“I knew I was different. I thought that I might be gay or something because I couldn’t identify with any of the guys at all. None of them liked art or music. They just wanted to fight and get laid. It was many years ago but it gave me this real hatred for the average American macho male.”
I write a lot about women’s sexuality on this page, not because I think that men’s issues are lesser, rather I don’t understand men’s issues as well as I do women’s…I am, after all, a woman. However, there are times when second-hand experience leads me to conclusions that I think are worth discussing and the above quote highlights one:
(as defined by our society)
is necessarily an exaggerated caricature.
And the effects of this personality-overlay can be all encompassing. Men’s very person(ality) has become a construction of expectations that are as far out of reach as those placed on women in our society; some of which include, but are not limited, to the following:
Have a big dick.
Buy a “nice” (read: expensive) car.
Fuck lots of women.
Never look like/be a “fag”.
And, last but not least…Beat-up other men up who threaten any of the above.
But what if all of that is a facade, simple rhetoric, and masculinity is as much female as it is male? Here is the catch…When men realize the truth of this, conflict arrises…
If I am not that, and I am this:
Then who am I?
Today, men’s ability to integrate both (what are stereotypically) masculine and feminine aspects of their identity (sexual and otherwise) is consistently challenged, and even hampered, by society’s expectations…and yet that integration is completely necessary to maintain healthy relationships with their romantic partners and ultimately to attain happiness.
Yet…In order for this occur, a radical shift in thought and self-concept needs to happen, one where gender stereotypes no longer exist, so that we may begin to understand each other as well as ourselves as integrated, complex, and dimensional individuals who reflect ALL aspects of humanity and not simply those determined by out genitalia.
And here is the ultimate question, men…Are you ready for THAT?!?!
(photo credit to shutterbugboudoir.com)