Identity. by Meredith Flanders

Identity. by Meredith Flanders

What would you think or feel if someone said “Go to this show, it’s run by an African American!” or “Best of all, it’s produced by a homosexual!” when neither show has a “black” or “gay” theme, they are just normal shows run by a minority. If someone said that wouldn’t it sound a bit backwards progressive. Like, thanks for the support, but I just want to be treated like everyone else.

But, what if a local magazine plugged an open mic and ended it with the tag “–it’s woman run, too!” Possibly meaning well, this is Seattle, and in this age of comedy people are looking for more women comedians and we have them! The amount of women coming out to stand up open mics is growing, and the showcase line ups are becoming more and more balanced, with funny female comedians! And best of all, Seattle wants to see them!

But what if someone doesn’t want to identify as a woman in comedy, then what do you do?

Biologically I am a woman. I have a fully equipped vagina complete with a clitoris and G spot, and up top breasts that I am proud to carry around. (Sometimes I think of how cool it would be to have a penis, but only when I have to pee and can’t find a restroom.) I am also bisexual. And maybe its because of that, that I do not see gender. So when I’m in the bedroom I am a woman and my partner is either a man or woman, but in public I am a person. Socially, I’m a dude. Complex? Yes, I know. And I don’t expect people to understand that, so I just ask to be called a person and leave it at that.

I know a few women in the same boat as I, and many more who don’t feel the same way, but that’s okay. Because that’s the great part about New Wave Feminism- we are moving away from gender binaries and respecting people as individuals. So why today do I choose to bring up the subject of my open mic which has been tagged multiple times as “woman run”? Because I’m tired, I’m uncomfortable, and today I finally mustered up the courage to tell the writer of the paper about how I identify. And here’s exactly how the conversation went down.

Me: Hey (name omitted)! I really love the support of the Blue Moon open mic, however I prefer to not push that it’s “woman run.” It’s not how I identify and would really appreciate if you tagged it in a different angle. Thanks. -MF

Writer: You run it right?

Me: Yep

Writer: Then it’s woman run. Why would that be a bad thing?

Me: Because that is not how I identify

Writer: As a woman?

Me: I prefer comic or person.
And like to leave it gender neutral

Writer: i don’t even know what to do with this quibble. i covered your bar mic, and you’re complaining that you don’t want it to sound “gendered” so that your shitty guy friends don’t feel “uncomfortable”? sheesh

Me: Hey, I’m not trying to attack you. I was just sharing my feelings as a human being about how you labeled my gender, something that is not black and white. I’m sorry you feel this has something to do with my ‘shitty guy friends’ but that is not the case.
Thanks for understanding.

Writer: do you not identify as a cis woman?

*Liz’s note: “cis woman” means “born with female parts and identifies as a female.”

And that is where I left the conversation, in tears crying at my desk at work. I never asked this person to cover my open mic, and if I had known that my identity would not be respected, I would have asked that it would not be covered it at all.

I’ve been racking my woman brain of how to finish this woman blog while I wait for my woman laundry to dry. And tomorrow I will wake up and go to my woman job, sit at my woman desk, afterwards post my woman flyers for my woman run show, go to a male run open mic to do my woman jokes, go to my woman home, and repeat.

Sounds ridiculous, right? So when a person asks to be called a person, you don’t need to understand it, but please respect it.

And the writer, a self proclaimed feminist. Ugh.

Meredith Flanders is a homie of mine who currently resides in Seattle, WA. She is a funny woman. I copied the following from her website, which I think sums her up nicely: “She enjoys gin and tonics, drawing made up animals, and dancing to terrible pop music. And the oxford comma.”

This blog was originally written for her website, Hi It’s Meredith. I stole it from her with permission.

For more funny business, follow her on Twitter: @hi_its_meredith.


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