By: Rachel Lyle, May 12th, 2017
In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf talks about the mind of a female versus the mind of a male. She explains how people think that they need to be completely one sex or the other in both mind and body, but she explains that she does not agree with this and thinks that this would not work and that it is impossible to do. In her words:
One has a profound, if irrational, instinct in favor of the theory that the union of man and woman makes for the greatest satisfaction, the most complete happiness. But the sight of the two people getting in the taxi and the satisfaction it gave me made me also ask whether there are two sexes in the mind corresponding to the two sexes in the mind, and whether they also require to be united in order to get complete satisfaction and happiness….. But it would be well to test what one meant by man-womanly, and conversely woman-manly, by pausing and looking at a nook or two. (A Room of One’s Own, Pg. 98).
It’s true, one cannot be strictly completely woman or strictly completely man. It’s impossible because we are made to have traits of both but the traits of one sex are more dominant and show more than the other. Male still have emotions even though they do not show them as much as women. They are just not as in touch with them as women but they may not show them in public as much but they do show them at some point. Women may be emotional and have empathy and intuition but they can sometimes be insensitive to others and even sometimes be scared to show their feeling to others for many reasons. Some men may do this based on emotion rather logic like most men while some woman might do things out of logic rather than emotion as most women do. In essence men have small amounts of womanly traits and women have small amounts of manly traits.
Woolf also states, “It is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple; one must be woman- manly or man-womanly.” (A Room of One’s Own, pg. 104). This made me think about how I see myself. It made me think about whether I view myself as a woman-womanly, or man-womanly. I realized that I view myself as man-womanly, emphasis on the man. I identify as a bi-sexual female but I tend to act and think more like a male. I am not as in touch with my own emotions as most women tend to be and I don’t see myself as as empathetic as most women tend to be. I have almost no women’s intuition. I rarely show emotion and when I do it’s because I know I can’t get through something on my own. Unless you are in the circle of my closest family and friends, you will most likely only see me cry once in your life twice at most, and you might think I always have a smile and I’m always happy. When I make decisions I don’t do it based on emotion, I do it based on logic, how it will effect me and others in the long term, months, or years down the road depending on how big the decision is, not on how it makes me feel now, and I have to think about it hard and thoroughly, for weeks, sometimes months. It even shows in the way I dress. I like wearing skirts, dresses, and other girly things, but I prefer to wear jeans and a t-shirt with a hoodie and maybe a beanie or some sort of baseball cap. I prefer sweat pants to frilly short skirts with leggings. I don’t like showing off skin or sexually enticing men as many women do, I prefer to cover up and wear modest clothing that covers my body.
It is truly impossible to be completely man or completely woman and I myself am an example of this.