"Really? Are you sure? Because that's awfully ... sweet."
May 7, 2010 1:25 PM   Subscribe

—it takes some work for me to be convinced that men have the short end of the stick in this system that has set up masculinity to be superior. But I know there's something wrong with masculinity, and I know it's hard to express one's self as masculine without falling into the many, many harmful trappings of the limitations of a masculine gender, because I'm butch. A Manifesto for Radical Masculinity.

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posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 (72 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not Malebranche. Whew!
posted by ao4047 at 1:28 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why the fuck can't I just order what I want to order?

Cause vanilla vodka and cranberry is gross dude... I'd look at anyone who ordered one of those sideways, penis or vagina.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:31 PM on May 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Radical masculinity is hot. Thanks for posting.
posted by jardinier at 1:31 PM on May 7, 2010


"Sometimes people suggest to me, with not a little horror, that I am arguing for a pastel world in which androgyny reigns and men and women are boringly the same. In my vision, however, strong colors coexist with pastels. There are and will continue to be highly masculine people out there; it's just that some of them are women. And some of the most feminine people I know happen to be men."
posted by NoraReed at 1:35 PM on May 7, 2010


At the risk of self-identifying, I feel a little patronised.
posted by tigrefacile at 1:37 PM on May 7, 2010


Questions from the first link:
So many questions about masculinity still remain: what are male traits? What makes a 'good man'? What is a positive presentation of masculinity? What are masculine traits? Sure, I can describe physical presentation and some sort of energy movement, but what about emotional traits, what about interpersonal traits? Is there any truth to the broad-sweeping concepts about men from one planet and women from another? Can we really make any emotional, psychological, or interpersonal conclusions by dividing people by gender? I remain unconvinced that those conclusions are much more than stereotypes.
Interesting questions and ones I would ask of femininity also.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:39 PM on May 7, 2010


Very nice. I look forward to a growing body of work on similar lines, and a cultural change where gender identity becomes a minor component of overall self-expression.
posted by No Robots at 1:44 PM on May 7, 2010


tigrefacile: "At the risk of self-identifying, I feel a little patronised."

Thanks for putting that out there. I'm assuming you're talking about the article, right?
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:48 PM on May 7, 2010


The Information Economy ensures that every concept will be over-analyzed.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:48 PM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Very interesting. Thanks for posting.

My husband is a big tall dude who is, in many ways, less aggressive than me. That's a function of our personalities--my family is full of hotheads, his is full of quiet types. As kids, he'd get called "queer" for not fighting/playing sports/whatever and I'd get accused of being a lesbian for...I dunno. Not giggling or something.

So the news that enforced gender-roles are poisonous for women and men is nothing new to either of us. But since we're raising a son, who has already been exposed in preschool to "girls do this/boys do that" it's good to know that there's others out there pointing out how stupid it all is.
posted by emjaybee at 1:49 PM on May 7, 2010


Oh this is great. This is the second great thing about gender I've read today, here's the first one:

The role of gender in society is the most complicated thing I’ve ever spent a lot of time learning about, and I’ve spent a lot of time learning about quantum mechanics. Context is this.
posted by clavicle at 1:49 PM on May 7, 2010


nathancaswell: "Cause vanilla vodka and cranberry is gross dude... I'd look at anyone who ordered one of those sideways, penis or vagina."

Well, penis or vagina isn't exactly the issue--the author does not come originally equipped with a penis--however, the author is masculine.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:50 PM on May 7, 2010


I have to say that, hands down, the best male bonding experience I ever had was with a very butch woman (let's call her M) who was dating my upstairs neighbor (A). On a marvelous late summer evening when a hot day was fading to a cool crisp evening, A dropped by and asked me if they could borrow my little kettle grill. I said "sure," being all neighborly. A bit later I wandered out onto the porch to see how things were going. M had an inferno blazing in the little Webber. It was darned amazing. I said "that's impressive work." M grinned at me. "This calls for beers" I said. She nodded. We sat on the steps and watched the flames drop until the grill was ready for whatever it was they were cooking. Evening fell, M got to grilling, and I headed off to my own supper.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:50 PM on May 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hit my Internet filter. . .must remember to read URL's before clicking. . .(looking over shoulder for the squad to come and get me).
posted by Danf at 1:53 PM on May 7, 2010


from the article:

Radical masculinity does not hurt. Radical masculinity is strong enough to be vulnerable and receptive enough to put his foot down. Radical masculinity is trans men and fairy fags and butches who do girly drag. Radical masculinity is straight women with cropped hair and tool belts marrying men, not apologizing, refusing to take the lesbian jokes personally. Radical masculinity is a new form of fatherhood, of manhood, of adulthood, of humanhood. Radical masculinity is feminist men doing real work for equality and liberation for everyone. Radical masculinity is football games with your daughter's ballet class and ice cream sundaes with your high school son's best friends. Radical masculinity is big cuddly bears and vicious hardcore dharma punx, urban cowboys and the sexiest MMA fighters, yogis and your brother with his new baby and yes even sometimes your dad, showing everyone that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

I'm not sure we need new & better ways to reify this stuff. Why not drop it?

I understand the author is interested in/ seeking/ researching something they think of as "masculinity". But I'm not sure I need a code for being a "good man" layered on top of my code for being a "good person".
posted by ServSci at 2:00 PM on May 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Interesting piece. Although I'm wondering a little about this: "Of course, it is not all bad. There are beautiful traits, too, care-taking and problem solving and the use of tools and innovative thinking and observation and leading others in passion and entering and embiggening and guiding energy in just the right way" and what it is about those traits in particular that are "masculine."

