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Thread: Gender roles and the bullshit that women, men, boys, and girls endure

  1. #1
    fuck the chupacabra Randall's Avatar
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    Angry Gender roles and the bullshit that women, men, boys, and girls endure

    Let's shoot the shit about gender roles! Here's a few questions to kick us off, feel free to add in your own.

    1. What do you think are the most damaging expectations/weird standards for each gender?
    2. How has it affected the people in your life?
    3. How has it affected you personally?
    4. What views on gender roles do you hold that might be seen as controversial or sexist?
    5. What are you doing about damaging gender roles? What can we do about it (on an individual and/or cultural level)?
    6. Similarly, if you have kids, how are you protecting them (or how would you, if you did have them)?

  2. #2
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    It's to a point in my life where I can't really discern between damage and character, they've become the same thing.

    I know I wasn't comfortable being hammered into a male gender role when I was younger, so I just didn't. I would rub it in people's faces, mostly as a defense mechanism. As I got older I realized that I was fairly "cis", and that the society I lived in was nuts.

    The biggest adjustment to my gender besides puberty has been from weightlifting, so much so that I called it twoberty. I believe I've had low testosterone for most of my life. It's kind of fun to be able to play with the sociopathic, cheery, outward seeking, bro-y, doofus fratboy nature of that particular hormone, especially now that I'm too old to really give a fuck about it.

    My wife is also towards the center of the gender spectrum, but she looks girly- that's a constant headache and she has a wicked chip on her shoulder about it, corresponding very well to my own.

    She's pretty adventurous and can be very social at various times in her life. Recently she went and infiltrated the transgender community in our city. They adopted her immediately, and I got to meet a bunch of extremely interesting people. You want to see the most acute effects of gender expectations, seek the fringes, that's my moral. I'd estimate that for most of the people I met in that community spent a much larger amount of their mental energy thinking about gender than the average person.

  3. #3
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    I'm not a very competitive person. If I ever do anything "competitive" it's for the joy of it, and winning or losing is relatively irrelevant to me. I'd rather establish relationships based upon cooperation than competition.. which caused a lot of problems in my youth. I place more importance on "love" in relationships then "sex", although I no longer consider myself a romantic. I like alcoholic drinks that taste good, and I don't even like to get that drunk. I buy glade plug-ins.

    I have often felt at odds with my gender, but I think if I had an extra X chromosome, I probably would have felt the same.

  4. #4
    In it to win it 99Problems's Avatar
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    I got picked on, a LOT, when I was a kid so I went the overcompensation route.

  5. #5
    Pan_Sonic_000
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    1. What do you think are the most damaging expectations/weird standards for each gender?
    For each gender, it's the idea that their physical attributes or hormonally driven behaviors define them more than their character and/or abilities.

    That's why I don't give a fuck about a lot of 'isms' / crusader movements surrounding gender: it just plays into all that garbage from another angle. I prefer to recognize the unifying factors amongst humans because everyone has immediate access to them and they cover almost all ground that's currently fractured and co-opted by said movements. Plus, it fosters empathy which is a more likely solution to these problems than rhetoric and special recognition.


    2. How has it affected the people in your life?
    I don't think it has, really, outside of it being a nuisance at times.


    3. How has it affected you personally?
    Like a lot of teenagers, I wanted to fit into a certain masculine mold - but I stopped caring after a while. I've played around with gender in a lot of ways, going to extremes on a few occasions. But it's not something that's drastically affected my life or made me give a shit about whether or not I'm meeting a defined standard for my gender.


    4. What views on gender roles do you hold that might be seen as controversial or sexist?
    I still think gender polarity is often (but not always) vital to sexual behaviors. To me, that seems like a no-brainer but I've said it before and people have blown their fucking tops and start frothing at the mouth about it. I dunno. Like it or not, we've still got a lot of lizard circuitry in our brains and to a large extent, it's attracted to traits we perceive as 'feminine' and 'masculine'.


    5. What can we do about it (on an individual and/or cultural level)?
    Realize that gender is ultimately inconsequential to any worthwhile measurement of human value.

    6. Similarly, if you have kids, how are you protecting them (or how would you, if you did have them)?
    I'd teach them what was taught to me: Who you say you are > who others say you are.

    Pay no mind to what other people tell you gender "is", even me. Decide for yourself and pursue it. And remember this quote because it speaks to character:

    "Not with envy, not with a twisted heart, shall you feel superior, or go about boasting. Rather in goodness by action make true your song and your word. Thus you shall be highly regarded, and able to live in peace with all others."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
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    Generally, my life has not been complicated by gender roles. I was in Boy Scouts. I did lots of outdoor things, things not limited to the males, but typically expected for a male to do. I've also had some experience with women that worked very hard alongside me. This was when I was building trails. One girl in particular could carry 80 pounds of gear up mountains and dig holes as well as anyone. Combine that with a decent education regarding the matter, and I'm generally not quick to judge what a person is capable of accomplishing based on their gender. Still, I'm slow (not unwilling) to accept that girls should be allowed in the infantry. That could be a thread in itself. There are many points surrounding the issue that must be considered, and I don't want to delve into them here.
    "Long live the weeds and the wilderness!"

  7. #7
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Probably the one thing that's ever actually been damaging in my life (although I think it can have positive aspects, properly interpreted) is the idea that "a man doesn't" depend on others or admit weaknesses that require other people's assistance to mitigate. It's been troublesome mainly because, in its absolutist form, it's blatantly false--no one gets through life without having a problem they can't solve on their own, and it's just plain dumb to insist on pretending this isn't the case when it's both clearly true and applicable to your situation.

