Posts tagged with ‘gender’ include the following:
strippereureka: The thing is, though, that some women in the industry actually do seek out that kind of thing and do sign up for it because that's what they like. It's an emotional and physical experience that some people really enjoy going through. Maybe someone's tastes are a little more "fucked up" than yours. Doesn't mean they shouldn't enjoy what they want to enjoy. Don't try to speak for people you haven't spoken to.
Oy vey, I knew someone on tumblr would come in with kink-shaming accusations.
I’ll fold this into a Read More so only people who want to get into it will get into it.
Actually overheard yesterday
- P1: My one friend has a strict no-dating policy
- P2: Oh, well good for her, she's an independent woman!
- P1: Haha, well he's a guy.
- P2: Ohh, so like it's a fear of commitment thing.
Was reading a YouTube comment gender debate—because I never want to be happy—when this happened.
These two were in a run-of-the-mill personal suffering pissing contest until something abruptly flipped and the dumb guy and the dumb girl both suddenly, angrily, started to prove each other’s points and didn’t realize that they weren’t fighting anymore.
Do you ever wake up at two in the afternoon wearing pajamas and a sweater that more closely resemble elephant skin than pajamas and a sweater and a face indented by the heavy knit of your pillowcase, look in the mirror, and laugh—earnestly—at everyone who’s ever been fooled into desiring you sexually?
I mean that in the most sincere, least Liz-Lemon-y way possible.
The disparity struck me hard today because last night at a professional stripper who made a pass at me and used the word “man” while doing it—a word that I’ve certainly never used to describe myself, unless it was preceded by “I don’t know” and a comma.
Today I am in wool socks and an XXL cable-knit sweater with great swaths of fabric dripping below my arms, wobbling when I reach out like the arm-fat of a middle-school choir teacher in a sleeveless dress (crushed black velvet) frantically conducting her sixth graders in “Light the Menorah” during the annual holiday concert.
I was reaching into the fridge for a handful of raw spinach to munch on because I couldn’t be bothered to go out and buy groceries today and I caught sight of my reflection in a window. I imagined the face of last night’s Russian ex-ballerina if midnight had struck and I had, with a pop, reverted back into the lanky, asymmetrical gremlin I resemble when I don’t have any reason not to and I really did laugh, hard.
This is, of course, more or less exactly the feeling that makes the Liz Lemon shtick so relatable to girls—only that I’m a male and consequently not really used to being framed as an object of desire or held to a particularly rigorous grade of beauty. So the gaping margin between that position and my natural one hasn’t been as thoroughly mined for twitter/television jokes about binging on mozzarella sticks and lonely nights watching Netflix as it has for girls.
Hashtag why am I single, hashtag hello boys.
Put simply, it’s a comparatively rare thing to feel a lapse in your aesthetic performance as a male when the standards aren’t set that high to begin with.
You didn’t shave your legs today? Me neither. But frankly, you’d be equally disappointed with them if I had.
Because everyone is doing this delightful thing in honor of Aaron Swartz’s memory.
It’s mostly documents regarding
- Evo Psych
Hopefully they enhance and augment your studies, your work, and your experience of the world as they have mine.
We take the words [“boyfriend” and “girlfriend”] for granted now, but think of what they imply, and what a new idea it was: that romantic partners share more than erotic passion, that companionship and equality are part of the relationship. A boyfriend is a friend, as well as a lover.
But, as a result of this (beneficial) conflation:
We have trouble, in our culture, with any love that isn’t based on sex or blood. We understand romantic relationships, and we understand family, and that’s about all we seem to understand.
We have trouble with mentorship, the asymmetric love of master and apprentice, professor and student, guide and guided; we have trouble with comradeship, the bond that comes from shared, intense work; and we have trouble with friendship, at least of the intimate kind. When we imagine those relationships, we seem to have to sexualize them.
Close friendships between members of the same sex, after all, are also suspect. Even Oprah has had to defend her relationship with Gayle King, and as for men and men, forget about it.
I cannot think of another area of our lives in which there is so great a gap between what we do and what our culture says we do.
This is a part of my counter argument to someone who disagreed with my assessment of slutty/sexy costumes as a harmful combination of demeaning and indulgent.
"Suggesting that [sexy/slutty] costumes play into defining looks as a woman’s most important characteristics [sic] still affects women who do want to be sexy."
Everyone WANTS to be sexy. Everyone wants to be desired. But only the arrogant and the insecure (males and females alike) incorporate that desire into their everyday behavior. It’s nice to be wanted, sure, just like it’s nice to be complimented. But fishing for compliments is indulgent and annoying, and fishing for desire is equally so.
People, regardless of gender, who parade their sex around (slutty) are as annoying as intelligent people who parade their intelligence around (pretentious/pompous) or rich people who parade their wealth around (snobbish). Peacocking is fine in a situation where you’re actively trying to attract a person or people that you’re interested in, but as a lifestyle, it’s vulgar. It’s called being showy.
That’s not a gendered accusation, it’s a human psychology/sociology issue.
The reason women are said to look slutty more often than men are is because physical attractiveness is valued more in women. In men, the analog social trait is wealth. The male equivalent of a slutty looking girl is a douchebag who flashes his cash and his car and anything else that serves as an indicator of wealth. Some people find it attractive, but most people consider it tasteless. (To what extent and resulting in what actions, of course, remains disparate.)
“Women should dress how they want.”
Of course people have the freedom to dress however they want to. But NOT the freedom not to be judged for how they present. Nobody has (or deserves) that sort of exemption. That is such a silly thing to feel entitled to.
