I’ve been listening to country music on the car radio, but it’s making me a bit queasy. You see, today the target audience for country is women in SUVs with kids in the back, and those proficient hacks in Nashville know how to make them happy.
Proud women or men saying how happy women make them, that’s the entire oeuvre, with a bit of party music thrown in. Carrie Underwood, who was so happy to let Jesus take the wheel, is now happily keying her ex’s car, which is not the answer I would expect when asking WWJD.
I listen to this claptrap about earnest daddies buying Happy Meals and women paraphrasing the Paradoxical Commandments (Do It Anyway) in a happy-sap-pappy way, and I squirm. To me, the message is clear: success as a woman has clear and understood parameters.
Women, I know, are pack animals as much as any male human. What they want is to be an esteemed part of the group, and that means having what other women value. Unless other women value it, it is often difficult for women to see the worth in it.
This is, of course, the heart of the girl story in this culture. Heck, for all I know it may be the heart of the girl story in every culture.
I know, though, it has never been the heart of my story. My story is the essential tranny journey, one that walks away from what other people want to find some individual expression.
This is often hard to explain to people. They assume that I make choices for the same reason they do, wearing short skirts to attract men, for example. They make their choices to get what they want, to get what “everyone values,” shaping their expression around common desire, including the desire to have status within the group, and assume everyone makes choices for the same reason.
It’s possible that if I had been one of the girls in high school, I would have bought into this story. But I wasn’t, and I wasn’t one of the boys either, as was clear to them. Part of me does wish I could have bought into this story, learning how to get status and prestige in the group by enacting the shared story of success though achieving shared desires. But I didn’t, and now, at an age when other women are putting aside the dreams & patterns of girlhood and claiming their own unique expression, power & status, well, it’s not going to happen for me.
Still, I flip on the country radio and I am reminded, song by song that I am never going to have a standard girl story, am never just going to get to accept the common ideas, desires and dreams which populate these tunes. That makes me sad, and I often respond with classic cynicism, rejecting the commercial manipulation occurring, which is simultaneously true & smart and lost & empty.
To be comfortable with our own unique story is the ultimate goal of any human life.
But yeah, being comfortable we have operated within the shared story, the shared girl story, has attractions too.
Otherwise, why else would so many women be so happy to have it affirmed on their car radios, and work so hard to enact it in their own lives?