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Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:13 pm UTC
by setzer777
People in this forum tend to oppose enforced gender roles. But do you ever feel ashamed of not meeting one despite your conscious rejection of it?

Even though I dislike gender roles, sometimes I still feel a bit of shame over being on the lower end of the bell-curve when it comes to strength and size. A lot of guys could easily overpower me - I have a small frame, I'm short, not especially strong (I'd imagine about average for my smaller size), and I have no experience fighting. Even though I know I could never be decent in a fight without a lot of training (which I don't really have the motivation to do), part of me still feels ashamed that I'd have to resort to fleeing in a physical confrontation (and it isn't just a practical thing - I know I'd also feel shame having to protect myself with a weapon or friends if confronted by a large unarmed person).

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:27 pm UTC
by FrankManic
Yes, I sometimes feel a twinge of shame or embarrassment when I am running around in a skirt. Or, you know... when the girls at the party talk the boys at the party into kissing, and I try to slip the boys a little tongue. Cause... yeah, eitherway, sometimes, yes, I do.

Best cure for it that I know is to strike a defiant pose and grunt manfully, to reassert to all present that you do have a penis, and it is enormous. Depending on your personal outlook on life this may work regardless of your physical sex.

On the fighting thing, I'm 6'3, twosomething or other pounds. I like to fruequently and loudly state that my first instinct in a fight is to throw something at the other guys head, then run away when he ducks. So, Flight or flight responders of the world, unite?

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:27 pm UTC
by guale
The whole grunt manfully thing really is true. I'm average height but a bit on the scrawny side and people who have known me for a long time still think of me as "the small kid" since I was under 5' tall in 7th grade. Now I have found out if you act like a badass people think you are a badass. Throw around the idle threat, make flexing motions (just be sure not to let them see if there is nothing to flex), and generally carry yourself with confidence and you won't have to worry about a confrontation. I do tend to favor petite girls though, because they make me look more macho, the same reason some girls prefer big macho guys.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:24 pm UTC
by Baldur
I often wish I was more muscular and had the ability to actually grow a beard past the "meager fuzz" stage.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:56 pm UTC
by Ivora
I wish I liked to wear dresses... thats about it. :(

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:09 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
Entirely! I grew up surrounded by sports nuts, and it never made a lick of difference to me. My dad, for all his goodness, constantly and without fail asks me if I've been working out.

Incidentally, I find most of my gender expectations to be financial; I'm expected, in my family, to earn mountains and mountains of cash to provide for my future family. My brother is already starting to be trained into this role, whereas my sister has been all but discouraged from finding any reasonable means of employment.

That said, my parents are mostly supportive regardless. Their personal expectations and influences are only human.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:20 pm UTC
by Griffin
No, not really. But thats probably because I don't really feel shame all that often.

I am
a)generally oblivious of social norms and expectations. Seriously. "What other people might think" is generally not a topic I'm well versed in.
b)not the type of person to actually think much of gender roles. In fact, gender almost never enters my thinking about anything. So I don't really consciously reject gender roles. (I do want my girlfriend to work while I take care of the kids though, and apparently that is something that is falling under this? Except I would not have have any shame problems with that. I might feel a bit guilty for not making any money, but only if it really seemed like she was doing a lot more work than me, and thats more a desire to contribute at least an equal share to any endeavor I'm engaged in)
And a whole lot of c) I don't actually care enough about what other people think is right or wrong to feel shame as a normal response. I get fear occasionally, when I know there will be negative repercussions if my actions are discovered, but never really shame.

I could, however, see situations where I would feel ashamed for not conforming to my gender role - I just cant actually see those situations being likely to arise at any time in my life unless I go looking for them. The fact I should be would likely have to be explicitly pointed out to me, specifically in a situation where I am already stressed by feeling the need to conform to the expectations of others.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:31 pm UTC
by Jessica
I feel a lot of shame regarding gender. A lot that I'm working through. Well, not shame... at least not as much anymore. But yeah. Sometimes I wish pretty much everything was different.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:54 pm UTC
by Spacemilk
Not for myself, but for others, yes. Case in point: One of my guy friends slept with his new roommate less than 24 hours after meeting her. They were both completely drunk. She talked to him about it, let him know that wasn't something that was going to happen again and only happened because she was drunk, and let it go. In contrast, he can't stop talking about it to his friends.

