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By Suzanne MacNevin.

I don't think much about how our gender-based society restricts men. I usually think about all the crap that men stick us women through. We are stuck with negative stereotypes of either being uptight bitches, sluts, mindless twits/blondes, useless, weak, etc, ect...

We know all of that is bullshit too. They are just stereotypes based upon a patriarchy dominated belief system. They are false.

In contrast, there are also stereotypes about men, and social conditioning crap that men go through too, although admittedly they got the dominant end of this perversity.

The crap men go through are as follows:

  • Not socially acceptable to cry.
  • Not socially acceptable to express strong emotions (except maybe "manly" emotions such as violence and anger).
  • Not socially acceptable to be a coward (or wise).
  • Not socially acceptable to be a pacifist.
  • Shortness
  • Weakness
  • Homoerotic tendencies and homophobia
  • The denial of anything that is feminine or could be construed as feminine.
  • Clothing that is restrictive to the male body. Kilts are the only exception, and only socially accepted if you're scottish or irish.
  • Androphobia of other men.
  • Female androphobia of men in general.
  • Not socially acceptable to get an erection while in a locker room filled with other men (I am referring to something Robin Williams once said).
  • Problems with anger management due to the lack of crying social-acceptability.
  • Ego-related problems due to being raised in a society that expects you to do great things, and if you don't, you're a failure, and if you do, then the resulting pride and egotism is a fault that causes other problems.
  • Penis envy (lets face it, its not women who are jealous, its other men).
  • Men oppressing other men. The whole top dog theory***...

    *** The top dog theory refers to homosexuality amongst dogs (and monkeys) which will rape each other in order to prove their dominance. The dog on the top is "superior". Amongst monkeys, they can actually create "ladders" as multiple monkeys climb on top of each and fuck each other up the ass all at the same time. The monkey at the top is the "king of the castle and the rest are dirty rascals".

    By this point, you should have a good idea of what I am getting at here. Men are repressed as much as women are, perhaps not entirely equally depending on the type of society you live in, but there are definitely problems they need to work out.

    Androgyny theory states that masculine and feminine ARE NOT polar opposites. They are completely different X and Y scales (ironic how math is even sexual). The following chart lists things that are considered to be stereotypical masculine and feminine traits, as well as traits that are neutral. An androgynous person would have a high number of both masculine and feminine traits, and someone who is nongendered would have a low number of traits in both M and F.

    Bems Androgyny Scale
    Masculine items Feminine items Neutral items
    Self-reliant Yielding Helpful
    Defends own beliefs Cheerful Moody
    Independent Shy Conscientious
    Athletic Affectionate Theatrical
    Assertive Flatterable Happy
    Strong Personality Loyal Unpredictable
    Forceful Feminine Reliable
    Analytical Sympathetic Jealous
    Has leadership abilities Sensitive to needs of others Truthful
    Willing to take risks Understanding Secretive
    Makes decisions easily Compassionate Sincere
    Self-sufficient Eager to soothe hurt feelings Conceited
    Dominant Soft spoken Likeable
    Masculine Warm Solemn
    Willing to take a stand Tender Friendly
    Aggressive Graceful Inefficient
    Acts as a leader Childlike Adaptable
    Individualistic Does not use harsh language Unsystematic
    Competitive Loves Children Tactful
    Ambitious Gentle Conventional

    There are men who fall into the androgyny category. These are people that we generally look up to in society. Many male doctors are androgynous because they are assertive and compassionate at the same time. Diddo for female doctors.

    The nongendered people are typically those we look down upon in society. They are unambitious, unassertive, unfeeling, and to some extent seem to fill up the holes in society. Loners.

    Androgyny theory tends to upset some people, because they point out that not everyone can be assertive/gentle/etc, and also because it bases itself on the very stereotypes of what we consider to be masculine and feminine. This is true. Not everyone can be androgynous. But what androgyny theory does reveal is how deeply rooted gender is in our society. It shows people that there is definite problem with the stereotypes that we apply to masculinity and femininity.

    Ever since the 1980s there has been talk of men "exploring their feminine sides". This is ridiculed and is oftimes bullshit on the part of the mass media, but really it is a reference to androgyny amongst men. Women are increasingly more androgynous than men, and their abilities are not going unnoticed.

    FACT: Androgynous people are 90% more likely to be better paid and happy with their life than masculine or feminine people. Nongendered people tend to be miserable (depressing, isn't it?) and are the most repressed.

    In the market place, 70% of all new automobiles that were bought in the last 5 years were bought by women. This trend is so well-known now that the car companies are deliberately marketing towards women's needs. 74% of Canada's GNP is produced by women. In the US, the figure is 72%. 65% of the North American consumer marketplace is dominated by women. Androgyny amongst women during the last 30 years has resulted in a remarkable increase in women's economic power.

    For androgynous men, their economic power has also increased. Homosexual men (who are usually androgynous) currently make an average 23% more than heterosexual men and are 36% more likely to be happier with their love lives.

    There are many groups related to the growing number of androgynous men, but the figures are slim in contrast to the vast number of androgynous women. Many don't even realize they are androgynous or semi-androgynous until they take an Androgyny psychology test.

    If you seek more information, try looking for more information on the American Men's Studies Association, The Psychology Association of America, The National Center for Men, NOMAS, or Wingspan.

    There is also music which refers to people growing up and becoming socialized into our adult-gender society. Children defy gender in contrast. You can download music by Leah-Carla Gordone such as "Butterfly Child" or Dar Williams' "When I Was A Boy". Dar Williams' song is especially good, as she recounts what it was like as a child, but her male partner also recounts what it was like for him to be a "girl".

    The painting "Crying" from Charles Moffat's Hermaphroditus/Salmacis Series also refers to this.

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