Manly Men in Tights

12 Apr

Robin Hood: Men In Tights

How this email started:

http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2012/04/to-be-a-man/#comment-12200

Doctor NerdLove did another great article (see above) that seems to be timed so well with a rant I had over the weekend.  So, of course, I had to comment on it:

mickey says:

I was just talking to someone last week about this issue. I have become close to a coworkers children, the oldest being a teenage boy who recently turned 16. He is a VERY young 16 year old though. The boy is shy, bookish, sheltered and a bit of a nervous type. He’s tall thin and good looking for his age with all the right gadgets and clothes to be popular, but a little awkward, very quiet and embarrasses easily. As an adult, I find him charming and adorable. As a reader, I love that we can discuss novels and how he sees them versus how I see them. Recently, he was being teased about getting a car and “getting girls”, but I found a group of other coworkers making offhand “Not likely” comments. I could not figure out why, but after some prodding I found out that the general consensus is that he is gay. I couldn’t place WHY people thought this other than a general “lack of masculinity” in his demeanor, which I personally think is coupled by the fact that he is a minority and lacking any of the stereotypical tropes associated with his cultural background. He may be, I am pretty sure he isn’t, but either way it doesn’t matter, and I was very upset that they felt the need to put this kid in a box under their own guidelines when he may not have set any of his own yet. Nevermind that he is growing up at a different time then they did and maybe they have not realized that the guidelines have changed.

 

 

Problem was, I didn’t just to comment about it, I wanted to have a discussion about it, so I went to my go to girl for that. 

 

 

From: mickey

To: Lela

Sent: Monday, April 9, 2012 11:37 AM 

See link above.  Seriously, I was complaining over the weekend about everyone judging the poor kid who is kind of shy and lives in his own heads to the point that he can be a little oblivious to the world.  But it’s such joyful innocence that you just kind of  hope no one hurts him too much. I think the world will be hard on him because he is a male though and it made me kind of sad.  As far as teenage boys go, the kid is remarkable non whiny and very respectful.  Which may be seen as a “sign of weakness” or lack of aggressiveness in boys, something that is rewarded in our culture, but ONLY to males.   

 

From: Lela

To: mickey

Sent: Monday, April 09, 2012 12:48 PM
 

 you may not want my opinion on this.  it may ruin our friendship…  I’m pretty old school in my opinion of gender roles. 

I do feel bad for ANYONE who gets teased.  Sounds like your teenager is just not as masculine, it’s just not who he is.   It sucks.  I have a cousin in the same boat as him.  Growing up, he didn’t come out right, probably due to the amount of teasing I am sure he endured.  Although I am not sure if anyone labeled him gay?  But most likely it happened.  At the end of the day, kids are assholes.  They’ll find anything to tease.   I hate teenagers. lol

 

From: mickey

To: Lela

Sent: Monday, April 9, 2012 1:28 PM
 

These weren’t teenagers though.  That’s what upset me so badly.  They were grown adults.  And because he doesn’t seem “very masculine” (by THEIR personal standards) they have made a judgment about him, without ever talking to him.  He’s not the only one I’ve seen them do it with.  Even with older males we have interaction with, if they have a high appreciation in clothing and artwork it’s suspect to them, which I find strange when you think about how white collar a job I work in. 

I know your opinion, it was why I couldn’t stand a couple of your exes in the past because they wanted to treat you like a 1950’s housewife; telling you what was best for you and expecting you to take care of all their needs while they did whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted and expected you to not argue because they were the MEN.  *insert chest thump here*  I mean, it’s not my business who you want to date, but really… some were… unbelievable.  I don’t mind people who prefer traditional roles, as long as it’s respectful and agreed upon, not dictated to and then scorned upon for not following those roles.  It’s fine if that’s what you decide you want, by mutual agreement.  If you like to cook and want to or you just like things a certain way and want to have control over the house and kitchen, that’s fine, but to have people expect you to handle certain things because you happen to have mammary glands is a stupid reason to believe those things.  The article points out that in today’s society, having “the man” support the family monetarily isn’t even a reality for 90% of the general population, and with both adults working full time, how does it only fall on one person to take care of the house, kids, and food?  One person can’t even support a family anymore, most of the time. 

It’s great, if there is a choice along with give and take, and compromise.   Relationships and of course marriages are supposed to be for both people and no matter what the roles, need to be flexible, because when one is down, the other is supposed to be there for them.  Having rigid, non-changing ideals is a sure fire sign of the breakdown of any relationship. 

 

From: Lela

To: mickey

 Sent: Monday, April 09, 2012 2:15 PM
 

I will agree with that statement.  I am also proud to announce that although I believe in traditional gender roles, my own family is not exactly traditional and I believe in them along with one key word – RESPECT.

From: Lela

To: mickey

 Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 4:27 PM
 

As for the adults making judgements, sadly enough you know what happens to the kids who were assholes as kids?  Most of them are assholes as adults.

Although, what if he is kinda femme and you don’t notice?  When you first met him what was your impression?  I think we all tend to make snap judgements of people when we first meet them.  Although I think most of us know better than to say ANYTHING.  I have a friend who to this day I am not sure if he is gay or straight.  He talks a little feminine, I never see him with a girl, but then again the same could be said about me.  I tend to wear more t shirts than skirts and I never seem to have a man so I know someone out there is probably thinking that I am gay.  But hopefully they would respect me enough to say it behind my back.

