Posts Tagged ‘gender

13
Feb
14

“A boy named Lyric” – gender stereotypes suck!

Gender may seem like an odd thing for me to write about in this blog, but it’s important. Confidence, experience, career, income, life choices – these all are contributors to attitude and ability to be self-sufficient. Inequality in pay, income, education and benefits often contributes to women staying in bad relationships and not having freedom of choice in their lives. Since I try to write about empowerment and evolution in my life, the gender issue really applies in how I got here, where I’m going, how long it will take me and how much I’ll be paid. Thus, I’m writing about it.

Gender has been on my radar this morning. First, I had an unexpected interaction with a cop prior to my morning coffee today. One is generally a bit interested and concerned to see a cop outside their house at 6:30 in the morning – I stuck my head out the door as my guy was heading to work. He & the cop exchanged “good mornings” and my fella got in his car. The cop said “don’t you want to know what’s going on?” My guy said “nope” and left. I came out right after and the cop praised me for my interest (there was an armed robbery nearby and the suspect seen in my neighborhood.) The officer then asked who “that guy” was and proceeded to tell me how irritated he was that he didn’t care why there was a cop at the foot of our driveway. He asked how long we’ve been dating. He said “you can do better. He’s not good enough for you.” I made excuses like I was some sort of abuse victim and Officer Friendly opined that he couldn’t believe that a man would leave his home and his woman with a cop outside without knowing what was going on. He said “what kind of man does that?” I eventually went into the house and copper once again shouted “he’s not good enough for you! You have my vote!” It wasn’t until after I’d had some coffee and a moment to think about it that I realized how sexist this exchange was. I had treated it in a jokey, flirty manner, but my guy summed it up best by answering the “what kind of man does that” question: “The kind of man who knows you have it under control and can take care of yourself. I had to get to work & didn’t have time to chit-chat. Besides – you were perfectly safe – there was a COP there!” Heck yeah!

After that bit of weirdness, I sat down at my computer to read that Soliel Moonfrye has had a third child. A boy named Lyric. That’s how Bing promoted the article too. “A boy named Lyric.” So what? She likes non-traditional names. Who decided that “Apple” and “Lyric” were feminine and “Ryder” and “Sage” were masculine? For that matter, who decided that pink is for girls and blue is for boys and why are we continuing to buy into this freakish gender binary?

As I was contemplating on that subject, two separate friends posted this article on Facebook about the 1981 LEGO ad girl and how gender neutrality has actually gotten worse in the past 33 years:

http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/little-girl-1981-lego-ad-grown-shes-got-something-say/

Well, crap. My friends know that gender issues are a huge hot button for me. I imagine that my children might be aware of this as well. When my oldest was a little guy at the McDonalds play-place, they would often ask if I wanted a “boy toy or girl toy” – I used to emphatically state that my SON would like the BARBIE. They still do this today, yet it shows up on the receipt as “DOLL TOY” or “CAR TOY” – secret gender code for male/female I guess. Would it kill them to ask if you want the doll or the car? Or “would you like the Angry Bird toy or the Bratz doll?” Easier still? A 6-piece gender-neutral mini Lego set. A notebook. An invisible ink pen. A magnifying glass. Something that allows for creativity & expression without pigeonholing kids into societal roles. The LEGO ad girl is right – it’s gotten WORSE – at least from my viewpoint. I currently work with one kid who is so deeply mired in gender stereotyping that they actually get stressed at the notion of a boy with long hair or a girl wearing a football jersey.

Last Christmas, when one of my siblings was expecting a baby and did not yet know the gender, I wanted to get some gender neutral baby clothes. I was seriously unable to walk into a retail store and find just PLAIN STUFF to purchase. Ninety percent of the clothes that I saw were blue & covered in footballs or pink & covered in ballerinas and completely divided into gender categories.