When I was in my 20s I spent a lot more time than I do now (in my 40s) thinking about "masculine" and "feminine" and butch/femme. I get called "sir" a lot - but I did even when I had hair down to my ass; what is it about my presentation that reads as male, or masculine, despite long hair and oh-so-not-an-A-cup breasts? I can't see myself as strangers see me, so I guess I'll never really know. And as I get older, I care less and less.
posted by rtha at 2:02 PM on May 7, 2010


From the Radical Masculinity: Reinventing Our Icons essay:
I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, so I have a particularly skewed, stereotypical version of what men and masculinity mean. I came of age under Bush and Reagan and steroids, where our action heroes, often in films about war, like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jean Claude Van Damme. These were big, macho guys who shot their huge guns first and never bothered to ask any question, ever. The television was filled with Al Bundy and Homer Simpson and other bumbling ignorant idiots who never got it right, no matter how hard they tried. Though they are quite different, and represent different icons of working-class masculinity, their comedy relied on their inability to be successful, strong, capable, or provide for their families adequately, which, ultimately, were both supposedly "failed" masculinity.
I grew in that same time period and remember Billy Cosby as Cliff Huxtable, Night Court, The A-Team, Family Ties, The Terminator movies, Moon Lighting, Roseanne and X-Men and Spider-Man comic books. Interesting who people view things different.

Seriously, who the hell regularly watched Stallone, Schwarzeneggar or Van Damme?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:18 PM on May 7, 2010


Thanks for putting that out there. I'm assuming you're talking about the article, right?

Absolutely. If he/she can be glib for a thousand words then I think I can be glib for ten or so. If a person asserts their grounding in gender theory in an article then I'd expect them to exhibit it. This seems dashed off, anecdotal, and charmless. I'm trying really hard to get my head around this stuff. This didn't help.

posted by tigrefacile at 2:21 PM on May 7, 2010


*fails to zip fly or close tag*
posted by tigrefacile at 2:22 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


This echoes so many things going on in my mental sphere right now... I've been having an ongoing "discussion" with an online friend about my propensity to wear flannel shirts and steel-toe workboots. He says that it's "lesbian wear", and asserts that "everyone knows that is what lesbians wear". I've tried to challenge him (gently) on this point, asking him questions like "quick! name four famous lesbians! Now, when did you last see them wearing flannel and boots?", which he always tries to slough off as me being "difficult" or some similar dismissal.

It's strange. As a gay man, indeed sometimes quite the sissy faerie at heart, I don't now and never have felt any interesting in trying to genderfuck as part of my sexuality. I am who I am, and I like what I like. And I don't really enjoy a lot of the playing-to-stereotype that I see within the gay community around me, both men and women, because it feels too much like yet another form of drag. (I say this fully acknowledging that my own clothing choice is a form of drag -- I'm too consistent and deliberate for it not to be.)

I do feel bad for the men who feel trapped within the confines of the social structure of "masculinity", who are afraid to cross that unmarked-yet-very-clear line which they feel will compromise them as Men within the greater social sphere. That's just as soul-killing as any other box that culture may try to force people into, and sometimes way more personal.

And I certainly share in the author's celebration of diversity of personal expression.

I just wonder sometimes if the examination of "butch" or "masculine" such as this doesn't somehow actually reinforce stereotypes more than it breaks them down. Shouldn't we be striving toward authentic exploration of the individual, rather than casting wide nets and playing up the stereotypes, regardless of one's natal gender?

There are many people doing all sorts of Radical Masculinity work already—butches, genderqueers, gender-non-conformist folks, masculine trans women, effeminate trans men, gay men, men who are professional pastry chefs, metrosexuals, guy yogis, feminist men, the "new" stay-at-home-dads, and all sorts of other aspects of masculinity that are still desperate to be explored.

That quote seems to speak to me volumes about the author's own notions about masculinity, perhaps not in a positive sense. Men who are pastry chefs are somehow radical? Male yogis? Raising children is radical in its masculinity?

I don't know. I agree with the sentiment, but find the article itself to be confusing and full of its own prejudices.
posted by hippybear at 2:31 PM on May 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


I dunno, I felt like these issues are more created than inherent. What it means to be masculine or feminine is important if it's important to you, but you can also just be someone who doesn't identify strongly with gender and gets the drink they like based on other factors.

The restrictions and prescriptions for masculinity affect everybody.

...welll... much less, if you don't really give a shit.
posted by mdn at 2:34 PM on May 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Criminey, hippybear, has your friend never heard of or encountered...bears? I mean, certainly there is the stereotype of dykes in flannel shirts (I own some!) and boots (those too!) but maybe you could help him out by showing him photos like this (totally SFW).
posted by rtha at 2:40 PM on May 7, 2010


tigrefacile, I wasn't criticizing your comment, just a little unclear if you were talking about the article or the comments here.

Sugarbutch Chronicles by the same author has some interesting stuff about being butch/femme.

It also has "stories that turn you on" which I highly recommend to everyone but that is neither here nor there.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:40 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have a penis. I like to wear flannel. I keep my hair militarily short and dont use any "product." I like to cook and use power tools, and have a broad vocaulary for colors. I have no use whatsoever for masculinity, except for the fact that when I'm in the mood for cock, femme guys don't turn me on.
posted by yesster at 2:40 PM on May 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


"What it means to be masculine or feminine is important if it's important to you, but you can also just be someone who doesn't identify strongly with gender and gets the drink they like based on other factors. "

Not really.

I spend a lot of time around a very non-traditional man and it is not like he even wants to think about gender. But believe me, people remind him regularly that he is not being masculine enough. The best is when they criticize both of our gender expressions at the same time! Like, maybe if he were manlier he would be able to control me better and I wouldn't be such a bitch.

Gender is not made up just because people really like thinking about what they order at a bar. Although some of us do like thinking about that.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:44 PM on May 7, 2010


I understand the author is interested in/ seeking/ researching something they think of as "masculinity". But I'm not sure I need a code for being a "good man" layered on top of my code for being a "good person".

Part of the point is that we have a code for "good man" layerd on by default. Poking that to see whether it can be improved upon is a worthwhile exercise.
posted by rodgerd at 2:53 PM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


It sounds to me like the confessions of a posuer, or someone who has too much time on their hands. I'm not trying to disparage her attempts to be masculine but aside from her equating gender role ideals to 60's TV stereotypes she seems to mistaking dominant or aggressive personality types with masculinity.

I was not born with swagger: I learned it. I earned it. I was not born knowing how to use a cock or tie a tie or match my belt to my shoes or court a girl or refrain from chivalry when it's not welcome or to contain something big and chaotic.

