So here comes a rant about why I ponned PE. Feminism had to do with it.
Really unexpected huh. Almost no one ever gets me. Like how does feminism relate to why I ponned PE?? Wtf? Let me tell you why.
Basically, our patriarchal society values masculinity over femininity and often views women as the weaker sex. Thus it’s more acceptable for females to act or display masculinity than for males to display femininity. There’re two main reasons behind this — one of which constitutes patriarchal roots (as explained). Another is more complicated. It’s a misunderstanding of feminism. Based on personal experiences and observations, it’s based on the assumption that females are not believed to have the capacity to exhibit stronger, masculine characteristics. Hence, as self-proclaimed feminists themselves, females turn to actually exhibiting masculinity to prove patriarchy wrong; to prove that they can be strong. However, in doing so, it perpetuates the misconception that feminism is the one-dimensional concept of masculinity triumphing and prevailing over femininity. The second reason is more applicable here in my school.
Every time I go for PE lessons I feel really really conscious about my performance. And I’ll consider a few classmates very judgmental.
I’m a skinny girl. But the amount I eat is above average. I trained a lot due to CCA, but there’s a limit to which my body can grow muscles. My body’s a little unconventional. I am stronger (I mean this literally, physically) than what my muscles suggest.
I totally didn’t expect one incident; one casual, caustic remark of someone to shatter my faith and confidence so much. The girls were doing pull ups. So like, this guy classmate encouraged and praised my girl classmate, saying how he believed she could do it given she was in a sports cca. Then when it was my turn… When I was doing the pull ups he kinda smugly expressed his slight disbelief at my physical strength. But the whole thing was kinda like a smirk, sth like an “oh. you actually can. whatever” attitude. And… there wasn’t any follow-up praise. Not that I expected any, but the whole incident just shattered my confidence and I felt devastated. It made me very conscious of my body — of how incapable I looked. Not only that, I felt very insecure about my performance at PE too. I felt like everyone was entitled to judge everyone and accord respect to people based on their physical prowess.
So… it came to the extreme point when I felt uneasy even when someone praised me for catching the ball so well, for my flexibility, my strength etc. They could tell I hated PE lessons and hence tried to praise me when I did something impressive. (pathetic twats huh) But…. I’d just ignore them. I know it’s not the wisest thing to do but.. I felt really oppressed and uneasy even when they praised me, like I was a lab rat under scrutiny for every move I made. Like… if someone patted me on the back and say “be more confident.” I’d feel like punching someone, throwing the middle finger and cursing at them. How to be so if society denigrates femininity and if I can’t control my natural feminine body state? Do you know how much I actually trained? How many weights I lifted? How many laps I swam? How much I ran? My inability to be more muscular and appear more masculine is something beyond my control. It’s already fixed by my genes.
Hence… I avoided PE lessons. And mugged. Yes I missed all the fun, but I’d rather miss the fun and not feel oppressed than have “fun” and feel infuriated and annoyed at society.
(written at 1am my thoughts are very muddled tbh. and i know i’m overthinking that’s what I do 24/7 my brain’s a living hell)