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Alt Friday Five

From the altfriday5:

1. What gender do you consider yourself?


2. Is this the gender you were assigned at birth?


3. Do you like being your current gender? Why or why not?

I like the physical body part. I'm fond of having a penis. I could do without the back hair. I find some elements of the social construction around being "a man" undesirable, but that's social gender as opposed to actual physical sex. I can cook, do dishes and laundry, and sew (though not well), and yet, this doesn't make my penis fall off.

4. If you could change one thing about how society perceives/constructs your
gender, what would it be? (don't go nuts here, I know the response to this
could make for several doctoral theses)

As a side-effect of the changing role of women in society as a reuslt of the (much-needed) feminist movement, the traditional male social role has been tossed on its ear, and what remains is, frankly, a confused mess. Men aren't the bread winners and partiarchs any more - there are no more roles that are entirely resevred for men, so the male social role in the media is becomign increasingly defined by what men *can't* do - can't cook, can't ask for directions, can't do laundry, can't change diapers, or colour coordinate. This has led to what I think of as the "Tim Taylor" model of manliness. I think that men's role in society needs a redefinition and rexamination to keep pace with the changes in gender identity that women in society have gone through.

This has happened to an extent, but there is still a lot more to be done, on both sides, to remove socially constructed barriers for men and women. Some of these are complementary - if men are acknowledged as capable of cooking and cleaning for themselves, women no longer need to be defined as sole housekeepers.

5. Everyone gets their ideas of what it means to be "a man" or "a woman" (or
"a boi" or whatever) from somewhere (parents, movies, magazines, books). What
was the single biggest influence on your gender identity?

From my parents - they never said that either of them could or couldn't do something because of thier sex. My mother insisted that I be able to look after myself, because there wouldn't always be someone around to do it for me. My father didn't try to steer me toward "manly" hobbies, nor were things ever derided as "sissy". This led to the occasional bit of confusion (like when I was a kid, and wanted my mom to make me a wonder woman costume to go with the superman costume she'd made me - it never occurred to me that it was an issue), but on th whole, I think it left me with a low level of gender identity baggage. (Which, obviously, I have developed into a personal hot-button rant issue)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2005 11:36 pm (UTC)
I see no exess of rantage... Very thought out statements and I heartily agree with #4&5.
Jul. 31st, 2005 03:47 pm (UTC)
I agree with you completely. I have found one male role that still has a place in the post-feminist world: that of lover/consort/what-have-you. Admittedly this isn't quite a complete construction, and the ideas behind what constitute "lover" have/are shifting (I think our love lives are rather good examples of this).

I like to think the days of defining gender by what one can and cannot do are coming to a close. For example, a hundred years ago, a male teacher would have been scandelous. Male nurses and female engineers are still fighting an uphill battle, but they are gaining ground, not losing. And yes, the legalization of gay marriage *will* confront many of our "traditional" roles.

And I am having my hair braided into pigtails as I type this.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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