    I've dealt with serious depression most of my life, and numerous instances of deciding it was better to "just man up and get over it" led me into destructive cycles of self-reinforcing failure repeatedly. It would have been far better to just say "OK, I know this problem exists, I haven't been able to fix it by myself, and therefore I should just accept that I'm going to have to take down the walls I've built around it, other people are going to see it, and I'm going to find myself feeling exposed and vulnerable as a result," done what I had to do, and moved on. Funnily enough, this now strikes me as a more "manly" approach to the problem, since what I was doing before was irrationally refusing to leave a finicky, self-imposed emotional comfort zone and in the process allowing my problems to become other people's problems.

    I could get into anachronistic and dysfunctional attitudes about family/relationship roles (women complaining about their husbands/boyfriends making less money than they do, etc) but that's a long-ass rant.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mexico View Post
    I could get into anachronistic and dysfunctional attitudes about family/relationship roles (women complaining about their husbands/boyfriends making less money than they do, etc) but that's a long-ass rant.
    Women don't do that. Only men do that.

  9. #9
    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    1. I have trouble with the nurturing, kind, emotionally available, gregarious, family gathering with the good china vision of a female that many people have. Also, the expectation that men are the ones who fix things. Oh, the babies having thing too. Also, the hair, makeup, shoes, shopping thing.
    2. Mostly I have been a constant disappointment to my mother and mother-in-law. I am the only daughter in both cases, and both are girlie and extroverted. My mom has a bunch of grandaughters now, so she's good, but my unproductive womb is probably the bane of my m-i-l's existence. I'm sure she feels as though I'm punishing her. They never hated me or anything...maybe. I'm actually not quite confident in saying that. I think the disappointment has led to hatred on occasion but they are both extreme nuclear EFs (as apposed to the healthy balanced type) so that's to be expected. In my ex husbands (yeah, you saw that s), I think it led to them feeling threatened in their own gender role. I was always tall, blonde, green-eyed, and athletic, and so in spite of the jeans, t-shirt, sneakers, no make up, ponytail mentality, I still had a tendency to attract men who put a lot of value in appearance. The gulf between expectations and reality was always a bit of an awakening for the men in my life. Tall blondes don't act like I do. They just don't. It does not compute. Thank god my hair is turning white. Maybe I'll start getting some respect.
    3. Good lord, where do I even start. I'm very good at fixing things. I'm strong. I don't hug. Taking care of a sick person is the most awkward thing in the world for me. I can't think of anything to say on christmas cards, birthday cards, etc. When I get phone calls from the females in my life who want to have girl talky relationships with me, I'm completely lost in the dark. I haven't ever for a minute wanted to have a baby. I don't have anything against makeup, but it is so low on my priority list that there is zero chance I will ever expend the time and resources needed to get that ball rolling. I'm in my 40s, and I wouldn't even know where to start. The overall effect is that wherever I go, I create a bit of a "tsk tsk" situation because I'm not wearing the right thing or talking about the right things. My husband is an E, and I'm an I. He gets away with not calling my parents, but when I don't call his, they assume I am dissing them. When a birthday gets missed on HIS side of the family, it's because I forgot, not because we forgot (in their minds, not his) because that is the female roll. Even though I have excelled in plumbing, as a firefighter, as a scientist, and as a professor, people who actually know me still judge me based on stereotypical female things that they already know I suck at. It's baffling. The people who don't know me...they'll just think what they think. I don't have time to worry about them.
    4. I know at least some find it controversial, but I do not believe women should have separate physical standards from men in jobs like firefighting, marines, etc. By the same token, I do not think that women who meet the required standards should be restricted in any way in these professions.
    5. Leading by example. Breaking barriers. Being good at what I do and never asking for special treatment when invading the so-called "man's world."
    6. I don't have children, but I think my nieces and nephews have a different view of women's roles because of me.

    I'll leave you with this funny story. I was working as the plumbing specialist in Lowe's, wearing jeans (not tight), a Lowe's shirt, and a Lowe's backbrace over it while I put water heaters in top stock using a cherry picker. I have curves (my ass is big no matter what I do), and the attention garnered by said curves was always an issue, but what am I supposed to do, wear a burqa. The uniform for my job was sturdy work pants/jeans and a tucked in shirt and belt, and a form hugging back brace. A pair of kids came in with their parents and had a very different view of me from the usual stalkers. Their parents needed a cast iron sink, so I came down from topstock to help them. As I had the conversation with them about the standard distance between the holes for the faucet, standard kitchen sink sizes, the things they'd need to install said sink and faucet, and all the potential installation pitfalls to worry about, their children were having an argument about whether I was a girl or a boy. The boy thought I was a boy, his argument being that I knew stuff that only boys know. The girl thought I was a girl because my hair was long and I was pretty. The parents got all redfaced embarrassed and shushed them. I grabbed a ladder to get the sink down from top stock, and as I carried the very heavy item down, the boy yelled, "I TOLD YOU SHE WAS A BOY!." I busted out laughing and nearly fell off the ladder.

  10. #10
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    I've spent a great deal of my life content to simply act like gender roles don't exist. I've never really had a problem with this except occasionally from other men who for some reason want to call me a faggot. But that doesn't really bother me. I've never had an issue with a negative reaction from women over it.
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

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