THE TOP TEN REASONS I’M ACTUALLY A MAN.

or, “an un-serious treatise on the total appropriateness of 2013’s standard gender binary.” //

1. Well, first off, I think my face just says it all, don’t you?

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2. I want to “fix things” all the time, which they tell me is a real manly trait.

3. I like wilderness and stars and fighting for things I love and have even been known to PURSUE THE OPPOSITE SEX (horror of all horrors), so John Eldredge has got me good and pegged, DOESN’T HE JUST.

4. I *like* being respected. Love is great & I like it, but I also like respect, so yep, DEF MALE.

5. Not to mention, my sex drive, which is approximately 3 TIMES the appropriate female sex drive (in that it exists & all), as every Christian book on male-female relationships has ever led me to believe. My only conclusion: I MUST, IN FACT, BE MALE.

6. I’ve been known to season my speech with all manner of colorful words & phrases, which, if I was female, would ensure me a long & lonely spinsterly existence, so, being that I have a lively, often even exciting dating life, I think we can safely assume that must mean I am IN FACT, MALE.

*6.5 SMALL TALK. WHAT EVEN IS THAT. DON’T WE ALL ALREADY KNOW WHAT THE WEATHER IS LIKE (WE LITERALLY JUST WALKED IN OUT OF IT) & IF I REALLY WANTED TO KNOW WHAT BRAND OF MASCARA YOU WERE WEARING – IF, GOD FORBID, I COULD DISTINGUISH THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MASCARA BRANDS – DON’T YOU THINK I WOULD ASK YOU. Somehow though, as much as women can generally small-talk me under the table and I abhor it (I tend to take it as a sign that you don’t actually want to know me), I have to believe that a skill that inane must be a societal construct and hardly something I can blame on any particular gender. However! We are talking about why my interests mandate my being a man and so therefore: NO SMALL TALK = INHERENTLY MALE.

7. I am going to pick a movie with a proliferation of blood & guts in it, nine movie nights out of ten. Guy movies. I like guy movies. Gladiators and glory and Russell Crowe. ALL OF THE CROWE. Chick flicks (with the ironic exception of What a Girl Wants. Pre-wonkers Amanda Bynes traipsing around London in hippy bell-bottoms, giving stodgy Englishmen their well-deserved come-uppance?! the BEST!) are of little use to me. TOTALLY MALE.

8. I am only gentle and quiet some days. I’m hardly the new face of conservative complementarian womanhood. In the face of genuine sorrow and death and mourning and weeping girls, I can be gentle and quiet. I can mourn with those who mourn, okay. But a lot of days I am screaming lyrics off of my living room couch to anyone who will listen while intermittently yell-expounding on the profundities of existentialism and preschool. Tonight, as I’m writing this, I’m mostly just jumping off of furniture yelling “Iiiiiiiiiiiiiii… AM EVERYDAY PEOPLE” with Sly and the Family Stone in whatever non-descript rom-com is currently gracing my screen while yelling “THAT DECISION IS FRAUGHT WITH MORAL COMPLEXITY” at Emily Allison.

Actually I’m not quite sure what gender that makes me. Is there a third choice?

9. I am no use at hanging demurely on anybody’s arm. Unless you like girls who scream their faces off behind microphones on stages, you’ll probably have little use for me either. I am also not passively waiting for a spouse – nor do I think that any [accurately] translated version of the Bible expects me to. MALE.

Still, although my gender does appear to be currently in question, I keep trudging.

10. I could name a thousand other stereotypes. I could talk about how I like my coffee black or how anything frilly makes me vaguely nauseous or how the Sons of Anarchy and motorcycles and craft beer and theology are all topics that can make me get loud. I could, but rejecting the gender binary means that I don’t have to. I don’t have to adhere to any stereotypical gender norm because

– say it with me –

I AM A WHOLE PERSON.

Whole people are not bound by the confines of societal constructs or culture, no matter how oppressive, and are therefore freed up to be themselves without pretense.

I can wear dresses with whimsical Peter Pan collars and still (in my dreams) ride motorcycles and get seminary degrees and pursue members of the opposite sex. (The only unreal thing about that sentence was the motorcycle part. But hey! A girl… ahem, a PERSON can dream, amirite?!)

//

Let’s talk, though, about “manhood” and “womanhood” and if those words mean anything anymore. I want to think they do. I’m not trying to erase gender, after all. Contrary to popular opinion, the Christian feminism of 2013 is hardly trying to make everyone believe that we all came out blank slates and the blind hands of “nurture” somehow roughly and abusively formed us into who we are today. That would be giving “nurture” – and culture – far more power & credit than it deserves.

So what have we constructed in the name of biblical gender and can therefore do away with? What must we irrevocably keep?

I’m all ears.

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6 comments

  1. annonymous

    I’m confused by this musing and blog in general. This particular entry speaks about your character not fitting with typical gender norms but within these statements you assign certain characteristics to each gender. So watching war movies is MALE and small talk is FEMALE, but your argument is that a “whole person” manifests both qualities, so why assign gender categories for those qualities if what you are arguing for is to not let them define you? It’s like saying, I don’t want to be defined by what the culture has assigned my gender, I want to be my own person and take on the qualities that the culture has assigned men. It’s rebelling against one side while still holding onto the other. Why not just take those characteristics and put them into a gender neutral category, arguing that this is the way they should be perceived. I know you said you don’t want to erase gender and I think that is a good way to go so keep on keepin on. Also your argument is strictly negative, it tears down a view without trying to replace it with something, try and argue for something instead of just against an idea. Which brings me to the thought that I like this blog, I think it is a good thing to vocalize against the puritan fundamentalist view of gender roles but I also think if you want to show the opposing view up, argue on their own field. Take the argument to the bible and show that their interpretation is faulty by means of presuppositions and poor exegesis. Just some thoughts.

    Your writing has gotten really good Hannah, I am thoroughly impressed. Oh, by the way, when I knew you I would have never called you frigid.

    • mikayladreyer

      I think the tone of this post is poking fun at these gender stereotypes and the way culture assigns them. If you don’t read that post through such a lens I can see why it seems contradictory though.

      I love this. All of it. And I’m a man(?) too by these standards 😉

  2. Jameson

    Whenever people attempt to engage me in small talk, I just whip out some Wilde, “Pray, don’t talk to me about the weather… Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else. And that makes me so nervous.”

  3. Mads

    Um.

    I am super-happy to know there are other women out there who break a lot of dumb gender stereotypes, and like that about themselves. You are awesome. Keep writing!

  4. Michelle

    I’m not alone! I’ve been known to tell men to treat me like a guy.
    I cringe at bridal and baby showers. I like holding babies. And I like passing them off to other people. But I HATE the stupidity of sitting in a circle, dressed in strappy stuff when I just want my jeans and tshirt, laughing softly while picking mini food items from a plate (hello hot wings and beer!!). It’s possibly the worse way to spend an hour (which is my max for showerstuff).

    I mentioned Hot wings and beer. Which is typically a MANS FOOD (since when do men get a monopoly on food?) but I LOVE hot wings – the real kind that’s still on the bone – and a great beer. Sitting in a sports bar. Watching (meaning yelling at) my football team.

    I don’t so soft, quiet, calm or understated. I’m loud. I’m strong. I’m a survivor of a childhood from hell.

    I’m a woman. But don’t even THINK of stereotyping me.

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