A man has always held one of the most powerful titles, President of the United States.
Superheroes like Superman and Batman have always had more attention than Wonder Woman or Cat Woman.
And school only taught me about the male historical figures that changed and revolutionized the world.
So growing up, it didn’t take much for me to realize that power lay in the masculine.
There was power in being one of the boys. And I wanted in.
It’s no wonder why some women trade in their womanhood for a piece of the golden ticket to ride along the manhood train of success. And in doing so, these women cut themselves off from the rest of womankind.
They become the exception – the loophole women.
What’s a Loophole Woman?
A loophole woman is a female who positions herself as something outside the norms of womanhood and belittles other women who are not the same “type” of female as she is.
Instead of questioning the standards to which women are upheld to, she judges women themselves.
For the majority of my life, I was a loophole woman, and I didn’t even know it.
Femininity scared me because society deems it as weak, and I never wanted to be weak. I steered away from anything associated to the “typical girl.”
Pink? Yuck! Dresses and flower prints? Gross. Cupcakes and baking? No way. Pop music? Don’t think so!
Even the talented Taylor Swift is guilty of participating in this phenomenon as clearly demonstrated in her 2009 hit, “You Belong with Me.”
She wears high heels,
I wear sneakers.
She’s cheer captain,
And I’m on the bleachers.
The loophole woman also suppresses her own feelings and takes on the actions and qualities of those who are perceived as powerful in her society – namely, men.
And I’m not talking about being authoritative.
I’m talking about adapting to the lifestyle, which seems to be valued as successful or powerful by our society. A loophole woman could alter her way of speaking or alter her actions as a way to attain status.
Jessie J, for example, does this in her 2010 song “Do It Like a Dude.”
No pretty drinks, I’m a guy out here
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ money like a pimp
My B-I-T-C-H is on my dick like this
And personally, I found myself acting in ways which were contrary to my beliefs.
The sexualization and objectification of women in media has always disturbed me. But order to fit in with the guys I had to not be offended by the very things they approved of. That meant that when looking at a magazine with the guys, I would agree and say “ Yeah, she is hot” instead of telling them how that image was altered tremendously on Photoshop to create the idea of perfection that they love so much.
Like Jessie J, I also used language that my fellow male friends used: “I got the biggest balls!”
I even found myself objectifying and sexualizing women before my fellow guy friends could, just so I could beat them to it and prove myself as one of the guys.
I had to make sure I was different –tougher, looser, funnier –than those women.
I surrounded myself with males. They were my only friends.
I deprived myself from creating friendships with other women because I wanted to make it very clear: I was not one of those girls.
A Loophole to What?
The so-called “other girls” are the ones that the media perpetuates as being what girls “should” be –ditsy, boy crazy, shopping fanatics who are makeup-obsessed lunatics.
They are the women who are not taken seriously and only admired for their looks.
I think I developed into a loophole woman as a way to escape everything I hated about being a woman – being sexualized, not taken seriously, seen as weaker, not listened to, being harassed.
A loophole woman was the closest thing to not being a woman.
I accumulated layers of masculinity as a shield to protect myself against all of the horrible things that come with being a woman.
It was my way of saying “Don’t mess with me, I’m not like them!” or “Don’t treat me like them, I’m different.”
I thought that if men viewed me as something different, something closer the male status, then I’d be excused of the experience of being a woman.
But at the end of the day, I was still a woman.
And as Ariel Levy explains in her book Female Chauvinist Pigs: “As long as womanhood is thought of as something to escape from, something less than manhood, you will be thought less of too.”
Why Is This a Bad Thing?
When I said “I’m not like those women, I’m different,” what it really translates to is “I’m not like those women, I’m better.” And that’s not true.
I thought I was painting myself in a positive light, when really it was negative and at the expense of other women.
You are a woman.
And there shouldn’t be anything wrong with that.
But there is something wrong with a world that makes women feel inferior. And there is something wrong with changing who you are because you think it isn’t good enough.
We devalue ourselves when we alter who we are based on the thoughts of others.
What I’ve come to realize is that I don’t have to change. It’s the world that needs to change.
It’s the ideals and definition of strength and power that needs to change, not me. I changed who I was because I thought I wasn’t good enough. But really, I was perfectly fine to begin with.
Don’t Get It Twisted!
A loophole woman isn’t a female who’s anti-feminine (though she could be).
It’s a female who changes who she is according to the masculine in order to gain a better status.
There is no loophole woman because not all women are the same!
You can love shopping, baking, and spend hours perfecting your nail art, but can also play video games, love reading, and not mind getting dirty when it comes to sports.
There’s nothing wrong with masculinity, but there is something wrong with thinking less of femininity. I used to overplay my masculine qualities in order to earn respect.
I’m still not the most feminine woman in the world, and that’s because I’ve truly never been. Once I realize that my fear of femininity came from a male’s perspective of what strength is, I revalued how I defined strength for myself.
Since then, I’ve been kicked out the boys’ club, but that’s okay because I was never supposed to be there to begin with.
Right now, I’m enjoying redefining strength for myself with the help of both my feminine and masculine qualities.
And you can, too.
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Kat Lazo is a Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism. She’s a self-proclaimed social commentator, media critic, and overall, a woman who questions everything. Having studied Advertising and Marketing Communications at the Fashion Institute of Technology, she’s ready to add some feminism to the ad world. Check out more of her writing at TheeKatsMeoww, watch her videos on YouTube, and follow on Twitter @TheeKatsMeoww, Facebook and Tumblr. Read her articles here.
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