vixenesque93: (o'keefe)
[personal profile] vixenesque93
I've read article after blog after article about the unfair expectations placed on me because I'm female. Walk feminine, talk feminine...oh, wait, that's a song. But really...I'm supposed to be pretty, be slender, spend hours on my hair and makeup, wear cute and horribly uncomfortable shoes, find a nice man to make me a Mrs., have the proper number of babies and not let my figure go, balance work and family...the list goes on and on. After awhile I stopped giving a shit about what society expected of me as a female because society's not the fucking boss of me. I burp, I fart, I'm fat and I'm unmarried. But I pay taxes and obey the laws of the land so I figure I'm fulfilling my social obligations just fine and dandy.

So something I never really thought about was the expectations society places on men. I mean, why should I? I'm not a guy, and besides they supposedly have all the power and control in society so how hard can it be?


Stupid, Unfair, and Sexist things expected of men

1) Fight! If I back down from a fight, I'm being reasonable. If a guy does it, he could be called chickenshit. I don't even have to be willing to fight to defend my honor. A guy's not that lucky.

2) Be a good husband/partner/lover -- but don't care too much what women think. Yeah...I can't figure that last part either. Being a good partner is a two-way street: everyone deserves to be treated well by their partner, and in turn everyone is obligated to treat their partner well. There's nothing wrong with caring about what your partner thinks, regardless of gender!

3) Be hot to trot. Always. With anybody. Um...come on, if the attraction isn't there it isn't there. No wonder male virgins are so mocked by society (a whole movie was even made about it). We tell women to wait for the right person, why can't we tell men the same thing?

And of course, if a guy is attracted to women society deems less than attractive, he gets mocked for that too.

4) Stiff upper lip. Heaven forbid he show emotions.

5) Fear of being perceived as gay. Yes, women get this too (especially if they don't conform to the makeup/appearance/gotta have a man mentality), but the fear isn't as deeply instilled in us.

5 things society unfairly expects of men.

I posted this one on my FB too, because it put me in a "oooh....that's interesting" mindset.

1. Make money. Two-income households be damned, men are still expected to be the 'primary' wage-earners, to make more than their spouses, to take care of their families.

I was raised in a household where the primary wage-earner was....my mother. So the idea of finding a man to be a provider was regarded as a risky pursuit--it's an uncertain world, every man and woman for themselves. That said, I have almost always made the same or less than my male partners. The only exception to this was my very first boyfriend, who didn't have a job at 18/19. This struck me as odd not because he was a male without a job, but because he was an adult without a job (we were both full time students and to a degree still dependent on our parents, however I was expected to also work part time-he wasn't). There have been times in my relationship with [livejournal.com profile] glitch25 that I was the only one with a job, but I thought of that as a partnership thing-we take care of each other.

I'm not socially expected to get a great-paying job to care for my partner/children, the expectation is that I either find someone who will provide, or just make enough so I can care for myself. So if I want to do something that's not going to make me wealthy, hey, no problem. Men don't always have that luxury.

2. Win, win, win! If I try to claw my way to the top, to be the best, I run the risk of being perceived as a ball-busting bitch. If a man DOESN'T, he's a wimp.

3. Be physically strong. Yeah, this one strikes me as kind of obvious--but it puts an unrealistic amount of pressure on men.

4. Fix stuff. I'm not all that technically or mechanically inclined-but that's considered okay. Well, except by me. I remember picking up some oil for the car and the salesperson saying "you know how to put that in your car, right?". I was like "um, DUH". I was young and had convinced myself that it was my age and not my gender he was referring to. And ya know, maybe it was. Now, I'll admit that my mechanical inclinations only really extend to checking/adding fluids and the importance thereof, and how to tell if something sounds off (if you step on your brakes and hear a grinding metal sound, you're pretty screwed).

That said, I do see this particular sexism in myself. I've met men who were less technologically/mechanically inclined than myself, and I find myself judging them more harshly than if they were a woman with the same skill.

5. Get it up. I think this one should be fairly obvious. If you skip the rest of the article, at least read this part.

If I'm not ready for intercourse...hey, it's okay, it happens, get some lube, guy spends more time on foreplay (as if suddenly my inability to get wet is now his responsibility), but for the most part it can still happen. For the guy? It's a bit trickier.

Now, I like PIV intercourse. A lot. And due to its reproductive results, it gets defined as "sex". Virginity is defined by it. And acts that don't lead to it (or ever include it) are then classified as being somehow lesser.

I like this part: Feminists talk a lot about the privileging of penile-vaginal intercourse. We talk a lot about how the word foreplay is misleading at best and sexist at worst. We talk a lot about how most women can't come from penetration alone, and how treating non-intercourse forms of sex as simply a preamble -- not even sex at all, really -- trivializes female pleasure.

What we don't talk about as much is how this assumption trivializes male pleasure. We don't talk about the pressure it puts on men to "perform" -- pressure that, ironically, can make said "performance" more problematic. And we don't talk as much about the ridiculous limitations it puts on male sexuality. We don't talk as much about how enjoying full-body sensuality, nipples and ears and toes and hair and the huge range of sexual pleasures available to all human beings, is typically seen as girly. We don't talk as much about how men who like receiving anal sex are widely assumed to be gay... even if the people they like receiving anal sex from are consistently women. And we don't talk as much about how this assumption reduces men's pleasure, their possibilities, their entire sexual beings, to a few inches of erectile tissue between their legs.


Date: 2010-08-15 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dartaganon.livejournal.com
This was very well put. Thank you for recognizing the differences, yet same pressures.

Date: 2010-08-16 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ankh-f-n-khonsu.livejournal.com
Have you seen the "Killing Us Softly" series?

Date: 2010-08-16 04:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vixenesque93.livejournal.com
Nope...sounds like I'll have to look for it.

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