Guys, Girls Swap Roles at a Bar

Men ordering Raspberry Kamikazes at a bar as women make passes — and get shut down? This bit of videoed role swapping has gone viral.

The reel holds stereotypes but even they can contain kernels of truth. And anything that moves us out of our taken-for-granted ways sheds light.

Outside the video real women can order any sort of drink they want, but guys had better keep to manly brews or risk scorn. So in that way women have a bit more freedom.

But a freedom that is gained by ranking men over women. If women order manly drinks they aren’t lowering themselves, but when men order girly drinks they are. (Even the terms “manly” and “girly” are charged.)

Meanwhile, both sexes seem to think the other has more power. Probably because we get frustrated when we don’t have it.

Men have the power to assert themselves. They needn’t wait around to be asked. And if they want sex, well, that’s expected. But women must wait to be asked. And they may worry about reputations, leaving them more shamed and less sexually expressed. Repression lowers sex drive, too, lending women the passive power to care less. And whoever cares less has more power. But here, only with a sacrifice of sexual pleasure.

In the video all is topsy-turvy. Girls try to cut in and dance with guys who are dancing with each other — and get shafted. They intrude into private conversations and get spurned. Polite men utter, “Not now please.” Others are less civil.

The message can come across: “You’re not good enough.” It can be tough on a gal.

But it’s tough for guys too. An annoying girl moans, “Those are amazing jeans. They’d look so much better on my bedroom floor.”

A girl spies a guy in an unbuttoned button-down and beckons, “Hey, I like your necklace. Is that the key to your heart? … Don’t button it up! Oh, come on!”

Male objectification may be paired with assault as women grab men’s butts or pressure them to drink shots to lower their resistance.

Guys who want sex must face the repercussions of, “good guys don’t.” The next morning a young man fumbles for his clothes as the woman he has slept with cool-confidently asks if she should call him a cab. Embarrassed, he sneaks away in shame.

As Joanna Schroeder over at The Good Men Project observes, it all “seems so much more rude, more intrusive, more exclusive, more violent, sillier or more intimidating” when the tables are turned.

But with this new slant, maybe we can all gain a bit more understanding and empathy.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych, women's psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State University. And I have blogged for Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos.

Posted on December 17, 2012, in feminism, gender, men, psychology, relationships, sex, women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. A good point well made as ever BB :)

  2. Hmmm…. not sure how to comment about this. I am (obviously) interested in the amusing scenario of exchanged gender roles, and I think this short film does it cleverly and with subtletly. But I can’t recognise anything of myself in the way men are “supposed” to behave in bars. I have always thought that bars are a dreadful place to attempt to meet someone of the opposite sex. Those things which are highly valued in that environment (appearance, ability to dance, willingness to flirt) are things which I consider myself lacking, at least moderately. The things which (IMHO) I do well (wit, polish, conversation) are next to impossible to bring to bear in such a place. I have never in my life used a cheesy come-on chatup line (in the UK the classic is “Get your coat, love, you’ve pulled.”), nor would I be remotely interested in the sort of partner such a chatup line would succeed in attracting.

    I find myself thinking I would behave much like the men in this video: with modesty, inoffensiveness and circumspection!

    I appreciate this film is a caricature, designed to let us see ourselves in the mirror. The problem is, I already know that men behave badly in bars: I want no part of it!

    Vivienne.

    • Thanks for your perspective. It’s definately a characture that doesn’t fit all men/women. But interesting to see the world in reverse when roles/stereotypes are reversed.

      • I forgot to post that I think that bars in this sense are little better than cattle markets. Once you’ve looked at the teeth, patted the flanks and lifted up the tail, you can judge a reasonable amount about an agricultural quadruped. But choosing a partner based on similar superficial and somewhat arbitrary criteria seems like a recipe for continued disappointment to me.

        Vivienne.

  3. The success of this video is highly understandable; apart for the humor it is the sentiment of “déjà vu” that comes up in every scene that does the magic. Through personal experience, it does feel painful to see how heavily males act when the urge for intercourse becomes critical, and cliché’s we hear and see all the time. Alcohol is of course bringing man to produce such practices (well, most of us). Now, to be fair to the rest of our sex subtlety and charm did not completely disappear, the examples in the video being taken from pretty shameful technique, used by pretty limited minds. Flirting has always been a pleasure for both sex and one night stands isn’t simply a man priority, some “I just broke up with my boyfriend, let’s have fun tonight” are pretty common with the female sex.

  4. I really enjoyed this video because guys see how they act towards girls at a club. Sometimes men don’t realize how rude and disrespectful they are towards women. They smack that ass and try to get in a girls pants as much as they can by buying drinks and using cheesy pick up lines. In my point of view, a girl looks ridiculous and trashy doing the same thing a guy does. If a lady would do that at a bar they would be called a slut while the guy seem to be doing a every-other-guy thing. Also, if a lady would be trying to hit on a guy that desperately it would probably make a guy think that the lady does this at a bar every other weekend and might have something like an STD or just weird.

  5. I thought this video was pretty funny because it’s different- it’s something you don’t see when you go to a bar. You don’t see guys dancing with guys and rejecting girls from dancing with them/him. You hardly see guys rejecting girls at the bar! They take what they can get and if that girl is willing to have sex with them that night, they have taken their chosen. Another thing I thought was interesting was that you never see a man with a girly drink they stick to their manly drinks like rim, vodka, and tequila. One the other hand you see women ordering girly drinks all the time. In the ending of the video you see the male getting dressed after spending the night with a girl. When the woman wakes up and sees the male changing she asks if he would like a cab. When he left he didn’t get a hug or a kiss and he just walks home with his shoes in his hand. The last part reminded me of The Jersey Shore.

  6. sandra ruelas

    I think this video was really funny because you get to see women was pricks and men bring used. Guys were drinking girly drinks while women were drinking hardcore liquor. I wonder how society would be if the roles would be like this in this video. I wouldn’t mind acting like a guy for a day….. The ending reminded me of Jersey Shore from MTV where the guy wakes up and the girls asks him if he need a taxi!

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