Preface: This “blog” is actually an assignment I had to do for my Psychology of Human Sexuality class. I got an “A” on it, and I thought it was a really fascinating subject to write about. The reason I’m posting it on my personal blog, is because my friend Liz wrote a blog tonight about how difficult it is to maintain friendships with guys these days. Even though our stories aren’t identical, I thought it was interesting that we had some of the same view points, interests and frustrations. Shows that you can live halfway across the country from your oldest friend, yet still share similar thoughts about issues that never seem to go away. :)
Why do you think a woman considers the phrase “She’s one of the guys” to be a compliment, whereas a man considers the phrase “He’s one of the girls” to be a put-down?
I’ve never been much of a “girly girl.” I don’t really enjoy shopping, I hate wearing high heels, and definitely don’t keep up on the latest fashion trends. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good day at the spa, and I’m willing to splurge on a good haircut, but I’d much rather watch the Tarheels play basketball than get all dressed up and go to Louis Vuitton with my girlfriends. I’m not knocking those girls…to each their own. It’s just not me.
I’ve always been “one of the guys.” I’m an only child, and a daughter who is close to my Dad, who is truly a “guys guy.” I began watching sports with my Dad at a very early age, and am an avid sports fan to this day. Instead of taking Home Ec. in middle school, I chose shop class. I was one of two girls in a class surrounded by guys! In high school, my “group” consisted of six guys, and two girls. I was quick to scramble to live baseball games in Baltimore, played volleyball with the guys every night in the summer, and became the “go to girl” for the girls who were interested in my guy friends.
I think it was acceptable for me to hold the title of being “one of the guys,” because I was relatable to them. I could talk stats about Cal Ripken, I could drive a stick shift, AND I could give priceless advice about the opposite sex. I was comfortable with guys because they had common interests as me. They were comfortable with me because I wasn’t a threat. Society also shows us that it’s okay for girls to like sports and be comfortable in jeans, t-shirts and flip flops as opposed to being dressed to the nines, no matter what time of day it is.
Jeans & flip flops. The perfect combo. At least in my book!
On the flip side, society doesn’t find it acceptable for guys to be more of being one of the girls. One of my best friends is a totally heterosexual guy who I’ve known for five years. A few years ago, he visited me in Raleigh with two of my best girlfriends and an issue occurred with what he should wear to a bar. He didn’t feel comfortable wearing just a t-shirt, so one of my girlfriends offered to let him wear a unisex Lacoste polo. The only problem? It was pastel pink. As in, easter egg pink. He was horrified. He freaked out, worrying about what people would think about a “manly man” wearing a pink polo. He threw a temper tantrum like a four year old child that lasted for 30 minutes.
Seriously. For fear of possibly being hit on by, gasp, a gay man. But this was coming from a guy who had just a few years earlier, showed up to our annual trip in Philadelphia with what I like to call a “man purse.” He completely flip flopped on his view of what society thought! Going from not caring to what people thought, to freaking out at the thought of being perceived as less than a man for wearing a specific color.
Not my friend, but an excellent example of a “Man purse.”
Society has a term for men who are interested in more “feminine” things. Metrosexuals. Guys who get manicures, pedicures, facials, wax their eyebrows and enjoy shopping would all be classified as metro. I think that some women secretly wonder if this group of men are actually gay, but I don’t think the same is considered by women who might be a little less feminine than their peers.
A “metrosexual” man enjoying some pampering.
Society definitely has a double standard for men and women. As children, we see what our gender rolls “should” be, so we think that is the correct way to be throughout our lives. It’s okay for boys to get dirty, but girls need to be cute and clean in their frilly little dresses. But, as we grow older, and our interests change, we fear that society will judge us for deviating from what we “should” be. This is a fascinating concept to me.
I’m not sure if society will ever change it’s perspective on it being acceptable for a girl to be “one of the guys,” and then turning around and looking at a guy negatively for being “one of the girls.” I think a lot of it has to do with the fear that some men harbor for being perceived as less of a man. We have such a way of living seared into our brains that it’s sometimes hard to step out of the box and genuinely be our “true” selves.