Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Third Sex

I have been mulling over something that the IF blogosphere has been discussing lately. A few days ago, Mel at Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters brought the topic of femininity to the forefront.

I trembled as I read her words. My eyes welled with tears. She perfectly expressed my feelings of doubt and insecurity about my own femininity. I actually copied a portion of it and sent it to hubby, with the link to Mel's blog to read the whole entry. Below is a relevant excerpt from her blog (with minor editorial changes).

I feel disconnected from my uterus. When I look at all the parts that make me a woman--my breasts and my uterus, my ovaries and my cervix--I don't feel very feminine.

I think what I was coveting wasn't (my friend’s) pregnancy or this particular baby. What I was coveting in the moment was her fertility. Her ability to get pregnant while on birth control. A femininity so ferocious that it knocks synthetic hormones out of the way in order to utilize her ovaries and uterus. That is a f*cking woman and watch her body roar. And after she gives birth, she will use her breasts to feed the baby. She will utilize every part that makes her a woman.

From my point of view, despite everything happening in her body, she is hyperfertile. And it's her fertility that makes her feminine. It makes her a woman. And it is what makes me feel like a third sex. Certainly not male, but not female either.

On my wedding day, I felt like such a woman in that white gown. I felt so feminine and pretty. On my wedding day, I thought I would be pregnant within the year. I walked through that day with so much confidence--with so much femininity--my womanhood on my sleeve. I want to get back to that day when I felt sexual and sensual.

I don't want someone else to make me feel feminine or tell me that I am feminine. I want to feel feminine. I want to feel like a woman.

I can relate to these emotions all too well. To my surprise though, there are many women in the IF world that feel the same way. The question remains though: why do we equate the ability to bear children with our femininity? Rather perplexing, isn't it?

But it's so true. I certainly don't feel male, but not quite female either. Like I'm somewhere in between. I have lost that feminine self-confidence that I once had. I don't feel feminine anymore. I don't feel like a woman. While I want to feel that again, I'm not sure how.

I don't think that anything external can give me that feeling back. I can't put on a fancy dress and makeup, have my hair and nails done and "feel" any more feminine. A chick flick doesn't do it. Not even a night with my girlfriends makes me feel feminine. Sweet nothings whispered in my ear wouldn't do it. Compliments galore wouldn't give that feeling to me. It comes from inside I think. But I think that part of me is gone. Can you get it back? How do you feel feminine? What makes a woman?


Mr Blue Sky said...

Hey Gil. Well that is a question I can never answer. If it makes you feel any better then us guys go through similar thoughts. Well at least I did and continue to do so.

You can never help how you feel so never apologise.

I hope that you can find some positive feeling and remember that your man is there for you.
Take care

Baby Blues said...

Hi Gil! Got here through Debbie. I hear you with feeling disconnected. I feel me feminine parts are lemons! Child bearing is the only major difference between male and female... we were created to procreate. And dealing with IF definitly makes me feel something feminine is missing!

Dramalish said...

Gil.. when you foster motherly feelings- in whatever capacity- I think you get some of that back.

I hope you get it back in spades, in the way you hope and dream to. And soon.

sariel & shlomit said...

Gil, I've got the same questions running through my head answers so far...i keep hoping that once i do get pregnant that i'll be awash in a sense of my womanhood...i don't think that's the greatest answer but it's the only one looming at the moment...
btw, i see that you, decemberbaby and i are all at the same point in the 2ww - if i were looking for signs, i'd say that's a good one!

Gil said...

Hey Shlomit sweetie! Ah... I would be in the 2ww if hubby and I tried this month, but we didn't. No IUIs for me until March or April; I'm taking some "me" time off at the moment. Still keeping it touch though. And wouldn't you just know it? It kills me that Fertility Friend gave me SUPERB crosshairs during a cycle when I have absolutely no meds in me. Isn't THAT just a hoot!? Sheesh. Murphy's Law huh? Nevertheless, I'm living vicariously through you and decemberbaby and checking your blogs often! Sending many many hugs from Ottawa down the 401 to you and Sariel!

The Town Criers said...

As you know--I never came to answer, just a lot of questions. Just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone at all with these feelings and I promise to reveal the secret to you in regaining femininity if you promise to reveal it to me. Whoever gets there first :-)

My Reality said...

I am not sure if it is my femininity that I feel is under attack or my whole identity. If I dress up, put on my makeup, do my hair etc, I can feel pretty feminine. My biggest problem is that a part of my identity is that of a mother. Growing up, all I wanted to be was a mommy. I long for a child to nurture and love. I don't know how to change that part of my identity. I certainly feel betrayed by my body. I am not exactly sure what to call it though.