1) What physical spaces do you feel safe or unsafe in? Emotional spaces? How does this relate to your race, age, sexual orientation, background, class, etc?
i feel safe at home and at work, physically speaking and also emotionally (not sure if that’s what you mean), and i feel pretty safe in most areas of suburbs and city up till maybe 10 pm, less so after that if along. i know that i feel safer as a woman now that i’m older, even though i’m not sure this makes sense. i also think that my race and class privilege have something to do with my feeling of general safety in the world.
2) How do you perceive your own physical appearance and those of other women? How do you think others perceive you physically? What elements contribute to these perceptions?
hmm, well i generally feel pretty good about my physical appearance, and i think i appreciate a fairly wide range of appearances in other women. in terms of others’ perceptions of me physically, i think it depends so much on who the others are and their contexts. especially in terms of body weight – perceived as ‘small’ especially by larger women. also i think i’m perceived as relatively young-looking for my age, not sure whether/how this relates to viewer and her/his context, though.
3) How do you feel walking outside as a woman? Safe, unsafe, targeted, ignored, harassed, invisible? Does this change depending on where you are, how you are dressed, who you are with, who else is around?
usually pretty safe and ignored, much more than when i was younger i’d say, but also true that i’m in less and less varied places probably than when much younger. but even so there’s some variation with how dressed, more with who i’m with and also time of day/night.
4) What does the intersection of your woman-ness with other elements mean to you? I.E. race, class, age, ability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, I’m sure I’m missing some.
intersection of woman-ness with race and class is most evident to me most of the time, especially race, i don’t often forget my whiteness or middle-classness in relation to womanness, in fact those other identities tend to come to my awareness first but i do think my sense of my own gender is deeper than i sometimes think. now, getting older, and also working with young people, i’m also pretty aware of age, and what it means to be a getting-older, white, m-c woman, how the age dimension orients me differently in relation to others, to my own wishes and concerns, etc. i tend to take my sexual orientation for granted, though less so when i’m around others who don’t share it, or even don’t take it for granted. and ability, hmm, in some ways i take it for granted, like more socio-politically, but in relation to age i also really value my physical ability, and do think about not always having it. i don’t think that much about learning ability in my life, but do in the context of my work. and think of mental health a fair amount but maybe not so much in relation to gender.