What a beautiful personal essay.
Do read the whole thing.
This part made me so sad-and I think it is a very common thread amongst children who are used as gender experiments by their 'progressive' parents (who never experiment on themselves).
"My professor had assigned Slavenka Drakulić’s feminist essay collection How I Survived Communism and Even Laughed.
Drakulić wrote that despite the supposedly equal status of women and
men in Communist societies, feminine needs and desires were ignored if
they departed from masculine ones. Women in Communist countries couldn’t
even get their hands on decent sanitary pads or tampons. Visiting
feminists from the West told their Eastern European colleagues that they
shouldn’t wear high-heels or makeup, but to women who had been deprived
of their feminine identities, wearing these things felt like resistance
to the communist state."
"Drakulić suggested women could be equal in status with men if people
accepted them as essentially different, but of equal value. The needs of
women and girls must be met, and their unique strengths must be prized.
Most importantly, each woman had to choose her path herself. Neither a
misogynist ideology nor a self-described “feminist” one should limit her
"Drakulić tells a story in her book that speaks
to me: Sharing my mother’s feminist sensibilities, she refused to buy
her daughter a Barbie. And then, she writes, “only a couple of days
before her twenty-second birthday, when I asked her what she wanted for a
present, she told me she wanted a Barbie doll.”