As a parent, woman & educator, this worries me. But here’s an interesting sub-plot that I just have observed using very limited data: the LEGO ad girl doesn’t have kids. The two people who shared this article don’t have kids. Are the people who are most concerned about this issue childless folks? Is it possible that we parents are simply ashamed to admit that we are constantly losing the battle of the pink and that sometimes it’s easier to give in than fight?

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08
Apr
13

“you act like a man when it comes to sex”

I have been keeping a very weird schedule and even though I should be trying to sleep right now, I thought I would spend some time trying to address some of the “future blog topics” that I posted earlier. I’ve chosen one that will take us out of the loose chronological order that I have been attempting, but it should be a somewhat short one. Tomorrow I will try to write about the man that made the statement that is my subject heading. We were involved for six months and he was my first ever “fuck buddy” – our relationship was about 90% sexual and it was really very excellent sex.

During the time that I was involved with this man, we were both dealing with the newness of having a lover that was just that – a lover and nothing more. Oh sure, we would text and email, but most of our conversations were usually sexual in nature or concerned coordinating when we would next get together. This was a first for both of us. We did “go out” twice during our involvement – both times early in the relationship. Mostly we just fucked – whenever we could manage it.

During this time, we established “rules” to avoid the intimacy of a relationship. No kissing (until we broke that one,) no talking on the phone (until we broke that one,) and no exclusivity. We both were involved with other people while we were seeing each other. He, particularly, demanded this and then seemed astonished at my willingness to accept such terms. He was further stunned to learn that I had other lovers – even though I was very clear that we were not “going steady.”

He seemed fascinated, aroused and also jealous and somewhat possessive at times. On several occasions he said that I was simply too good to be true. I didn’t make demands on his time or attention. I didn’t expect gifts, baubles, trinkets, dinners, dates…I just wanted to fuck. And did we ever.

We talked about having a “just sex” relationship but it’s as if he expected me to say “just kidding” and become needy and demanding at any second. Finally, one day, he looked at me and, shaking his head, with a bemused grin he said “I’ve never known a woman like you before. You act like a man when it comes to sex and relationships.”

I had to think about that one for a second.

I mean, yeah. I totally understand what he means. I like to have sex often. I didn’t need to attach love, emotions, definitions, titles and meaning to every stroke, gesture, thrust and orgasm. I buy my own condoms. I masturbate. I’m sex-positive. And I never imposed on other aspects of his life or was jealous of the time he spent doing other things. We were essentially free agents who got together a few times a month and had really incredible sex.

On the other hand, I am a woman. I do attach emotion to sex. But that’s okay too. I can have feelings for more than one person at a time. I think this was most perplexing for him. My ability to have love, affection, attraction and screaming orgasms with more than one person at the same time seemed comfortable for him as a man, but weird for me as a woman. So much so that it became a bit of a struggle for us.

Without going too far down the road where the relationship is concerned (that’s another blog entry and I promise it’s coming soon,) I found him to be more needy than I was in the relationship. I felt that I was giving him exactly what he wanted but not what he expected, so it threw him off a bit.

Bottom line – do I behave “like a man” when it comes to sex and relationships?

Well, yes. Many men freely involve themselves sexually with several women at the same time. They think nothing of going out, getting laid and having it be just sex without attaching some deeper meaning involving love, commitment, romance or God help us, being soulmates. Many men have been able to master more casual involvement – whether it’s with occasional fucks, one-night stands, friends with benefits or just casual dating.

Women, however, are often seeking commitment, monogamy, love and a serious relationship. Women that date and sleep with lots of men are often considered to be sluts or somehow lower class. I know that this isn’t always the case, but it seems to often be true.

I am a woman who loves sex. I love men. I love spending time with all kinds of men. I enjoy flirting, talking, touching, teasing, fucking. I am responsible for my own sexual health and I keep clean sheets on the bed.

Why does that make me “like a man” then? Why can’t this just make me an empowered, sex-positive, modern, single woman?

I would love to hear your thoughts.




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