I wasn't either, I'm pretty sure that when I was a wee lad I pissed when ever I wanted, so much that my folks would put "diapers" on me using that cock for fun takes a LOT of practice. Most men I know have never even tried to tie a tie, and that falls into masculine how?

Her use of the word "embiggining" was perfectly cromulent however.
posted by Max Power at 2:55 PM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


This article came across as mushy to me and I think MDN hit the nail on the head-- Real Men don't give a shit what the bartender (or the waiter or the caddy or the taxi driver, etc.) thinks. A secure person would have said, "Just shut up and get me my drink, wouldja?"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:57 PM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure I need a code for being a "good man" layered on top of my code for being a "good person".

Yeah... not to genetic fallacy you, but I think this way a lot more when I'm single than when I'm in a relationship.

I'm a straight guy who has been obsessed with gender roles since I was an adolescent, I think brought on by the disparity between, on the one hand, the mostly-unexamined second-wave feminist-lite rhetoric that existed in my household while I was growing up, and on the other hand the reality I gradually came to recognize of the differences between men and women.

So for a lot of my life, I was very “there are no differences, or at least there shouldn't be, and if there are they're probably a result of an unhealthy patriarchal cultural legacy and should be overcome.”

And the thing is that in the public sphere, with people you're not that enmeshed with, this is a fiction that's very easy to sustain. When no one has to go home with each other at the end of the discussion, and open up and show each other their vulnerabilities, their insecurities, their secret ways they're not as they wish they were and not how maybe they present themselves in public, it's very easy to deny the importance of one's gender to one's sense of self. Because in the public/professional/academic spheres, gender is deprecated. And that's probably a good thing, to some extent, because it allows society to function. I think in cultures where there's not so much public space made for public genderlessness, and I'm thinking of like my impression of what Italy is like although I've never been, although I could also name other countries in Europe and Asia I've lived and worked in, professionalism doesn't seem to function so “efficiently” in mixed-gender environments as it does in North America.

And when you're single, or at least when I'm single, my mindspace kind of resides permanently in the public sphere, and it doesn't seem necessary to have different “codes” for being a “good man” on top of the ones I have for being a good person. However, that changes dramatically when I'm in a relationship. I don't want to ramble too much, but I think that has to do with the special place “being in a relationship” has in my more general sense of ethics I developed growing up not being in relationships, and it seems to me this may be true for other people as well. For instance, it's pretty well-accepted that maintaining a functioning long-term relationship demands some degree of deception and duplicity—you don't tell your partner every time you have an innocent flirt with someone at, eg, the bank. You maintain a version of yourself to show the other that allows the relationship to function. And a relationship is such a delicate thing, and also a wanted thing, that we (or at any rate I) sometimes act in violation of my more general code of ethics to maintain it—such as being deceptive/duplicitous, which I find my friendships with guys tend not to require.

So, what I'm saying is that, if you can maintain a relationship while strictly adhering to your ideas of what it is to be a good person, my hat is off to you. However, in my experience, as a straight man, a relationship with a straight woman is a special world that has its own very idiosyncratic situations that can be handled more or less morally, and, more generally, more or less “well”—and having the skills and knowledge to be in a relationship “well,” which includes remaining happy yourself while not hurting the other, is part of what it means to “be a good man” that isn't necessarily implied by “being a good person,” and in fact may at times contradict it.
posted by skwt at 2:58 PM on May 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


I can see how imagining yourself as part of a gendered binary might intensify a sense of gendered difference. That's an interesting angle.

I'll have to think about this a bit before saying anything in reply, maybe talk to some people.
posted by ServSci at 3:13 PM on May 7, 2010


Please don't make me read another screed on gender roles based on personal experiences from one assumed dominate culture.
posted by clvrmnky at 3:17 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously, who the hell regularly watched Stallone, Schwarzeneggar or Van Damme?

Me! And we watched Red Dawn until that tape fell apart. We were smart enough to notice that James Bond got way more love than the big muscled-up guys, though, so it's not like our minds were totally single-track.
posted by Forktine at 3:21 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's interesting, skwt. I'll think on that, and how it plays out when one is in a same-sex relationship.
posted by rtha at 3:28 PM on May 7, 2010


Criminey, hippybear, has your friend never heard of or encountered...bears?

Well... er... um... (looks at his own MeFi alias)... I mean, I sure HOPE he's heard of them...

But yeah, I get your point. I don't think he gets mine very frequently when discussing these things... But he's a gay man who seems to be steeped in his own brew of stereotypes (which I won't list here for the sake of not painting a stereotyped picture of my own about him), and he seems to be unwilling to have his own "well, everyone knows that is how group X is" thoughts challenged even when there's evidence to the contrary directly in front of him.

Let's just say, conversation with him is best kept to subjects like the weather and what each of us is having for dinner.

On a side note -- I will confess that I once ordered a Cosmopolitan at a bar when I meant to order a Manhattan. There's something about my sense of shock when that glass of glowing pink beverage arrived at my table which will never let that happen again.

(It wasn't about being butch. It was about wanting (what is basically) a bourbon martini instead of whatever the hell is in a Cosmo. They are not interchangeable, people!)
posted by hippybear at 3:46 PM on May 7, 2010


I spend a lot of time around a very non-traditional man and it is not like he even wants to think about gender. But believe me, people remind him regularly that he is not being masculine enough.

I'm not sure what to say, because I realize I have the luxury of living in a big city, but at a certain point you have to ignore them and find better people to spend time with. I know a lot of non-traditional people too (I don't know if I would count as one myself or not - certainly less notable end of the spectrum), and so long as they're honestly comfortable being who they are, it seems to me the world is actually less judgmental than I used to expect it to be. People are too busy thinking about their own stuff to really end up all that concerned about whether you're fitting a prototype. Perhaps if you are subconsciously looking for their approval or unsure of the role you're playing, there's more chance for out of the ordinary behavior to cause discomfort. But if you don't make it an issue, people will take a lot of things in stride.

