Take home point vs. Preaching part 2
And almost a month later, I continue the quandry. I think the reason I delayed blogging for so long is that I don’t feel qualified to be talking on the subject of gender issues, besides what I’ve felt and what I’ve experienced in my own life. I try not to write about myself, per se, but when I was little (like, elementary school age), I loved playing co-ed sports, especially beating the boys at their own game. And then as I got a little older, I hated being a girl because girls were supposed to like makeup and shopping and giggling about boys, and all of those things either intimidated me (like makeup) or nauseated me. And YET I loved dolls, and the color pink, and fairytales. Notice a trend? I liked being a kid-girl, but tween-girldom sucked. I didn’t know it then, but it’s totally fine to be who you are and do what you like, “boy stuff” or “girl stuff” be damned.
So I guess something I’ve done very carefully is make Layla neither just girly or a total tomboy. She has a much tougher road than I did–I got post-feminisim, while she lives in a world with harsh delineations between the sexes–and because she has to fight for the tomboy part of herself, that has the more dominant hold on her interests.
Anyway, back to Katie’s comment. I was trying to find a way to work Layla’s dancing ability into the last act of the plot, a scene where she has to petition the Sultan. Given the society, the Sultan could want to know if his permitting Layla to play siegeball has made her an “unnatural female” and ask her to prove otherwise–so Layla could dance. Katie said thought it sounded cool until she realized “you don’t want your take home point to be that it’s ok to do boy stuff as long as you do girl stuff too.” Which is true, and I never would have thought of it. So that idea is scrapped, but I got some interesting food for thought.