5 Stupid, Unfair and Sexist Things Expected of Men
Continued from previous page
Admittedly, because of my own personality and proclivities, the men in my life tend to be -- how shall we put this? -- outside the mainstream of conventional American society. ("Big nerdy pinko freaks" would be another way to put it.) And a lot of them are gay or bi, which skews the sampling even more. But just like lots of feminist women are able to laugh off the sitcoms and billboards and women's magazines and live however the frack we want, lots of feminist men are able to unload the John Wayne/Cary Grant/"What kind of man reads Playboy" crap they got loaded with -- or, depending on their generation, the Rambo/Tom Cruise/ Maxim magazine crap -- and just get on with their lives.
Different people feel more affected by gender expectations than others. Some of us -- women and men alike -- still hear these voices in the back of our heads, still feel them shaping our reflexes, still see a need to consciously drag these messages into the light so we know how to recognize them and have an easier time tossing them overboard. And some folks -- again, both women and men -- feel like this is really not that big a deal. Yes, they say, society wants men to be one way and women to be another. Who cares what society wants? For some people, it takes years of introspection and therapy and processing to unload this junk. Some people never unlearn it, in fact; some people let their whole lives be run by it. And other people seem to unload it just by deciding to do it.
So I don't know what to tell you about how to do that.
All I can tell you is that it's totally worth it.
Thanks to Adam, Alan, Andrew, Ben, Other Ben, Chad, Christopher, Craig, Crypt, Damion, Darren, David, Other David, Still Other David, Yet Still Another David, And Yet One More David, Dean, Georges, Glendon, Jacob, James, Other James, Jason, Jeff, Joel, jraoul, Kyle, Lauro, Lenny, Leo, Mark, Michael, Other Michael, Still Other Michael, Scott, Other Scott, Still Other Scott, Sean, Anonymous, and everyone else I talked to, for their invaluable help with this piece.