I traveled across country with a female friend right after college, & both of us shaved off our hair so we wouldn't have to deal with shampoo for the trip, and we met a lot of different americans while on that journey. Now and then people were surprised by how we looked, but it wasn't a big deal to me because I wasn't identified with looking masculine or feminine. I think it ends up being much more due to your interpretations of people's comments than anything - like in this article, why is the bartender's reaction about masculinity? I would have just interpreted that as a judgment about how cool I was or how much cred I had as a drinker (things which, incidentally, I'd be indifferent to - but the point is, it wouldn't even occur to me that it was a gender thing). This writer equates that with masculinity, whereas to me it's a bartender with an opinion on a drink.
posted by mdn at 3:52 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why the fuck can't I just order what I want to order?

That about sums it up for me.
posted by namespan at 3:55 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


mdn, I live in Chelsea, a neighborhood in Manhattan.

- like in this article, why is the bartender's reaction about masculinity? I would have just interpreted that as a judgment about how cool I was or how much cred I had as a drinker (things which, incidentally, I'd be indifferent to - but the point is, it wouldn't even occur to me that it was a gender thing).


What drinks are good or get you "cred"--highly gendered.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:56 PM on May 7, 2010


Well... er... um... (looks at his own MeFi alias)... I mean, I sure HOPE he's heard of them...

See, exactly! That's what was confusing me!
posted by rtha at 4:51 PM on May 7, 2010


Gender is a disease. Promoting gender stereotypes is promoting slavery, even if you think you're subversive by switching it around. It doesn't matter who gets assigned which role, it needs to end.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 5:27 PM on May 7, 2010


What drinks are good or get you "cred"--highly gendered.

This is already about 3 levels removed from any useful metric on quality of life.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:29 PM on May 7, 2010


Part of the problem is in the philosophical concept of "opposite words" which is taught to most of us at an early age. "The opposite of night is day." "The opposite of black is white." (Physical colors, not race. I'll get to that later.) "The opposite of boy is girl". The implication of such thinking is that these things are binary, that you must be one or the other, you can't be both.

And yet there is dawn and dusk and noon and midnight, there is grey, and there are people who to varying degrees are physically and mentally intersex. Sex is chromosomally determined and people do "normally" have one or the other of an XY or XX pair, and it is distinctly abnormal to have something else, to the point where if you do, you probably won't be able to have genetic offspring with other human beings. Which is a pretty good "test of normality" for this purpose. Of course, people with XX or XY may not be able to have genetic offspring either, but it's unlikely that this is the case for reasons of sex-chromosome abnormality. Though it could be.

The more day though, the less night; the more black, the less white. These concepts really are polar, even though there are positions between the poles. Most people seem to take it for granted that masculinity and femininity are the same. I would argue that both are situational and contextual, and there is no rule that requires the sum of "how masculine you are" to equal 1 minus the sum of "how feminine you are". A person could express "typically masculine" behaviors to a high degree in one context, "typically feminine" behaviors to a high degree in another. And some large proportion, maybe even a majority, of situations and contexts do not evoke behavior that is easily classifiable as "masculine" or "feminine".

So why even worry about it? The problem is that people are social and sociable and expect things they hold dear to their own identities to be acknowledged by others. Someone who chooses to wear "typically masculine" clothing will not appreciate being offered a stereotypical skirt to wear, regardless of that person's biological sex. Even if the offerer has no cause whatsoever to suspect otherwise (example: the offeree is wearing a hospital gown, and looks "normally" female), the offeree is likely to be disappointed if not outright offended. Other examples abound: a man, a woman, and a young child eat at a restaurant; the woman will normally be asked "would you like a child seat?" and to order for the child, even if the child is the man's and the woman is unrelated to either.

If you deviate from social expectations, you will be continually disappointed and/or offended. This self-reinforces in both directions. To a large extent society is to blame. However so far we've had fifty-ish years of immensely increased ethnic mobility, individual freedom, and gender role de-stereotyping, so there's a hell of a lot less such expectations, in most of the places readers of this site live.

But we're still carrying at least fifty thousand years of "boys do this, girls do that" and consequent "if I think I am a boy, I will do this" and consequent "if I think you are a girl, I will expect you to do that" and consequent consternation at confounded expectations.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:42 PM on May 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Gender is a disease. Promoting gender stereotypes is promoting slavery, even if you think you're subversive by switching it around. It doesn't matter who gets assigned which role, it needs to end.

I'm just wondering; will the end of gender come before or after we all take to wearing jumpsuits?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:54 PM on May 7, 2010


From Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: mas·cu·line
Pronunciation: \ˈmas-kyə-lən\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English masculin, from Latin masculinus, from masculus, noun, male, diminutive of mas male
Date: 14th century
1 a : male

Main Entry: fem·i·nine
Pronunciation: \ˈfe-mə-nən\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French feminin, from Latin femininus, from femina woman; akin to Old English delu nipple, Latin filius son, felix, fetus, & fecundus fruitful, felare to suck, Greek thēlē nipple
Date: 14th century
1 : female

Or to simplify: masculine means male, feminine means female. I am a female; therefore, by definition, anything I do is feminine.

Or to simplify even further: Who the fuck cares what other people think of you? I mean, I understand how someone in the author's situation could spend a lot of time thinking about it, but honestly, the minute you stop worry about what other people think and start just being yourself, your life improves a thousand-fold.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:09 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Geeze, whatever happened to "just be YOURSELF, as hard as you can"? and to hell with the labels...
posted by The otter lady at 7:27 PM on May 7, 2010


This is already about 3 levels removed from any useful metric on quality of life.

Who the fuck cares what other people think of you?

The point is that that total strangers constantly policing you and thinking less of you because you don't live up to their bullshit ideal is incredibly draining, and most people just aren't cut out for it. I'm a 6' tall, straight, team sports playing guy, and I constantly have random people coming up to me telling me how wrong and girly I am for tieing a scarf a certain way or wearing a t-shirt with a tiny fleck of pink in it or whatever. I can't imagine how many trillion times more shit gay/tg/intersex/whatever people I know have to put up with on a daily basis. Fuck this dualism.
posted by kersplunk at 8:09 PM on May 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


the minute you stop worry about what other people think and start just being yourself

In an ideal world, this would be the recipe for happiness and fulfillment. In our world, it can sometimes be the recipe for isolation from peers, continuously hostile social/work/school environments, and even violence.

