Boys Will Be Girls
Things men should like:
- Dying In War
Things women should like:
- Color Co-ordination
- Smiley Faces :)
- Make up
Choose your gender, then pick three from the list or forever hold your peace. That used to be how it worked. Men were 'real men' and women were 'real women', who wore skirts so long and pretty that the second biggest killer of women after childbirth used to be setting themselves on fire whilst cooking. But times have changed. Not fitting your gender stereotype is now a far worse fate for a male than a female. Girls can be tomboys until the cows come home and there will always be guys who love them none the less.
On our second date, my now boyfriend gleefully exclaimed 'You're a guy!', not because I am a guy, but because I wanted to buy a cap gun with our winnings from the arcade machines. (You know, those tickets you win that you can exchange for prizes that mean you end up spending about 500 bucks on something that costs 5. Brilliant stuff.)
It's possible to be an attractive tomboy, however being an attractive feminine male is a harder road. First of all, people tend to assume that men who like feminine things are gay. (There's that assumption or at least, snide remarks if you're a woman who doesn't spend her life worrying about the shape of her eyebrows, but men, ironically, tend to get over that sort of thing much more easily than women. As long as you're in possession of a feminine body and you don't bench press more than he does, there are plenty of men who don't care that you're not in silly high heels and a short skirt.)
But women, women seem to hold men to higher standards of masculinity. Perhaps its because women have a harder time getting out of the primal mindset that views all men as potential fathers of future offspring. Or perhaps it is because men have yet to stand up in the same way that women have and say 'I am a man and I like wearing skirts and knitting frilly coasters!'
Either way, it's a double standard.
So what can we do about it? Well guys, it's really up to you. You don't have to dress in drag and do the hula, but challenging the male stereotype every now and again will send ripples throughout the world. Perhaps you'll evince some interest in what Cindy said to Candy when Courtney brought that dress, you know, the one that makes her butt look big, or maybe you'll just wear some delightful purple shoes with a one inch lift. Maybe you'll stop shouting at the sporting louts on television just long enough to order a sarong to wear by the pool side, or maybe you'll sit your significant partner down and ask her 'where things are going.'
There's gender role challenging fun everywhere if you just know where to look for it. Enjoy!