Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Tower Envy

In my previous post, Ann Onymous left the following comment:
Here's my two part question, Stana. 
1. Do you think that had you from the get-go in life been allowed to live as a girl/woman you would have developed an interest in HAM radio? 
2. Had you been born with an XY [sic] chromosome body do you think you'd have developed that interest? 
I'm not trying to be provocative, I've always been curious about traditionally male/female activities and how those intersect with gender identity.
My interest in radio was sparked by two things.

👧   My childhood home was located in the shadow of the towers of AM radio station WATR. The towers were an imposing presence in my early life; so much so that I wanted my own radio tower.

👧   My parents gifted me a Remco AM radio kit for Christmas when I was about 10-years-old. Living so close to WATR, its signal swamped my Remco radio and it was the only station I could hear. However, I discovered that WATR went off the air early Sunday mornings for maintenance and I could hear other stations on my Remco. Thus began my interest in receiving distant radio stations (DX).

If I lived as a girl or had been born a girl, I guess that instead of a radio kit, my parents would have given me a makeup kit, as well as dolls, toy kitchen appliances, etc., that is, gifts like my sister received. (For what it's worth, I played with my sister's "girls'" toys almost as often as I played with my own toys.)

My sister, my only sibling who was 18 months my junior, was not fascinated by the imposing radio towers located on the next block. If I lived as a girl or had been born a girl, would I be disinterested in those towers, too?

Was my interest in those towers a "guy thing"?

Or since I was so naturally feminine, was it penis envy?

(Some food for thought, but I don't think I answered Ann's questions!)

Source: Moda Operandi
Wearing Leal Daccarett (Source: Moda Operandi)

Oslo Gay Men's Chorus
Members of the Oslo gay mens chorus (Oslo fagottkor) femulating for a Mad Men parody.


  1. um, it's been a while since I took biology.. but don't you have an XY body and an XX mind already?

  2. Not sure you answered her question, Stana, but it was a good answer anyway!

    See you next month.

  3. HEAVENS TO MURGA-FREUD! (anyone under age 50 wont 'get it')
    Males and their blind, innocent affinity to 'phallic symbols'! Antennas, firearms, knives, obelisks, tall buildings, trains, the list is endless.
    If one has doubts of the power of the SUBCONSCIOUS MIND, then you are literally 'flying blind'. Do consult the Freud Encyclopedia. The advertising execs and their art/photog departments know all about this phenom, and they know how to skillfully separate you from your $$$$.
    As for me, I drive 'stick', even in high heels ;-).

  4. Seeing that QST cover brought back memories. My Dad’s (W2GUZ) only hobby was ham radio – I still have a boxful call cards he was sent, and maybe I’ll make a display of them. As much as he wanted me to follow suit, I never got past my novice license (KN2APE). Maybe if I could have looked like the lady on the cover, or had more suitable call letters (KN2GAL??) things would have been different. Then again, if I could have looked like the QST cover, things would really have been different! 👧

  5. My experience of tech-y girls back in the late 1950's was a couple girls who had dads who were very deep into their tech work AND both girls were only children. Both competed in our Science Fairs and did well. One went to Purdue in engineering and the other actually graduated early and was accepted to Goucher College (then a women's college). All of the other girls fit themselves into the "female role". The only other exceptions were girls who did well in math who were on the Academic Track, and they mostly played down their abilities, presumably to not put off the boys. There were a few Ham radio enthusiasts, all of them boys."Back in the day" schools were heavily tracked and movement out of the assigned track was almost impossible. Male/female role expectations were enforced.

  6. Stana
    You were brought up as a boy in the 1960s
    You were probably encouraged to like male things and steered away from female interests
    Your wife would have had the opposite experience

  7. I thought I'd take a look at the Oslo Gay Men's Chorus to see the Mad Men femulators. Well, there are about a zillion of their videos on YouTube. Stana, can you direct me to the one you plucked the photo from?

    1. Actually, I found that photo on Pinterest.