Guess who got called a slut? And guess who got back-slapped non-stop for: (spoiled because it makes me that furious)
Spoiler:
getting his dick wet. Yeah. They seriously call it that. Fucking.... RAWR


Yet in spite of my concious and vocal objection to this stereotyping, sometimes I briefly judge girls for this stuff but immediately excuse guys. It's my initial reaction, then I slap my brain on the wrist and realize that I'm allowing society to make my bullshit judgements for me, which is not cool.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:00 pm UTC
by KallistiEngel
I don't really feel shame about it, but I wish I had a bit more weight to me. I'm pretty skinny (5'9", 120 lbs.) because I've got a high metabolism despite the fact that I eat quite a bit each day (my co-workers are always surprised by how much I eat at work). I also wish I was a bit more outgoing when it comes to women because I'm decently attractive and still have trouble finding people who are interested in me.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:14 pm UTC
by Maseiken
I kinda wish I had any capability to resist my Girlfriend's Mischevious tickling, but... I really don't. It's shameful how easily she overpowers me. (Sidenote, she's like 5'4", I'm roughly 6')

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:17 am UTC
by Chicostick
I've never really felt ashamed for not conforming to gender expectations. I do cringe when I see other meat-head guys almost completely conforming to the stereotype.

For an example, the other day I was in the gym just doing my regular old workout off by myself, when an amazingly attractive girl and her equally attractive friend came up the stairs to the floor I was on. Well as soon as she showed up I swear you could almost see the immediate change in all the moron guys there. All of a sudden they had to grunt because those weights were SOOO heavy. One guy then immediately starts to challenge his friends and says "I bet you guys I can max out this machine!" He tried to, failed, then made some lame excuse like "Man my shoulder has been out for like the past week." It was like watching evolution in reverse. I was highly tempted to go up to said girl and clue her into the fact that a pack of drooling morons were staring at her, and offer her the suggestion of going downstairs and waiting for them to follow, then going back up, and if they followed call them out in front of everyone. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20

I've never felt ashamed for not being a member of the "bang anything that you can" club of meat-heads that everyone seems to think is the norm. However, most of the other expectations like "be strong" and "take pain" and junk like that I tend to meet. My dad and brother were pretty strong influences in this sort of thing, and for some reason getting cuts and scrapes was pretty much my #1 occupation as a kid born in an area with large amounts of land and trees to climb. It's not like I really make an effort to meet this expectations, sure I go to the gym but that's only to get in better shape because I want to be healthier than I was in the past. If I cared about expectations I'm sure I would be a very different person.

I feel like not meeting gender expectations is nothing to be ashamed of. Most of them are outdated and stupid. So what if a guy isn't as strong as his girlfriend? I've met some girls that I would be terrified to fight. One girl in my class was pretty much a powerhouse, yet still attained her femininity and managed to pull of being beautiful enough to not catch flak for being able to beat the jocks to a pulp if she was so inclined.

Expectations will only get to you if you let them. Of course, I guess that's easy for me to say, since most of the negative stuff I get isn't due to gender stereotypes.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:25 am UTC
by KallistiEngel
Chicostick wrote:I've never felt ashamed for not being a member of the "bang anything that you can" club of meat-heads that everyone seems to think is the norm. However, most of the other expectations like "be strong" and "take pain" and junk like that I tend to meet. My dad and brother were pretty strong influences in this sort of thing, and for some reason getting cuts and scrapes was pretty much my #1 occupation as a kid born in an area with large amounts of land and trees to climb. It's not like I really make an effort to meet this expectations, sure I go to the gym but that's only to get in better shape because I want to be healthier than I was in the past. If I cared about expectations I'm sure I would be a very different person.

Yeah, I deal with pain pretty well. I went to catch a glass that was falling today at work and managed to have my hand right on it when it shattered. It took off a layer of skin on part of one of my fingers (thankfully it wasn't worse than that) and I fully intended to just keep working. Then I noticed it was bleeding quite a bit and thought "okay, maybe I shouldn't bleed all over dishes, even before they go through the machine", band-aided it up and just kept working all day.

