We've been invaded this week.
This fine fellow was right up in the window all weekend ordering me to put out more birdseed.
Handsome bird, total bad-ass.
Yesterday, I was spending some time laying in the hammock reading a book, and I heard a weird "CHUFF! CHUFF!" noise. I turned my head and there were three big tom turkeys not ten feet from the hammock, at the edge of the woods, taking turns fanning out their tails and doing the CHUFF thing sinking their heads into big ol' puffed out chest feathers. They were strutting around while one hen pecked around in the grass ignoring them. I never wished for a video camera so much. It was hilarious.
I do a lot of thinking about gender and gender traits as performance and choice and taught behavior rather than inbred behavior. I think in the world we live in now, it's way more optional to perform the gender you were born with. One reason I'm so fascinated with drag queens and gay culture. I think it goes back to feeling a need to be a total bad-ass myself, much like that turkey, in order to survive. Being a weightlifter and someone who is mechanically inclined and very physically strong and able to fix stuff yet being a mostly heterosexual woman and certainly cisgender, I think it very interesting how people choose to use and subvert gender roles.
I would be happy to live in a world where the role of gender was up to the person and not up to a general societal judgment. Where certain qualities were not assigned to gender but were taken on by individuals as things that are right for them, like fashion sense or mechanical aptitude. Where the designation of masculinity and femininity did not trail along so much baggage with them, where they were more choice than obligation.
There was a good mini-doc on Logo this week called "the butch factor". A host of qualities given to be indicative of what a "real man" is or does included things like being honorable, or being reliable, or being honest. Why are these given as masculine traits? Because all the women I knew growing up were also honorable, reliable, and honest. As well as tough. And this is where I learned it. And this is why I'm sometimes perceived as mannish or intimidating. If those things, which are good human traits, are masculine, then does that leave dishonor, duplicity, and flakiness as feminine traits? Or am I being too dualistic? Because that's what we've got here, a world (in the west, at least) steeped in dualism and black-and-white thinking, in everything from politics to gender roles to food choices to art and everything in between.
Am I making any sense? Black and white dualism helps nobody and seems to hurt a lot of people.
I'm moving right along on the honeybee stole, and I'm also making socks from a skein of the legendary Wollmeise yarn. And I've got two spindle spinning projects and a wheel spinning project going so I'm busy, craft wise. I'm keeping up with the 365 project too. I've got too many to post individually, so here's the slideshow to date.
And a couple of highlights.