I'm not saying that being "yourself" isn't a great thing if you can pull it off, but being able to pull it off is, to a large degree, precisely a function of the rest of society not having a serious issue with "yourself."

(straight, white, male, thankful to be among those who can be "himself" without catching shit over it)
posted by AdamCSnider at 8:11 PM on May 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Not Malebranche. Whew!

Malebranche?
posted by homunculus at 8:52 PM on May 7, 2010


Regarding that drink - I can see how it's a gendered judgement rather than a drink-cred call (since drink cred varies for males vs females). I've seen this often since I have the very bad habit of smoking since I was quite young. I ask for my brand, which happens to be Pall Mall plain, which every tobacconist knows is without filter, and 70% can't help but quip something about how "strong" they are and how tough I must be or similar. When I buy two brands, one for me and one for my SO who smokes with filters, they'll be surprised that I hand him the filtered ones. If he's paying for both packs, they'll hand him the plain ones. I've always chalked this up to the rarity of a non-filter smoker at my age (so many friends tell me "My grandmother/grandfather smokes that!) but that's probably because I want to ignore the actual gender judgement going on. Yes I'm a tiny little girl who smokes filterless because I can't stand the odd taste of filters. What of it?
posted by dabitch at 4:30 AM on May 8, 2010


I'm not saying that being "yourself" isn't a great thing if you can pull it off, but being able to pull it off is, to a large degree, precisely a function of the rest of society not having a serious issue with "yourself."

I get what you're saying, but society has generally had a serious issue with me, and I stopped letting it bother me shortly after high school. I've always been a tomboy. I'm a straight woman who has been getting mistaken for a lesbian since long before it was trendy - because I didn't act girly and giggly, and could change the battery in my car, and I don't fawn around asking men to help me with things that any capable adult should be able to do for herself. I had a friends' husband once tell me I would never find a man because I wasn't ditsy enough. You just can't let it bother you, though. It's your life, not theirs.

Honestly, if I could give people one single piece of advice about life, it's "Don't worry about what other people think about you." It's the most important thing you'll ever learn, and it will make you happier than anything else.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:07 AM on May 8, 2010


Lately I've been thinking that one of the nice things about being a gay man is that, by the lights of the most common rulesets, I've already lost the masculinity game and I'm not eligible for the femininity game. IE, there is nothing I can do to get the gender police to approve of me, so there's no need to try.

What this means, of course, is that I can play whatever versions of whatever gender games I want, safe in the knowledge that I've already lost.* Seeing how much time and energy people put into trying to maintain their position on the Gender Leaderboard, I'm of the opinion this saves me a fair amount of grief and energy.


*Mostly I play a streamlined version of the masculinity game. I think the femininity game is a bad game. Like golf: you have to do absurdly mundane tasks with ridiculous handicaps, like a lack of pockets.
posted by PMdixon at 8:07 AM on May 8, 2010


It doesn't matter who gets assigned which role, it needs to end.

Good luck with that one. Personally I'm not bothered by binary standards for gender identification. I think your suggestion is as intrusive and unhelpful as announcing that we should all be bisexual because gay/straight has baggage.

My gender is not the problem, it's the limits of my gender (and other people's limits) and the disharmony currently attached to violating norms. However this is much like the flapping over ethnicity, a vocabulary to express contrasting differences is only as vile and discriminating as you (the cultural you) want to make it.

Gender differences do come along with our sex organs, for example post puberty I cry at sappy imagery, but these are not evenly distributed among women, trans or otherwise. Therefore some sort of scale of measure for "more estrogen soaked/less estrogen soaked" is part of the way the human brain organizes information. For a less loaded example, think about the distinction between "ground" and "sky". We use these terms to orient ourselves, even though much of the matter we interact with literally exists neither on the ground or in the sky.
posted by Phalene at 8:23 AM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Honestly, if I could give people one single piece of advice about life, it's "Don't worry about what other people think about you."

This is good advice, but the only problem with it is that while it does become easier as you get older the degree of difficulty is off the charts when you're an adolescent. What other people think about you rules your world at that age, and it's probably gotten worse (what with Twitter, FB, etc.) since my day.

> Why the fuck can't I just order what I want to order?

Preach it. I (a straight man) still catch shit from some of my friends for the time I got a pina colada at a Brazillian barbeque joint during a bachelor party, and from my wife for the time I ordered a cocktail named a "Fruit Frenzy." A good drink is a good drink, yo.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:45 AM on May 8, 2010


What drinks are good or get you "cred"--highly gendered.

I don't think so - more that girly girls get off the hook more easily. But no one is going to think a vanilla vodka and cranberry is some kind of "cool" thing to order. WHich like I said, who cares anyway. Some bartenders like to please their patrons and others like to teach everyone about the best kind of whiskey [which they expect to get them long term, 'regular customers', who will ultimately be better for business.]

Which is all to say - if you get a good sweet drink, it's not looked down on - get a well made pina colada at a cuban bar or something, and the manliest man there can order it without anyone blinking. But if you're adding sugary mixers to hide the taste of the alcohol, some people think you're doing it wrong. My advice, if someone said "isn't that a bit... sweet?" would be to say something like, "hey, I'm in the mood for something sweet" and let it go. Don't be oversensitive to it.

In an ideal world, this would be the recipe for happiness and fulfillment. In our world, it can sometimes be the recipe for isolation from peers, continuously hostile social/work/school environments, and even violence.

I'm not saying that being "yourself" isn't a great thing if you can pull it off, but being able to pull it off is, to a large degree, precisely a function of the rest of society not having a serious issue with "yourself."


Yeah, well that's what I was saying earlier about living in a big city - but if the poster lives in Chelsea, then the rest of her world does not have much issue with "yourself". In general, don't be overly concerned about the occasional person who has an opinion, and it all fades into the background. They usually don't care that much. You have opinions about people from time to time, too - but you don't spend very long thinking about it. Have you ever looked askance at someone's wardrobe choices or wondered aloud how someone could eat a certain food? But then you talk to someone who, for instance, wears Crocs and is pretty cool, and you get over your stereotyping thoughts.