But I can't manage to cause myself pain very easily. Even necessary pain, like for a blood-typing lab we did in my college bio class where we had to prick our fingers with a spring-loaded lancet. It took me a good 5 minutes before I could actually do it.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:59 am UTC
by Plasmic-Turtle
@Spacemilk: yeh the way in which women are called sluts whereas guys get a pat on the back pisses me off big-time. Erk.

Chicostick wrote:It was like watching evolution in reverse.
Teeheehee I love the way you word that. I really don't get the grunting thing though. Surely it would be embarrassing to start grunting with the weights cause it shows they're too heavy for you which kind of equates to you being too weak for them? The girls would be able to see how much you're lifting, so starting to grunt just... yeh, I don't see how that works.
Dare I admit that I've seen a group of girls do the same thing? Minus the grunting, that is. I Went to swiss ball class one week to find that instead of our usual instructor, a middle-aged woman, we had an attractive young man. You could feel the room melt into a giggly drool-fest. I'd like to say I was not a part of it and I tried not to be but, well... I was single for the 1st time in 2 years, off the pill, ovulating... not so great a combo :oops:

Anyway yes, sometimes I will feel a little bit ashamed if I'm wearing my jeans & hoody while the rest of the girls have on their skirts, nice tops and whatever else. Sometimes I wish I knew a bit more about make-up or could afford more or was better at putting it on. But I think those things are mostly about fitting in with the small group with which I'm hanging out at any one point in time, rather than gender expectations on the whole. Wearing my hoody & jeans at home, if I'm by myself, or if I've found some other hoody&jeans girls to hang with is fine and dandy. Mostly I'm not at all ashamed about not conforming to female gender expectations because they tend to be pretty negative... you know, that we should be slim and weak and not like getting dirty - I'd take muscles, mud, hiking, and being a do-it-yourselfer with things any day. In fact I'm more ashamed about the ways in which I do conform to them (I'm not good with car-mechanics or other mechanical things, or fixing plumbing problems, etc.)

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:42 am UTC
by dragon
I can't think of any areas where I feel shame for not living up to a femininely virtue. I don't have a solid grasp on what these would be anyway. Meekness? Chastity? Frilly dresses?
Plasmic-Turtle wrote:In fact I'm more ashamed about the ways in which I do conform to them (I'm not good with car-mechanics or other mechanical things, or fixing plumbing problems, etc.)
This, but in a less good way. I can feel awful for choosing the 'female default' option where it's a neutral, or even positive, choice.
I hate that i'm expected to like certain things, act a certain way, entirely based on my gender. This is not what I am; this is not what an entire gender is. I find I have to put a lot of effort into not being ashamed of the areas that I do conform in. Of course some areas are going to line up, it doesn't mean I'm supporting the generalisation. It's just hard to remember sometimes.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:40 am UTC
by Manticorehunter
I normally don't feel ashamed about my lack of femininity, especially considering that most of my friends are boys. However, when I'm with a group of entirely female friends, I feel awkward and often guilty when I can't relate to them or comfort them when they're crying . It seems like girls have an entire community that I am not a part of AT ALL. I'd much rather be with a group of guys, even when they're making fun of each others' penises and the like.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:57 am UTC
by the-graverobber
I've been ashamed once, that I can recall. I had gotten my hair cut really really short. And I looked very boyish. And I suddenly noticed how much swimming had given me broad shoulders, and the angle of my jaw. And this...something my reflection had. It gave me the creeps, and I did a bit of journaling about it. I still try and notice...whatever it was I saw that first time when I look in the mirror. I never let my hair grow out since then. But it still gives me a bit of a guilty conscience.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:29 am UTC
by KallistiEngel
The fact that I have trouble approaching women I'm attracted to. Yes, that is a gender expectation. The guy's expected to get that particular ball rolling. Which is just unfortunate because I know that more women have been attracted to me in my lifetime than have expressed it, I'm not an unattractive individual. And only 2 of them actually took the initiative to make the first move.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:31 am UTC
by poxic
The last time I wore a dress, nylons, high heels and makeup was for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, a bit over a year ago. (Before then it had probably been a few years.) Everyone told me repeatedly that I looked really nice. Really nice. Wow. Really nice.

