Posted in Let's Talk

Let’s Talk • ‘Real Men’ and ‘Real Women’

Nothing aggravates me more than the general messages that are pushed around as Facebook memes, or found on other social media sites on a daily basis, the the point that I stopped scrolling through Facebook because eight in every twenty of these posts are either adverts (suggested posts) or messages shared by people. Social media has quickly become a way for us to use our voice with a much broader scope and that means that more frequently people post their opinions online, I’m doing it right now. In some ways you have a choice, to view this information or to ignore it and so I’ve been taking action to avoid social media more often for that exact reason.

The fight for equality rages on and I find myself with raised eyebrows at both arguments somewhere along the spectrum between misogyny and matriarchy, neither of which I would deem as ‘the way forward’. I think the context that foregrounds both arguments is our deeply rooted though largely artificial roles which we assign to gender, it’s what people are referencing when you are ‘Oh men don’t do that…’ or ‘women need/don’t need…’ the truth is not all men or all women are the same, we’re each born with our own differences which makes no two people the same and therefore no two representatives of the same gender conforming to the same hegemonic (dominant ‘norm’ of our society) roles. It gets so much worse when you start making a pass on how well someone is ‘performing’ their gender, whether they pass bar as a ‘real’ man or woman, because what exactly is the assumption if you are not a ‘real’ man or ‘real’ woman? Are you somehow sub-standard, unnatural or unlawful or are you simply not following a code of conventions that in all honesty is about as foreign as whatever it is these ‘fake’ men or women are doing?

I am not a ‘fake’ man because I don’t like football (or sports in general), neither me nor my partner have ‘traditional’ full-time hours and whatever I happen to be doing or wearing doesn’t degrade my manhood, because for a man to look like a woman or perform certain functions that you’d typically associate with a woman is… degrading? I don’t expect someone to hold the door open for a woman because she’s female and your male, I’d expect you to the hold the door open and wait for someone to pass because that makes you a descent human being. In much the same way, I don’t expect a man to be the head of the household because he’s a man, because if we’re being practical it’s perfectly plausible for a woman to be just as hardworking, dedicated and resourceful as any man.

Thanks for listening to my little ramble, it’s not often that I do these and I promise it’s not going to become a regular thing. I just feel like we need a little clarification on these things because just because I might agree with the sentiment that saggy trousers are a bad look does not mean I need to post about it online and suggest that ‘real men wear belts’ because no part of me is more able to judge than those men with the saggy trousers.

My love, always

Shawn.

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