Thursday, December 17, 2015

Double standards: Punk vs Man

          I was having a conversation with some female coworkers and when the subject of men came up it took a sharp left turn.  One of the females I was talking to was saying how she gets so mad at her guy because when she is laying down and sick, he doesn't have it in him to immediately come in and tend to her, waiting on her hand and foot.  She said "I really just want him to be sweet and sensitive to me."

        The conversation went on about how she is very hard on guys because she doesn't want any man she deals with romantically to be like any of the men that were in her life when she grew up.  So, I asked, "In y'all's opinion...what is a man?"  Boy, was did I get a barrage of contradictions based on stereotypes that she had bought into throughout her life!  I told them that I was going to take notes because I am in a Masculinity Theories class that this material would be perfect for.

        Keep in mind that these women were a wide range of ages, from 19 years old at the youngest and 52 at the eldest.  I was surprised to find that of them, the older women seemed to be the most open minded as to sex and gender.  I guess I should not have been surprised though, when I take into consideration the images of men, boys and gays  in movies, on TV and even in the news.  The younger ones all agreed that in order to be a man, a male has to be working or have a business, he must be physically strong.  Although they varied in skin tone, eye color, hair texture/style, and overall body type.  Every single description of a man was stereotypical, including the fact that if he had any effeminate traits that meant he was gay, and therefore not a man.

        It was the oldest woman who challenged them on their views, and it was quite entertaining to witness.  She asked them some of the same questions that we have discussed in this class.  During the interaction some of the young women were open minded and took into consideration the wisdom coming from her.  Some of them though, were not having it.  They left the same way they came to the conversation.  The whole thing reminded me of society as a whole.  There are some who are always open-minded and accepting, then there are those who are firm in their beliefs but are still willing to listen and learn something new, finally you have those who, no matter what, will not budge on the way they think.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Trans views of masculinity

We get a lot of perspective about masculinity from cisgender men and women and I wanted to find some viewpoints from transmasculine/nonbinary folks. This article interviews twelve trans people about their definition of masculinity, along with a little blurb about each person's job, age and gender identity. I loved how the the first person asked about where they are on the gender spectrum answered, "Over it."

The gender binary can cause trans people to feel forced into presenting as the opposite gender they were assigned at birth in order for people to not automatically assign them that same gender immediately upon seeing or meeting them. I admire those who push their own and others' views about the binary system of gendering, which can be intensely limiting to everyone born into that system. Another person, when asked about where they fit into the spectrum, simply stated their name, "Thomas." Take a look at the article to read about each person's definition of masculinity as it relates to their gender.

Masculinity Means...