I know I look "really nice" when I conform to expectations that way. That's probably why I don't like doing it. People see me conforming, then assume that I buy into the rest of the package deal: yes, I'll want to make small talk about popular culture. Yes, I'll want to stifle who I really am and avoid the subjects I really find interesting in order to make this small talk work. :roll:

Part of that is just my issues -- I'm still learning to move the focus off of my own concerns and onto other people's experiences without losing touch with myself. The other part is that I feel very acutely the expectations of "being a nice girl" when I'm dressed up like one. It's hella easier to wear dowdy trousers and flat shoes. Physically easier, too.

There is an element of shame in conforming, feeling like I'm denying myself in order to fit into other people's ideals. I feel bad that I'm misleading them. The picture they see isn't worth as many words as they think. Or it is, but they're the wrong words, trust me.

/and yes, all the comments from family about "wow, really nice" did make me think "thanks for being surprised, jerks"
//not a fair thing to think, but I did think it

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:08 am UTC
by Enuja
Since I stopped shaving my legs, I've walked around the beach, and even went to work a few times, in shorts or skirts. Despite the fact that I intellectually think that the exaggeration of gender differences (shaving legs to make an exaggerated form of lighter, harder to see body hair due to lower androgen levels) is wrong, I do feel embarrassed and even a little ashamed when I show off my dark, hairy legs. I swallow the shame and turn it into pride, though.

More often, however, I feel ashamed for conforming to gender expectations (changing the laundry and letting my spouse continue to sit and work, cooking, cleaning, trivialization of my violent impulses, ect., not for failing to conform to gender expectations.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:51 am UTC
by Izawwlgood
Enuja wrote:More often, however, I feel ashamed for conforming to gender expectations (changing the laundry and letting my spouse continue to sit and work, cooking, cleaning, trivialization of my violent impulses, ect., not for failing to conform to gender expectations.


I find these interesting; I distinctly remember growing up having to do rather physical odd jobs from which my sister was excused from, during an age when we were equally physically capable.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:15 am UTC
by Apparently Anonymous
Like several other females in the thread, I generally feel more ashamed for comforming to gender roles than not.
However, there is one thing that does bother me a bit even though I know it shouldn't: I've got muscles. That are defined. Apparently, that is "unwomanly".

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:26 am UTC
by eSOANEM
I wouldn't say I've ever really felt ashamed of my rejection of the traditional male gender role (in that I do not do any sport unless forced to, do not watch TV, eat excessively, smoke, drink, do drugs and don't go out on the pull), that said I have rather fallen for the geek/nerd (I'm borderline) which, round where I live at least, is a primarily male role (albeit an alternative one).

Because of this I can't say I completely rejected the role society has given me but have chosen an alternative. As I am still in a 'male' but not macho role and as I have always been an outsider, I've never developed much of a need to belong to a social group which has made me somewhat immune to any shame.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:43 pm UTC
by electronic mily
Enuja wrote:Since I stopped shaving my legs, I've walked around the beach, and even went to work a few times, in shorts or skirts. Despite the fact that I intellectually think that the exaggeration of gender differences (shaving legs to make an exaggerated form of lighter, harder to see body hair due to lower androgen levels) is wrong, I do feel embarrassed and even a little ashamed when I show off my dark, hairy legs. I swallow the shame and turn it into pride, though.

More often, however, I feel ashamed for conforming to gender expectations ... not for failing to conform to gender expectations.


This, pretty much. I go to a women's college where nobody really cares, but I grew up in a family that was probably 80% female and I always tended to be kind of the odd one out. So I still feel conspicuous when I find myself in public wearing shorts or sleeveless shirts, and I'm slightly conflicted about what I'll do when I go home for the summer.

On the other end of the equation, there are certainly times when the things I do naturally start to feel like some kind of weird betrayal of my gender. I wear dresses a lot, not because I want to be a pretty dress-wearing girl, but because they are easy and I'm lazy about clothing. I'm naturally nonconfrontational. I'm more into art than science. I've worked on projects with otherwise-male teams where I was relegated to holding the flashlight, not because they thought I couldn't help but because my hands were too small to use the staple gun. And most of the time I don't assume gender has anything to do with it--I'm small and not very strong, and there are things I can't do. But it can feel a little unpleasant sometimes, like I'm unintentionally perpetuating stereotypes and can't do anything about it.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:54 pm UTC
by Esperite
I hate how males are expected to talk about girls/dating/sex/relationships. I'm not that interested in any of that stuff and it bugs me when that is brought up. I especially hate any form of the question 'Do you think X is hot/sexy?' There is no good answer, and I generally don't have a solid answer because I'm not really interested (and if I actually said that I wasn't interested I would probably A: Get weird looks and B: If a girl asked me that then I would make me seem like a total jerk.)