The same is true for gender expectations. People will make wide-brush judgments, but if you talk to them in person, they generally get over them once they see you're just another person doing your thing. We're all complicated. In some ways I'm what fits in a traditionally "feminine" category and in some ways I'm not. Now and then people ask why I don't wear make up or shave my legs. But most of the time, there are other topics of conversation that are a lot more interesting.

However, that changes dramatically when I'm in a relationship. I don't want to ramble too much, but I think that has to do with the special place “being in a relationship” has in my more general sense of ethics I developed growing up not being in relationships, and it seems to me this may be true for other people as well. For instance, it's pretty well-accepted that maintaining a functioning long-term relationship demands some degree of deception and duplicity

This seems like the most interesting response to me. I couldn't disagree more, but I am not very good at dating generally, so ... I guess I'm lucky to have found enough other people like me to avoid having to take part in rituals I don't really get.
posted by mdn at 8:53 AM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Which is all to say - if you get a good sweet drink, it's not looked down on - get a well made pina colada at a cuban bar or something, and the manliest man there can order it without anyone blinking."

Someone upthread has experience that contradicts this assertion.


"This is already about 3 levels removed from any useful metric on quality of life."

Only if no one with drink with you, Burhanistan.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:01 AM on May 8, 2010


Who the fuck cares what other people think of you?

I do. Other people's opinions of me have direct and powerful impacts on my life. To pick an easy example, if I dress one way, I can continue to be employed; if I dress another way I will lose my job. So while we all might wish for a more inclusive and free society, where people aren't punished so severely for violating social norms, that's not where we live now.

From the article:

There are so many rules of masculinity which are really fucking painful, to ourselves and to others. The competition, the fighting, the physical violence, the anger, the rage, the lack of emotional expression, the policing of each other's weaknesses, the presumption that someone masculine is always sexually available and is probably sexually promiscuous, the issues of commitment, the expectations of "bringing home the bacon."

See, this is how masculinity is often (though hardly always) described in this kind of writing. But my experience, as a man who has almost always worked in very "masculine" spaces and with men who are unabashedly old-school masculine, is very different. The men I know like this (and I'm thinking here about the big burly beer-drinking dudes, not my friends who are here and queer, or who otherwise don't fit into this stereotype) are not emotionally stunted or inarticulate, nor are they violent and rage-filled.

I get that this negative description is how masculinity looks from the outside, but from the inside it just doesn't match my experiences. I'm not saying that it's all cupcakes and puppies, but it's not that bad, either.
posted by Forktine at 9:31 AM on May 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


if I dress one way, I can continue to be employed; if I dress another way I will lose my job.

Most companies have some sort of dress code. You have to wear business casual, or a suite, or whatever. But that's got nothing to do with masculinity or femininity. I don't know where you live, but in the US, you can't discriminate against someone in the workplace on the basis of sexual preference. If a man wants to wear a pink shirt, they can't fire you for that.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:55 AM on May 8, 2010


But if he shows up in a skirt, he may be fired. Or his work life will be made untenable to the point where he'll quit.
posted by rtha at 10:20 AM on May 8, 2010


Well, or be a woman and wear a male-tailored business suit and "masculine" shoes!

I am a little disappointed at all the assertions that no one would get negative reactions to their gender presentation if only they had the right attitude.

I have an awesome attitude about myself and the way I present; so does my partner. That doesn't mean we don't get a notable amount of bullshit about the things we do and how we are together. The guys at his last job were especially bad.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:27 AM on May 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's interesting, skwt. I'll think on that, and how it plays out when one is in a same-sex relationship.
posted by rtha at 6:28 PM on May 7 [+] [!]


After thinking about it a bit, I just wanted to say that I think actually my previous comment was misguided. My argument was:

"I grew up thinking men and women were supposed to be the same, and they seemed similar enough when I wasn't in relationships with any of them, but then I started having relationships with women, and I had to learn a whole new set of behaviours/mores, because of how different women are from men!"

I think actually what happened was I had to learn a whole new set of behaviours/mores not because women are different from men (although they are, it's just that's a different argument), but because the "rules" that govern being in a romantic relationship are vastly different than the rules for being in other kinds of relationships. A man doesn't have to be deceptive in a relationship with a woman because women require more "deception" in their relationships (although, from a straight man's definition of "deception," maybe they do, but again that's a different issue); a person has to be deceptive in a relationship because the nature of being in a relationship demands it. Or so I'm guessing, not personally having the experience to be able to isolate that variable.

But so I guess it's still true that knowing how to negotiate that stuff is, for straight men, part of what I would argue is what we think of when we think of what it means to be a good man; it's just that that's probably just a special case of "being a good person in a relationship."

Sorry, I know I'm off on my own tangent.
posted by skwt at 12:04 PM on May 8, 2010


You can go ahead and not have a care about what other people think, but you ignore the fact that you're living in people. That's your environment. People, not the prairie. You're surrounded by them. Aside from a few hermits, we're surrounded by people and their preconceptions. That goes for everything from drinks at a bar to dating.

When a woman I have taken out for dinner says some rude things about me ordering a margarita, well, yeah, that has an effect on me. Hearing a woman say, "Sometimes? You fuck like a girl" with that oh-so-particular tone is a drag. If I notice someone's new haircut and remember their birthday, hearing, "You'll make some woman a good wife one day" is one of those non-pliments that are little fuck yous for stepping out of the stereotype.

So, given how much policing of masculinity is done by women, I think the last thing we need is a "masculinist theory that grows out of feminism." A masculinist theory can stand just fine on its own.
posted by adipocere at 2:52 PM on May 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


I thought about it a bit,

from skwt:

So, what I'm saying is that, if you can maintain a relationship while strictly adhering to your ideas of what it is to be a good person, my hat is off to you. However, in my experience, as a straight man, a relationship with a straight woman is a special world that has its own very idiosyncratic situations that can be handled more or less morally, and, more generally, more or less “well”—and having the skills and knowledge to be in a relationship “well,” which includes remaining happy yourself while not hurting the other, is part of what it means to “be a good man” that isn't necessarily implied by “being a good person,” and in fact may at times contradict it.

