum Apostolorum: The Apostles’ Creed

Symbolum Apostolorum: The Apostles’ Creed

In my high school, where God was king and country and girls were not, everything teetered on the tightrope of treason. We knelt like mendicants while nuns used their wooden rules to measure the distance between the immaculate floor and the hems of our box-pleated mini-skirts. Because length and sexual proclivity were intertwined in the...
Misinformation

Misinformation

When I was young I dressed like a boy, though I became irate when misidentified as such. Even now I am sometimes called sir. I object less. When I was young, the boys I loved wore their hair in the style of a bowl cut. I enjoyed the mushroom shape rimming round their heads. Now...