Let me preface this whole post with a little autobiography. I grew up as a tomboy and I mean a real tomboy. Not a girl that just hung out with the boys and maybe played video games with them. I climbed trees, shot BB guns, fished, rode dirt bikes, went hunting for snakes and frogs, played football at the park and all those other things that are considered unfeminine. I wore jean and t-shirts, no make-up and never bothered with hairdos. I spent most of my time with dirt under my nails, sutures and bruises. I have scars. Dudes dig scars. Growing up like this naturally evolved into working in an all male environment. It was never awkward and I even became the boss of all the guys.
I have always found it easier to be "one of the boys" rather than one of the girls. It made middle and high school a little rough, especially after puberty, because if a girl hung out with guys she must be screwing all those guys too, right? I was never the "pretty" one so I guess in the minds of the pubescent it meant I was desperate and willing to sleep around. If you put me in the group of girls, I was the smart one or the shy one, in short...the awkward one. Girls compete with one another, even if they are friends. Each one wants to be the cute one, the one all the boys desired to be with. I have never felt the need to be competitive in that way. I couldn't compete so why even bother? It would have just knocked my self-esteem into a pit. I learned to be content with being the buddy to all the guys and being smart. It took many years but I achieved that sense of self and came into my own.
One of the things that happens when you do become "one of the guys" is you get treated like one of the guys. What does that entail? Well, if you have ever seen a movie, or been around a group of guys, you know they make cracks on each other...many times in regards to their sex lives or sexual preferences. As a female, you either roll with it and dish it back, or get offended and flounce off. For the record, I am not a flouncer, so I dish it back (I have a quick wit and a razor sharp tongue always at the ready). Being part of this inner sanctum of manhood means that I often get to enjoy a certain degree of ribbing and sexual harassment that is not at all creepy, scary or obligatory to "taking things further". In fact, at my last job you basically had to accept being harassed or go work somewhere else. I was the boss and these guys respected me, even if we gave each other shit all the time. They'd the first ones to put a new guy in his place if he crossed the line and treated me like a sex object or they felt he was being disrespectful. It was a manly job, with a manly atmosphere, the type of atmosphere I thrive in. It's very comfortable for me. I am at home in that "male" environment, as long as I am treated like one of the guys.
For the record, there is a difference between disrespect and friendly banter, a huge difference. The difference is palpable when that line is crossed. You can feel the tension in the room. You can almost taste it in the air. Telling me I belong to the itty bitty titty committee after I called you the poster child for penile enhancement products is teasing. Asking me to show you my tits or offering to give me a money shot is disrespectful.
To look at me in person, especially now that I am more feminine, you'd probably be surprised to know that I have the dirty mind of a guy and will giggle like a 12 year old boy when someone says the word boner. I can also curse like a longshoreman. I can't help it. My maturity level dips dramatically from time to time. Love it or hate it, you just have to accept it if you want to be my friend. It does often lead to hilarity, so that's something. I have only felt out of place when my gay male friends start making fun of each other about liking vagina because, well, that's just weird because I happen to have one. I tend to stick to telling them they have bad taste in clothes or remarking on the fact they fart glitter. One of my friends often teases me by calling me "whore" and I refer to him as "homo" on a regular basis. It's just a thing we do and neither of us are offended because it's done out of affection. See? There is that line I was talking about.
I make friends easily. I consider everyone as friendly until I am proven otherwise. I don't subscribe to the idea that someone has to earn my friendship first. All they have to do is prove that my faith in them is warranted and be friendly back. If you have any intimate knowledge of my formative years growing up, you know how remarkable this character trait in me really is. I have been known to help people out regardless if I have known them long or met them in person. I am there for anyone I feel is in need and within my circle of friends (again it's a large circle). If I give you my phone number to use for texts or calls, you know you are someone I do not feel even remotely threatened by. It also means you have permission to use that number at any time, day or night, without worry. I know you are not out to ruin my life, marriage, family, etc. You are someone I think is pretty awesome. Maybe you just make me laugh or will send me a text when I am feeling out of sorts. Hey, maybe I think you need, or will need me in the future. I have talked nearly perfect strangers off a ledge, so to speak, when they feel like their lives are falling apart around them.
Okay enough background about me. I'll get to the point.
Today was a prime example of how many of my friendships work, be it with male or female friends. Yes, I said female. My girlfriends and I make lesbian jokes or toss sexual innuendos at each other. Try not to die from the shock. Anyway, there were messages sent back and forth riddled with innuendo and jokes. The usual fare and definitely the stuff that makes me want to pee my pants laughing, all in good fun. This is a newer friendship so this person hasn't quite gotten to really know me yet and I think they are a little afraid of offending me or giving the wrong impression. At any rate, they apologized for being pervy. Now I am a very difficult person to shock or rattle, but this took me aback a bit. I didn't want my friend to feel uncomfortable or that they were making me feel uncomfortable. If someone crosses a boundary, I always let them know. I am pretty straightforward and have little problem finding my voice if I need to. I am not afraid. I learned to not live in fear when I was very young. It has served me well.
To me, being a true pervert is someone that does thing to hurt others against their will, like sticking them in a well and lowering a basket with lotion in it. Another example would be peeping in a window at night while masturbating, basically violating the person without their knowledge. Sexual predators are perverts. They are out to overpower and hurt their victims. Joking around with a friend and lacing those jokes with winks and nudges is about as far from pervy as you can get. It's friendly banter and something that amuses me to no end. I take none of the jokes to heart nor do I think that a friend that is joking around in this manner is doing it out of a desire seduce me into their bed. It's just adults being silly and acting like kids. We all have to act like kids sometimes or else we'd be crushed under the pressures of adulthood.
I sometimes wonder if society has spent too much time dividing the sexes or dictating what is proper and acceptable. Why can't men and women enjoy an easygoing friendship with all the ribbing and teasing that goes along with it? He shouldn't feel he has to treat me any differently then he'd treat one of his guy friends. Okay, maybe he'd have to help me lift heavy items when helping me move but he shouldn't have to edit his personality to try to be more palatable to me. Why should he have felt the need to apologize to me, if I was dishing it all back at him...jab for jab? It seems silly. I should be able to be friends with guys (and girls) without someone thinking I am sleeping with them or that I am trying to bed them.
I feel we all have our own moral compass and we should all listen to that compass, be guided by it, and screw what those outsiders (society) think. I am not a perfect angel but honestly, who is? (Leave Mother Teresa out of this. Not a fair example. lol) Regardless of my obvious flaws, I am a good person that would never do anything to hurt anyone, intentionally. I am giving and kind. Morally, I might not be up to the standards of the nuns that tried to control how my personality developed, but I think I have done pretty well following my own feelings and ideals.
Yes this was long but this is my blog and sometimes I just have to sort through my thoughts here, no matter how incomplete or disjointed they are. Deal with it. <3 p="">3>