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:07 pm UTC
by H.E.L.e.N.
I'm pretty ok with how I dress/don't shave on my own time, but now that I'm looking for work, I can't get away from the idea that what I'm "selling" isn't my credentials, but rather that I'm "likeable," which means being non-threatening, "pretty," having a warm, nonconfrontational personality, and along with it doing a lot of things that register as very feminine. I don't know how to be acceptable in a work environment without dressing up like a girl.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:52 pm UTC
by zombie_monkey
I'm a male and I more often feel ahsamed for conforming to gender roles than for failing to, although both happen, but I don't let either really get to me. And these days feeling ashamed for either is increasingly rare. I think historically it used to be the other way around, if we are talking about how you feel rather than how others percieve you. In the end you can never be sure about the latter anyway, so I can only speak about the former.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:41 pm UTC
by Esperite
I just remembered something about this:
When I was younger I felt embarassed about liking 'girly' seeming animes. The ones I can remember: Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and (although I never watched it) Kiki's Delivery Service. If anyone was watching I'd generally turn them off, which sucked cause I really liked them =(.
I avoid that now, replaced by being embarassed when my family sees me watching anime, but for very different reasons. (My brother dislikes anime as a whole, so watching anime with him around is unbearable, as he either laughs at it or feels the need to make snarky comments. For everyone else, the fanservice makes it awkward to have them there.)

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:45 pm UTC
by Osha
Esperite wrote:I just remembered something about this:
When I was younger I felt embarassed about liking 'girly' seeming animes. The ones I can remember: Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and (although I never watched it) Kiki's Delivery Service. If anyone was watching I'd generally turn them off, which sucked cause I really liked them =(.

PONIES

I made up for it in uni by marathoning through CCS and Sailor Moon in a single semester.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:47 pm UTC
by Jessica
I totally did that too... Then again, one of my professors once said that the gender variant people (or at least those trying to hide it...) were much more likely to adhere to gender roles, to keep people from recognizing their variance.

So yeah... I loved watching shows about fashion, but if anyone would come in I'd change the channel. Same with pretty much anything defined as feminine.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:58 pm UTC
by Esperite
What your professer said definately seems true, I do feel that, in the past, I had to 'prove' I was a boy. Which sucked. Luckily, I started caring about that less over time. Now I have anime watching friends who don't really care either, yay!
Oh yeah, shoujo manga and girly book covers were things I tried not to show too. I also tried not to seem interested, even if I was. (Ex. Saw someone reading fruit's basket, wanted to know what it was about/read it, but didn't for that reason. I've read some of it since then though.)

One of my friends definately helped me get over the embarassment alot though. Spoilered for being a personal story that isn't directly related:
Spoiler:
My friend was also into anime and manga (actually he was the first person to introduce me to it, although I liked it without knowing what it was before that), and he would bring it manga. Alot of it would be shoujo that he borrowed from other girls he knew, so I read those too and became less embarassed about it. He is helped me be more comfortable being friends with girls in general, which until then I was kind of uncomfortable and embarassed about. We needed to find a lunch table, and the one we ended up choosing (mostly him) was with a bunch of girls that we both mostly knew. (The lunch tables were set up as round tables, so only about 8 people were at each one btw.)
It is definately alot nicer not feeling embarassed about that kind of stuff now. It seems silly looking back on it. Also: typing(typeing?) this has made me think about how awesome said friend is. Yay!

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:14 pm UTC
by Cammy
H.E.L.e.N. wrote:I'm pretty ok with how I dress/don't shave on my own time, but now that I'm looking for work, I can't get away from the idea that what I'm "selling" isn't my credentials, but rather that I'm "likeable," which means being non-threatening, "pretty," having a warm, nonconfrontational personality, and along with it doing a lot of things that register as very feminine. I don't know how to be acceptable in a work environment without dressing up like a girl.