We have freedom of speech, but we can’t get angry when people judge us for what we choose to say.
Dress is communication. Since people don’t spin a wheel to choose their garments, we can assume they’re chosen deliberately. Dress is a huge part of the presentation of the self. And that, just like any choice and any presentation/performance, reveals things about the person doing it. Which is a transmission. It’s communication.
And if that message is “look at me!” then you’ll be judged accordingly.
(It is, however, inexcusable to interpret the message of any form of dress as “rape me!” THAT argument is called victim-blaming and it’s unacceptable.)
Why Boys Have it Easy (-er) on Halloween
"Slut-shaming" is a kill-switch that gets used in all sorts of places where it doesn’t belong. It’s a thing, but it’s not applicable here.
"…those of us who advocate for girls aren’t primarily concerned that girls are showing too much skin. Rather, the problem lies in the compulsory sexualization that is so much a part of today’s Halloween celebrations for teens. A lot of us are more upset by the absence of options than by the absence of fabric; we know that pressuring girls to act sexy is not the same thing as encouraging them to develop a healthy, vibrant sexuality that they themselves own. I don’t have a problem with “sexy bar wench” costumes; I have a problem when those sorts of costumes are the only ones young women are expected or encouraged to wear."
One year, when I was little, I wanted to be Peter Pan for Halloween. My mom made me a costume and it looked awesome—I was so excited. I got to school, and a horde of Scream killers, Freddies, Jasons, and chainsaw murderers teased and laughed at me for having a “girly” costume. Because from a young age, boys are pressured to assert their junior masculinity in multiple ways, one of them being their Halloween costume. Tights and a cap-and-feather weren’t violent or dominant enough.
Things got better as I grew up. I could be pretty much whatever I wanted for Halloween, because there was a lot of diversity in what I saw other guys wearing. Ninjas, Ghostbusters, and Robots were still there, but so were judges, clowns, Hunter Thompson, mailmen, etc.
In many ways, it’s a microcosm of how media works. The brilliant tagline of Miss Representation comes to mind: you can’t be what you cant see. Lots of media paints a reductive/harmful/inaccurate/impossible picture of men, but it’s diluted by the sheer diversity and variety of male characters there are. There scores of strong and noble heroes, but there are also scores of meek and introverted geniuses, and scores of savvy, calculating villains.
Characters…costumes. You get it.
Now look at women. Look at women on Halloween. My female peers were pressured into being princesses and ballerinas as kids. Then they grew up, and what was the variety they were presented with? Sexy nurse, sexy cat, sexy teacher. Sexy ghostbuster, sexy clown, sexy ninja.
The praise that most frequently falls on a little boy’s ears is “did you lift that by yourself? you’re so strong! you’re going to grow up to be big and strong!” This, of course, reflects and reinforces the values we use to assess males. It outweighs “you’re so smart” and the especially rare “you’re so handsome.”
BUT by nowhere near as much as “you’re so pretty!” dominates the ears of little girls. It’s the go-to compliment. Girls are raised by media and even by unwitting parents to derive most of their confidence from their appearance. They’re taught that their value is in their body and their face, and so it remains that way. And “pretty” eventually morphs into “sexy.”
When my male friend chooses a costume, he might choose one because it’s scary (Werewolf) or cool™ (James Bond) or funny (Austin Powers) or esoteric (Captain Kirk). Some guys think of costumes based on what will show off their bodies, but it’s an even mix. Those guys are out for validation—they want to be looked at and found attractive. And that’s a natural (if often overindulged) desire.
When my female friend chooses a costume, she has to face the inevitable question: sexy or non-sexy? That’s the first question. Our culture has made it so. If she doesn’t want to show off her body, or doesn’t feel she has the “right” body to show off, she settles on a non-sexy costume. Then she has to accept that she’s going to line up for pictures in her cool homemade robot costume with a group of friends that are showing more skin than not, and she’s going to be perceived as the frumpy one. Some people will perceive it as a sign of weakness or unattractiveness or prudishness. Even if she doesn’t subscribe to that cultural mindset, she’s surrounded by people who do.
It’s not like girls naturally have the show-offy mindset of the Chippendales guys, it’s just that they’re told by the culture that it’s all they have to offer.
The argument that dressing in a low-cut belly-shirt and booty shorts for Halloween is an empowering display of the female form will never sit right with me. Even if that is truly the intention in some cases, and that validation and craving desire have nothing to do with it, we live in a culture where a girl’s appearance is viewed as her most important characteristic, and I think these costumes just play into that.
Like the essay says “I don’t have a problem with ‘sexy bar wench’ costumes; I have a problem when those sorts of costumes are the only ones young women are expected or encouraged to wear.”
If the same kind of diversity that exists in men’s costumes existed in women’s costumes, it would even out. There would still be “sexy bar wenches” here and there. That just means that someone elected to use their once-in-a-year chance to costume publicly to show off their body. (Like dudes who dress as Chippendales strippers.) I personally think doing that reflects a mindset I don’t approve of, but it’s not really harmful. Just a little annoying and indulgent.
There’s nothing wrong with showing off, but I’d love to see girls showing off by being scary or funny or cool™ or esoteric. Sexy isn’t the only thing worth being.
(Cue the retaliation of: “there are scary-sexy and funny-sexy and cool™-sexy and esoteric-sexy costumes out there!” Right. But why add the compulsory sexy?)
(2014 Edit: Cue the retaliation of: “it’s none of your business what women do so it’s not your place to say anything about anything.” Right. But, no, not right.)