I don’t know.  I see nothing wrong with gender roles, as long as there is RESPECT.  Women are not less than men or vice versa.  I do believe that men should take the protector roles, and women the nurturing ones, as genetically most women are more nurturing and men tend to be bigger and stronger.  I wonder if that is why deep down I am not that attracted to short men or really thin men?  I want to feel like my man can protect me, not like I would have to jump in to save his ass…

Brian Molko

 

From: mickey

To: Lela

Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 4:41 PM
 

To be honest, nothing really crossed my mind either way.  He just seems like a quiet kid and we bonded over books. 

Anything more than that never even entered my head?

 

From: Lela

To: mickey

 Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 4:57 PM
 

I’m pretty sure that’s because you are not an asshole.  I wonder if that makes me an asshole…

 

From: mickey

To: Lela

Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 8:46 AM
 

I don’t know if it makes anyone an asshole, unless you are a grown adult teasing some young kid behind his back? 

I think it’s funny that you saw “femme” in terms of behavior, when I have met some very stereotypically manly men… who liked men.  Look at Rock Hudson, he was considered very manly, not feminine at all…. Besides, that 16 year old, he’d fit right in with the Disney crowd.  All those boys are unassuming and very anti-lumbar jack.

  

  

From: Lela

To: mickey

Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 10:03 AM
 

LMAOOOO  @ Disney crowd   TRUE

Really though I feel bad for anyone who isn’t comfortable being themselves because people are assholes.  Yeah I know, that’s kinda my underlying theme, people are assholes.  Even though I love people, for the most part dammit if we all don’t have a long way to go…

But I digress.  No, we should not judge people without knowing anything about them.  I try not to judge, I usually like everyone until I’m given a reason not to.  That can be a downfall too, I like to think that people are inherently good, everyone has good in them, it’s just a matter of whether or not they choose to tap into that.  Now a question I have though is are we talking true to life judgements or first impressions? 

 

From: mickey

To: Lela
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 10:07 AM
 

I’m not sure?  I’m not sure what my first impressions of people are?  I mean, half the time I can’t remember people’s names, I know that sounds bad.  It’s almost like people are just outlines that fill up with things as I learn about them.  It’s probably why I can remember what shows, foods and music people like but not remember birthdays or eye colors.  I’m probably the wrong person to ask as people always think I’m weird as a first impression.  I’ve also heard snobby, quiet…  but I probably hold everything back until I know whether people can be trusted?

what's your first impression?

 

From: Lela

To: mickey

 Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 10:26 AM
 

I am that same way.  Unless I am in a comfortable environment.  Like when I start a new job, I am very quiet and shy, and I tend to study people.  Then once I know how they are, I start being myself.  Now once I have been at the job for a while, if a new person comes along I am okay with talking to them trying to make them feel at ease.  So weird.   I think this affects me in talking to guys too.  It’s hard for me to get to know someone because I am not a big talker if I don’t really know you.  I usually don’t know HOW to start a conversation with someone I barely know, let alone let you know anything about me.  Sadly with first impressions it rings true, you never do get a second chance to make a first impression.  For example if you first see someone, lets say they are yelling at the guy behind the rental car counter.  I will automatically assume the guy yelling is an impatient asshole.  For all I know he could be a saint, who keeps giving the rental company car a chance, maybe they ran his card 15 times in a row and now he’s broke for 2 weeks while they fix it, can’t pay his mortgage and his wife just left him, and this was the last straw…  I don’t know.  I’m strange.

From: mickey

To: Lela

Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 10:28 AM
 

I don’t think you’re strange, I just… don’t think like that.  Then again, I don’t study people. 

Sherlock would be so disappointed.

Disappointed Sherlock is disappointed.  (Source: elementaryofyouth, via mcavoyings)

Disappointed Sherlock is disappointed. (Source: elementaryofyouth, via mcavoyings)

 

 

 PS. 

On another note, it’s probably a good idea to remember that modern ideals of masculinity DO change through out time.  High heels, tights, long hair…. a lot of these “fashions” were originally attributed to men and they were considered no less masculine to wear these. 

Heels had more to do with class than gender.

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4 Responses to “Manly Men in Tights”

  1. toonerdygirls April 12, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    apparently a very hot topic right now, thanks lela!
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/09/20/why-we-need-to-reimagine-masculinity.html

  2. toonerdygirls April 24, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    another great article about FIVE GENDER STEREOTYPES THAT USED TO BE REVERSED!!! including pink was for boys, men BETTER cry and different views on how to “ACT STRAIGHT”
    http://www.cracked.com/article_19780_5-gender-stereotypes-that-used-to-be-exact-opposite.html

  3. toonerdygirls April 24, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    oh god, must read this!

    “As recently as the 1930s, “manly” women (that is, women who enjoyed sports and acted like tomboys) were seen as dangerously slutty straight chicks, the kind of crazy girls who show off their tramp-stamps by dancing on tables and refusing to get along with your mom, no matter how much effort she puts into her pie.”

    Read more: 5 Gender Stereotypes That Used To Be the Exact Opposite | Cracked.com http://www.cracked.com/article_19780_5-gender-stereotypes-that-used-to-be-exact-opposite_p2.html#ixzz1syfkGqoW

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