I feel this all the time. I tried going out as my usual tomboy self and didn't get anything in the way of work. But when I 'pretty up' and hand out resumes I got responses, particularly from people saying I would be a 'good fit' for a clothing department. I'm looking to start a career in a normally male-dominated line of work and have been asked about my marital status, if i was living with a boyfriend, etc. I was actually offended. I felt like they were sniffing me out for a possible pregnancy just because I was a young woman and that's all they expected out of me. To pop out children. :/

I used to be completely blind to gender roles. It wasn't until I hit about 20 and got hanging around other girls who fit their gender role better that I started to change. I took better care of my 'femininity', minded how I might be perceived as a woman. It was like I suddenly realized I was a woman and I had neglected that fact all these years. At first I thought I wasn't keeping true to myself, but eventually I came to enjoy some of the roles. I guess it depends on the person.

I also hate it when men get patted on the back for being 'sluts' but for women it's like a cardinal sin to even think about sleeping with someone unless they're married.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:48 pm UTC
by ginadagny
I'm attending university to become a registered nurse. In my year, there are 6 guys in a class of 118.
Nursing is not really a male dominated profession, probably due to the stereotypes about male nurses being ultra feminine or something. What a piss off. These stereotypes are also reinforced in the media (Meet the Fockers, Ben Stiller has to put up with shit for being a male nurse).
Men should be able to become nurses without suffering from any stigma! AUGH I hate society sometimes.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:13 am UTC
by jerome_bc
Esperite wrote:When I was younger I felt embarassed about liking 'girly' seeming animes. The ones I can remember: Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura,

I had a friend in elementary school who had his grandma record Card Captor Sakura for him since he didn't have cable tv, and I used to watch it with him. I also remember us pretending to be card captors (albeit male ones). I never felt ashamed about that, but for some reason it never occured to me that CCS was girly.

I used to feel quite embarrassed about many things, and restricted myself a lot because of gender stereotypes. Meeting people at college who go against stereotypes has helped me 'get over it', especially this one good female friend of mine who basically goes against every stereotype ever. I'm trying to not give a shit as much as I can, but I must admit I still feel embarrassed about too many things, especially around people that I've known for a long time (family and old friends). Around my family it makes me uncomfortable to so much as listen to a band with a female singer (and I've taken quite a liking to indie bands with female vocalists lately (I'm looking at you Tegan and Sara)).

I don't do sports, enjoy baking and cooking (just made cookies), like the color purple, am physically relatively weak and emotionally sensitive, not very assertive (working on that - not for the manliness though), etc. For the records I'm 6 feet, 180 pounds, but I'm fairly certain that most guys and a fair number of girls would beat the crap out of me in an actual fight regardless.

tl;dr: Embarassed, but working on it.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:41 am UTC
by Chicostick
Now that I think back on this subject, I guess I like a lot of "feminine" oriented things. I really enjoy interior design type stuff, but I don't actually do it myself. But that's mostly due to the fact I don't have an "interior" to work with, and this cube shoe box dorm room is not the best room to work with. But if my mom or someone asks me a question like "how does this look" I'll go into great detail about what I think and if I think of a good suggestion I'll offer it. I know it's typically a "male" thing to not care or know or pay attention, but I feel like a slobby thrown together pile of bean bag chairs and an entertainment system is not a great place to live.

I also enjoy poetry a great deal. The whole feminine sort of stereotype on this isn't as bad, but sometimes I still catch flak from various "jocky" engineering types that I know. I could care less about what they think, I think poetry rules. I write some almost every night (most of it not all that good, but hey it's FUN). That, and I also love Theater, especially good dramatic theater with lots of emotion in it. And although I don't readily admit it, Moulin Rouge is awesome.

I've also got a thing for meditation and I've been thinking about trying out Yoga. Most guys I know wouldn't even consider either of these things as they're not "manly." I don't really share these things a lot with people though. One of my friends has done Yoga for years and she was shocked to learn that I meditated and thought about doing Yoga. She said "I never thought you would do things like that."

I feel like I'm a weird case. I don't come across as particularly "sensitive" to people. I don't really try to be manly at all, but for some reason lots of people think I am. I guess it's because I'm relatively tall and strong looking? Or maybe it's the facial hair and shaved head? Of course, I also enjoy things like lighting stuff on fire, shooting things, fishing, working on cars, and other more "manly" tasks.