&

a person has to be deceptive in a relationship because the nature of being in a relationship demands it.

----------

It took me a little while to reorganize my ideas from "manhood" as a general social construct to "manhood" as performed in a relationship. (I don't have any queer experience to draw on so if some one else feels like expanding on that element, I'd appreciate it)

The distinction is in the immediacy of the expectations you are trying to meet, and your investment in meeting them. People have mentioned work, friends, strangers, etc... all of these things have emotional significance, but maybe not in quite the same way. In the general sphere you need to "be a man", meeting people's general expectations of normal manliness, and with some room to maneuver (there are types of men, and you only have to be one of those, usually... sensitive artists, geeky brainiac, stereotype-y stereotype, etc...) and the maximum result is that your gender never comes up... no one ever feels the need to police you.

... in the (straight) romantic sphere stereotypically imagined, you are expected to be the man. I think skwt is right to point out this area as being a higher pressure arena. It seems to me there is less wiggle room in that you are trying to meet a specific set of expectations to remain an attractive partner in someone's eyes. I'm sure that that does impact the performance of gender... but I'm not sure that that performance amounts to deception.

For one performance to be deceptive & fake, there must be another that is genuine and transparent. This is a misleading approach to our ideas about social roles. There may be comfortable or uncomfortable roles, well- or poorly- performed, but I don't think there's anything inherently deceptive about inhabiting the gender role, in itself.

The creative ways individuals find to manifest recognizable masculinity isn't a question of truth or deception, but rather of style and ingenuity. These people who are interested in being seen as a "good man" would, I think, try to bring that (creatively, genuinely) in line with their larger ideas about being seen as "a good person". (they may not succeed, but they probably don't succeed in being a good person all the time, either)

Anyway, I hope that makes some sense... just think of the style analogy concretely and picture the differences in how people can appropriate and own styles of dress, while others try to do what is expected of them and look uncomfortable and awkward. The mixture and play of social expectation and individual expression seems similar to me.
posted by ServSci at 3:24 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Interesting piece. Although I'm wondering a little about this: "Of course, it is not all bad. There are beautiful traits, too, care-taking and problem solving and the use of tools and innovative thinking and observation and leading others in passion and entering and embiggening and guiding energy in just the right way" and what it is about those traits in particular that are "masculine."

rtha, I took that paragraph to mean, "These traits are traditionally thought of as masculine in nature," especially given the lead-in paragraph before it.


I don't know where you live, but in the US, you can't discriminate against someone in the workplace on the basis of sexual preference.

MexicanYenta, I don't know where you live, but in the US there is no national protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual preference.

I like the laws in your imaginary "US" better than the ones in the real world, but that doesn't make them real.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:21 PM on May 11, 2010


I don't know where you live, but in the US, you can't discriminate against someone in the workplace on the basis of sexual preference.

Wow, yeah, I missed that earlier.

It is completely legal in many states/municipalities to fire someone because of their (perceived) sexual orientation. More here and here.
posted by rtha at 1:31 PM on May 11, 2010


It is completely legal in many states/municipalities to fire someone because of their (perceived) sexual orientation.

From your second link:

Private sector workers may have a Title VII action under a quid pro quo sexual harassment theory,[11] a "hostile work environment" theory,[12] a sexual stereotyping theory,[13] or others.[14]

However, even if they can get away with firing someone, this is "at work" we're talking about. They are paying you to behave a certain way, and pretty much everyone puts up with a lot of crap they wouldn't normally, because they want the paycheck. Does anyone actually do and say and act exactly the way they would elsewhere? I would prefer to wear jeans and a t-shirt to work every day, but in most jobs I've been required to wear business clothes. That's not sexual repression; it's business. I'd also like to be able to tell the boss he's a complete fucking moron who couldn't find his asshole with both hands and a flashlight, but I imagine that would get me fired, too. You can't really compare work with real life. At work, people have actual power over you. In the real world, most people only have power over you if you let them. And what I'm reading here is that a lot of people are spending a lot of time worrying about what people in the real world think about them.

But in the end, it all comes down to this: I've been being completely true to myself (outside of work, but frankly, even managing it there quite a bit, too) since about 1982, and I've managed to survive, thrive, and have never needed therapy or anti-depressants or religion, or for that matter alcohol or drugs to deal with life. As Shakespeare said, "This above all: to thine own self be true." But if you go through life worrying about what other people think, you're going to live a very sad life. Because everyone else wants you to be exactly like them, and of course you can't be; you can only be you.

And I suppose that people will continue to argue about this, and I won't be able to convince them. And they will continue to be unhappy with their lives, and I'll continue to be happy with mine. You'd think that would give them something to think about right there.
posted by MexicanYenta at 4:09 PM on May 11, 2010


So you're saying that people who are treated poorly because of their gender identity...deserve it? Bring it on themselves? Would be happier if they were just like you?

And your non-reliance on anti-depressants is not a tribute to your character or life philosophy as much as it is a tribute to your genetics and perhaps your luck.

Even if you did use anti-depressants--who gives a shit? People with depression are not bad people or failures or whatever it is you're trying to imply.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 4:47 PM on May 11, 2010


"I am a female; therefore, by definition, anything I do is feminine. "

I am female and do not consider everything I do feminine. There are feminine behaviors and masculine behaviors, as defined by our culture and taught to us, consciously and not, from birth.

I like getting my partner flowers on special days. I like taking him out to dinner. I like to buy people drinks when I like them romantically. I am sexually aggressive and dominant. I often shop for clothes in the men's section. My being female doesn't make those things suddenly read as "feminine"
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 4:54 PM on May 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Private sector workers may have a Title VII action under a quid pro quo sexual harassment theory,[11] a "hostile work environment" theory,[12] a sexual stereotyping theory,[13] or others.[14]

That's neither here nor there. It is simply a fact that in many states, you have no legal grounds if your boss finds out that you are gay - no matter how straight-acting you are at work - and decides to fire you for it.

However, even if they can get away with firing someone, this is "at work" we're talking about. They are paying you to behave a certain way, and pretty much everyone puts up with a lot of crap they wouldn't normally, because they want the paycheck.


