12 January 2009

Mama Razor

Zambia is a binary state—I'm either here or I'm not.

And once again I've completely forgotten Zambia while I was away, and the last traces of Boston are leaking from my mind now. It was another person who lived in Boston. I've only known Zambia, and I've borrowed someone else's makeshift memories of the States.

This time, I have a new experiment—I'm trying to pass as a male. My hair is short and I wear only men's clothing, but at best, I look like a 12 year old boy. Apparently, that's good enough. The "hey mama," "I love you white woman," and "baby baby" call outs that previously plagued me in the street have virtually disappeared. I think I just confuse people long enough for the 30 seconds it takes for me to walk past them. I've even received several "white boy," "white man," and even "hey boss," and "hey brother" shouts in the street, although people usually switch from addressing me as "sir" to "madam" the minute they hear me speak. The change in call outs is awesome. Instead feeling threatened, my ego inflates. Even a woman called me over, mistaking me for a man, I've never been called over by a woman like that before.

I also think a lot about making my stride more masculine—I stand taller, widen my stance, and walk with my shoulders, not my hips. Hahaha…but I'm pretty sure at best I still look like an effeminate 12 year old boy. Interestingly enough, I find it much easier to act masculine when I'm scowling, but if I flash a smile, I feel like my entire guise cracks and I'm feminine again.

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