Identity, masculinity and boxes

9 12 2009

This post by Bond made me go YES YES YES! They describe how people often apologetically identify one way (butch or femme, for example) with the caveat that they don’t live up/down to the stereotypes that are commonly associated with said identity. They suggest that people, instead, claim the words they they feel they identify with and make no apologies. If someone identifies as butch, they shouldn’t have to apologise for liking things normally perceived as “girlie”. I can related to this big time. I sometimes do say, especially when I’m giving a presentation on being a trans guy, or talking about it casually to someone who knows nothing about the topic, that I choose to identify (mostly) as male even though I don’t choose to adopt all the masculine stereotypes. But when I do that, it’s usually with the purpose of educating rather than apologising, as in: “I’m a guy, I don’t have a cock, I drink herbal tea and I’m a feminist. Deal with it.”

Earlier today, I read this article on reconceptualising masculinity. Similarly, it encourages people who identify as “masculine” in any way to give up their reliance on outdated models of masculinity and to expand the term to include anything that masculine-identified people do. Most importantly, the author encourages us to explore the possibility of having a masculinity that does not include misogyny. As a male-identified feminist, I’m SO down with that.

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2 responses

10 12 2009
Shirley Anne

Playing the devil’s advocate here because I don’t necessarily agree but what you’ve just written, to most people I would think, is that you are completely confused and don’t know who you are. Now like I said I don’t really subscribe to that nonesense because people are, well, simply who they are, end of. It’s all about attitude, not of yourself but how people perceive you to be. In actuality, it ain’t their business is it? However we live among the uninitiated, the uneducated, the idiots and baffoons so we find ourselves trying to explain things when we should just get on with it and let them think what they like. That isn’t always easy though is it Jacky? I mean some people can be simply a pain in the butt! No matter, we plod on regardless and as long as we are happy, who cares? Love

Shirley Anne xxx

10 12 2009
Jacky V.

Well, most people that I know, in practice, don’t really adhere to all the stereotypes for their sex/gender anyway. I think it’s just that they tend to be applied more harshly to transfolk because people figure if we want to “cross over” we must be at the extreme end of the spectrum of that sex/gender we identify with. But I don’t see why the norms of masculinity or femininity should apply more harshly to us than anyone else. If people want to think I’m confused, they can. It doesn’t really bother me. In turn, I’m allowed to think that they are incredibly limited in their thinking. Then they’re happy and I’m happy 🙂

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