Secure in My Manhood

I’m not one who is known for writing jokes, but I did write one several years ago that I’m rather proud of:

The next time a guy tells you that he’s secure in his manhood, say, “Here. Hold my purse.”

Heaven forbid.

I kind of feel sorry for men. Their options are so limited. They are trapped by their own majority status.

There are all sorts of sociological studies that indicate that it’s perfectly acceptable for minority groups to “imitate” majority groups, but when someone from a dominant group imitates a “lesser” group, this is considered taboo. That’s why women can get away with wearing suits and even ties, but if a man is seen in a floral print cocktail dress, it will raise eyebrows. What seems to me to be a shocking transgender backlash of late speaks volumes about this. For the same reason, white rappers are often ridiculed for trying to break into what is considered minority turf.

When my nephew was a teen he used to agonize over his shampoo purchases, because he didn’t want to smell “all flowery”. This was a manifestation of his anxiety over coming out as a young gay male, I’m sure, but it was also all about society in general. Flowers are girly things. Thus decrees society.

I’ve had more than one straight male friend say to me that they can’t tell if another male is good looking. Poppycock. What they mean is, they’d never dare admit that they can tell if another male is good looking. On the other hand, as a straight female, I can call another woman pretty and no one thinks twice about it.

Men are even mortified to ride a woman’s bike. It’s as if that length of reinforcing pole makes all the difference in the world to their image. The world can’t have too many phallic symbols.

And many men wouldn’t be caught dead wearing pink. Lest we forget, pink is an arbitrarily chosen gender color. It could have just as easily been neon green.

I can be secure in my manhood, but men can only acceptably embrace their feminine side as a joke. How sad for them. Their territory is so small.

It’s all so absurd and so limiting. Why can’t we all just do our own thing?

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4 thoughts on “Secure in My Manhood

  1. Angiportus

    This, this and this. Designation of a color, style or whatever as somehow unclean because of association with some demographic, and the supposed need for a scapegoat so that group gets the dirty end–I wonder if there’s any culture on earth that isn’t tainted with this garbage. Like as not the group being dumped on–women, introverts, gays, whatever–consists of people who didn’t choose to belong to it, either. But some people with privilege are so insecure or something they think they need someone to look down on.
    The terms “masculine” and “feminine” are so overused as to have become inane somehow, and a load of new ones need to be found. My qualities, and fashion choices, are simply…mine. And so for anyone smart enough to think for themselves. I’m so sick of the gender crap anyway, and when I was a kid I thought racism and so on would be all solved when I grew up. It wasn’t, but I have been known to call people on it.
    Keep up the good work, bringing this stuff out in the open and showing it for what it is.

  2. Linda Cooke

    Men’s phobia of wearing pink is a fairly recent social construct in the U.S. and always strikes me as absurd. Up until around World War I, children wore unisex white dresses up to the age of six. My dad was born in 1917 and all of his baby pictures show him wearing dresses until he reached school age. Pink was considered a stronger color that was more appropriate for boys, while blue was thought to be daintier and prettier for girls.
    I found an interesting article about the topic from the Smithsonian, that includes a link to a 2012 book on the subject. I remember hearing about this on (you guessed it) NPR!
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/when-did-girls-start-wearing-pink-1370097/?no-ist

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