The eyes looking back
On my refusal to be an object and what this can sometimes make men feel
He tells me he is not used to dating women like me. I don’t know what he means. What kind of woman am I? His other partners: beautiful. I feel no animosity, no jealousy. I feel only the kindred connection of women who share a lover. It’s not that I’m not aware of our differences: she contours her face and has an instagram account dedicated to make up, I don’t wear make up, she is heterosexual but tells me in confidence that she is curious about women, I am queer in all senses of the word. But I don’t see these differences as constituting us as different types. I don’t see us as fundamentally different, and I don’t rate us on any scale. I don’t compare myself to my metamour: I adore her.
Is this hard earned? Yes. In another time I struggled to attain a type of femininity that was always outside of my reach. I lamented my inability to apply eyeliner, my inability to care about it. I remember the heartbreak and the despair of being rated and compared. I remember other women as my enemy, as my competition. Male attention the resource we would happily rip each other’s throats out for. I remember something older too: something before women were my enemy: I adored them.