I always feel confused when I try and think about myself from other people's perspective. :lol: I guess the fact that in many cases I tend to ignore any of their criticism makes it hard for me to actually stop and think about what they might actually be seeing. I guess I just don't fit the more convenient "categories" of people?

Jeeze, why is it this forum always makes me take deep introspective looks at things?

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:20 am UTC
by Cammy
ginadagny wrote:I'm attending university to become a registered nurse. In my year, there are 6 guys in a class of 118.
Nursing is not really a male dominated profession, probably due to the stereotypes about male nurses being ultra feminine or something. What a piss off. These stereotypes are also reinforced in the media (Meet the Fockers, Ben Stiller has to put up with shit for being a male nurse).
Men should be able to become nurses without suffering from any stigma! AUGH I hate society sometimes.


When I was in the hospital once, the best nurse I had was a male. Don't be ashamed of this at all. I know some female nurses and some of them are incredibly immature and petty. I've never met a male nurse I didn't like. :)

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:03 am UTC
by ginadagny
Cammy wrote:
When I was in the hospital once, the best nurse I had was a male. Don't be ashamed of this at all. I know some female nurses and some of them are incredibly immature and petty. I've never met a male nurse I didn't like. :)


I probably should have clarified, but I'm a female nursing student who supports men in nursing. Its nice to hear someone in the general public is a-ok with male nurses :)

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:04 am UTC
by Cammy
Haha yeah sorry. All nurses are generally cool, except some people I personally know who complain about their patients in a rather mean way sometimes. I guess the job must be frustrating sometimes though.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:56 am UTC
by Sungura
I don't recall ever feeling shame to be honest. As a young child, I was often called a tomboy and I didn't care, I was proud of that, actually. My parents were fine with it and never tried to make me do the doll/Barbie thing or whatever, and got me the HotWheels, Legos, and K'nex instead. Before college, I always got along better with guys. Girls tended to be petty, interested in hair and makeup and boys and whatnot. The guys, they were fun to hang out with, and I wasn't interested in all that pretty frilly stuff the girls were, I'd rather ski, build catapults in shop class, etc. Heh, I remember some girls once asking me "how I did it" to get "all those guys interested in me". Umm...they weren't interested in me like those girls thought in the first place, but the way I was friends with them is I did like what they liked and therefore hung out with them, instead of oogling them like pieces of hot hunky meat. (maybe this was just my middle school/high school, but it was what it was like!) So for me, then, breaking the gender role lines actually seemed to put me more in a place of awe rather than shame.

In college I found more academically minded people and the girls were less prissy...my friends were more a mix. I myself am a mix. I like wearing skirts, I don't like wearing a lot of makeup, I suck at doing anything with my hair but I do like when it looks pretty and not like a mop, I enjoy a wide range of arts/crafts, and I am a shodan in karate (and I like working out with the guys better usually. The women, although generally not as bad anymore at this rank, are more "oh, I'm sorry, did I hurt you?" and timid about things, whereas the guys we can try anything, toss each other around, whatever, and no one cares!) and I used to play soccer (or, football as it should be called! :P). I was told once I should "go wild and don't shave your legs!!" and then this group tried to make me feel bad for not doing it. But seriously, eww, I can't stand the feeling of unshaven legs so I will shave mine, it's a personal choice and I want to.

Oh, and male nurses, those are cool so put me down as another general public who is fine with them. If you are counting, add my mom too. I actually even know a few male nurses from karate.

Re: Gender Expectations and Shame

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:26 am UTC
by functionally_stupid
I am five feet eleven inches, which makes it pretty easy to pass as a dude if I'm in a dudely mood.

However, if I am in a ladyish state, I can get very insecure about my height, and I will stare with vitriolic envy at pictures of short girls and tall guys hugging. At times, I am extremely resentful.

It makes me irrationally depressed that I can't run up to a guy and jump into their arms, that I can't rest my head against their chest and have them rest their chin on the top of my head, that I can't be carried bridal-style, that I can't curl up on top of someone, and that I can't do any of those million little cute affectionate things that short girls can, unless the guy I'm with is Oh me yarm TALL/BUFF/MADE OF STEEL. And even then, it's easier for a shorter pair to do those things. I am absurdly elongated. I am awkward, wrong.

I do my best not to let that shit bother me, though. Sometimes I wear six-inch heels just to throw people's eyes outta whack. 8)