And....what? You know that lots and lots of gay people act just like their heterosexual co-workers while at work, right? I mean, most of us don't flounce or flame or cross-dress in socially frighten-the-horses kinds of ways. Being gay is not a "behavior" like talking too loudly on the phone in your cube, or leaving dirty dishes on your desk for days, or never changing the toner in the copier, or talking shit about your boss behind his back, or spending hours reading mefi instead of working.
posted by rtha at 5:55 PM on May 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel like this thread was just an excuse for me to provide another link to this.
posted by dubitable at 7:43 PM on May 11, 2010


So you're saying that people who are treated poorly because of their gender identity...deserve it? Bring it on themselves? Would be happier if they were just like you?

You, and other people in this thread, are jumping to conclusions. How do you know I'm not gay. or a cross dresser, or a goth, or a hermaphrodite, or who knows what? You have no idea how I act or dress or anything else. You have no idea what I've been through in my life, what battles I've fought or what struggles I've been through, and you don't care - you've got your assumptions and you're going to do your best to force them on me. Which puts you in the same category as the people who don't want anyone behaving outside society's narrow views of normal, whether that's regarding masculinity or femininity or anything else.

If you'll read the rest of my comment, I said that everyone should act like themselves, not like me or anyone else. I'm specifically telling people not to act like me, yet you're turning it inside out.

Seems like there are some pretty big chips on shoulders in this conversation.

But here's the best part, and the whole point of what I'm saying: I don't care what you think, because I don't care what anyone thinks.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:25 PM on May 11, 2010


And your non-reliance on anti-depressants is not a tribute to your character or life philosophy as much as it is a tribute to your genetics and perhaps your luck.

Again, you know nothing about me, or my history, or my genetic history. You seem to picture me as Suzy Normal Cheerleader Housewife, with a perfect life in the suburbs and 2.5 children, etc., and nothing could be further from the truth. You're making assumptions.

I didn't say that anyone who is depressed is a bad person or a failure. You're making assumptions about what I think. I was just pointing out that it is possible to live your life the way you want it without it causing you need to therapy, etc. It's possible to be considered a complete freak by most people and still be happy with your life.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:38 PM on May 11, 2010


You, and other people in this thread, are jumping to conclusions. How do you know I'm not gay. or a cross dresser, or a goth, or a hermaphrodite, or who knows what?

Uh...are you any of those things? Even if you are, it doesn't mean I can't disagree with you.

I don't know about the other people here, but I jump to that conclusion with some confidence because I know plenty of gender-non-conforming people and people in all the categories you mentioned (including about a bazillion crossdressers and sissies).

Well, except goths. I don't know any goths. If you are a goth, accept my deepest apologies for assuming that you are not a goth with no actual knowledge of goths.

"You have no idea how I act or dress or anything else. You have no idea what I've been through in my life, what battles I've fought or what struggles I've been through, and you don't care "

No, I really don't care in the sense that you want me to care--which seems to be ignoring what you're saying so that I can give you a pat on the back and/or not criticize your statements. If you have experience that clarifies what you're saying or adds to the conversation, please feel free to move beyond this: (paraphrase) "stop assuming I don't know what I'm talking about even though I make no indication of knowing what I'm talking about!"

"you've got your assumptions and you're going to do your best to force them on me. Which puts you in the same category as the people who don't want anyone behaving outside society's narrow views of normal, whether that's regarding masculinity or femininity or anything else. "

Oh my God I'm disagreeing with you on the internet! I'm totally the oppressor and in the same category as the people at my husband's old job who called him a dyke because, ha ha, he's a woman with a short haircut, how funny is that the 399th time and then he would come home from work miserable and eventually he had panic attacks every Sunday and had to start seeing a shrink. Wow, that's totally the same as me disagreeing with you or not knowing every detail of your life or whatever it is that I'm trying to "force" onto you.


If you'll read the rest of my comment, I said that everyone should act like themselves, not like me or anyone else. I'm specifically telling people not to act like me, yet you're turning it inside out.

You seem to be completely missing the fact that PEOPLE ARE ACTING LIKE THEMSELVES. That does not give them a magical Disney-esque "be true to yourself" free pass from harassment, assault, and other, lesser forms of bullshit. There's no protective force-field that suddenly surrounds people when they're happy with who they are. But you (and others in this thread) seem to have this attitude that if only they were doing it right or had a better attitude or were more confident (just like you are!), then they would be totally happy.

Seems like there are some pretty big chips on shoulders in this conversation.

OH MY GOD BUT I'VE HAD A HARD LIFE HOW YOU COULD YOU SAY THAT YOU DON'T KNOW ME WHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE

"Again, you know nothing about me, or my history, or my genetic history. You seem to picture me as Suzy Normal Cheerleader Housewife, with a perfect life in the suburbs and 2.5 children, etc., and nothing could be further from the truth. You're making assumptions.
"

You're the one who brought it up, yo. I didn't say shit about your personal history or your genetic history except to point out that no, mental illness is not a personal failure that you escaped because of your inherent positivity and awesomeness. I also don't care what your life is like. You seem to think that I have spent hours thinking about you and your life and then judging you based on it when in reality, I based my response on your comments which were vastly ignorant (the fucking dictionary?) and somewhat victim-blaming.

I didn't say that anyone who is depressed is a bad person or a failure. You're making assumptions about what I think. I was just pointing out that it is possible to live your life the way you want it without it causing you need to therapy, etc. It's possible to be considered a complete freak by most people and still be happy with your life.

OK thanks for that info, I will share it with everyone I know and then they won't need therapy or anti-depressants, once they are strong and confident enough like you. When the girls in my middle school were throwing things at the butch girl every time she tried to come into the locker room to change I should have been like "hey just so you know you don't have to get depressed if you're confident enough!!! You're welcome!!!"
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:18 AM on May 12, 2010


Hey, thinking about it, I think I was overly harsh, MexicanYenta. I was extra crabby because of some other stuff but I should have thought twice before commenting.

I'm sorry about that. I hope you can still see where I'm coming from.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:02 AM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


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