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View Diary: Women-only Space: who belongs? (182 comments)

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  •  There are loads of interesting questions here.... (1+ / 0-)
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    what is 'manly'?  How much of 'manly' is social, how much is cultural, how much is genetic, how much is biological?  

    Similar for 'womanly'.

    How are these different from 'masculine' and 'feminine'?

    Certainly part of 'proving you're a man' is proving you are not something else, and part of the desire to make that proof is that the something else is viewed by some as something worse.  I mean, to many, hetero male is like the greatest coolest.  I dunno about that - actually, I do know about that, it's about as stupid a statement as one could make - but it's also true that we've got the best deal, by and large.  I mean, if someone somehow asked me, in utero, to pick a sex and gender, hetero male seems like the choice, if only because we start with advantages.

    But the need to prove is due to more than that.  I've never felt a strong need to prove I am a hetero male, but I used to feel a strong need to prove I was smart.  Well, smart is better that stupid, and that's not due to cultural conditioning.  But I no longer feel a need to prove it (it's only really disappeared in the last decade, partly due to my wife pointing out to me, repeatedly, that everyone knows I am smart :-).  During adolescence, my need to prove my intelligence was profound, in part due to it being questioned.  

    But my 'maleness' was under question, too: Not only was I very late to hit puberty, but I am terrible at a lot of the traditional 'male' pursuits (e.g. sports, fixing things, cars),  I also never felt a need to prove my 'whiteness' (although I am occasionally mistaken for Black or Latino, or some mix)

    Some of the need to prove is, I think, due to our own insecurities, while some of it is due to cultural factors.

    Now up: Republican motto Friday: WAYR? History, politics

    by plf515 on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 01:49:27 PM PDT

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