Blog Archives

Pose Once to Look Female, Again to Look Male

Erika Linder plays both male and female in JC Jeans commercial.

Erika Linder plays both male and female in JC Jeans commercial.

Sex is biological: testosterone, estrogen and xx or xy chromosomes…

But gender is performance.

The act is easy to see when boys put on a tough guise and girls act sexy, because sexy on little girls and tough on little boys just looks a little weird. (Think “Little Miss” beauty pageants, for instance.)

But then we grow up and what had once been play and mimicry begins to feel natural and normal.

Then along comes model, Erika Linder, posing one way to look female and another to appear male.  Read the rest of this entry

Can Friends Survive Friends w/Benefits?

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in "Friends with Benefits"

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in “Friends with Benefits”

Sometimes friendships between women and men turn into “friends with benefits.”

Not surprising, really.

Friendships between men and women often start when one of the two – usually the guy – is hoping for sex.

Or sex is wanted without the baggage that relationships can bring, and FWB seems more inviting than hookups with strangers — especially for girls who want to avoid being called sluts.

Still, many fret that if things don’t work out, FWB could bring the loss of their friend. To keep things platonic, many avoid discussing the relationship, and make sure to bring up romances with others. And no flirting.

Still, the line is crossed at some point in the lives of about 60% of college students. What happens next?  Read the rest of this entry

Sex Gets in the Way of Friendship, For Men

when-harry-met-sallyHarry told Sally that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Sally didn’t believe him.

Maybe that’s because the sex part often gets in the way for men, but not so much for women.   Read the rest of this entry

Women Like Muscle Men. Right?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

When men were asked what sort of physique they thought women most preferred and were offered a choice of silhouettes to choose from, they guessed that women wanted muscle men.

Turns out the ladies mostly like guys with average builds. Toned is great. But too much muscle can be too much.

Think of the guys you see in Cosmo, not Men’s Health. Definitely not Iron Man. More Bradley Cooper and less Sylvester Stallone. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fine-looking, too.

Now, some women are into big muscles. Maria Shriver was into Arnold Schwarzenegger. And it wasn’t his physique that made her leave him. But according to stats, most women like men with pretty normal body builds.

Here’s what a couple had to say on one forum:  
 Read the rest of this entry

Why Don’t Women Like To Be Ogled?

CONSTRUCTION WORKERS EYEING UP LONG LEGGED GIRL AS SHE WALKS PASWhy do women dress sexy so people will look at and desire them but get mad when people look at and desire them? And then they call men who look at them “creeps” or “perverts” for looking at the skin and other body parts they are showing?

A lot of men, like him, are confused. Women dress sexy, go out and strut their stuff, and then act insulted when they get a compliment?

What’s up with that?  Read the rest of this entry

Objectifying Men’s Bodies for Profit

magic mike movie rip off cloths[1]by Lisa Wade, PhD @ Sociological Images

I always love a good behind-the-scenes marketing story and last month NPR reported that Proctor & Gamble is facing falling men’s razor sales as beards have become more fashionable. Their response? To put more pressure on men to shave other parts of their bodies.

Always a glutton for punishment, I set out to discover just how they were going to try to convince men to do this… and I was not disappointed. See video below:  Read the rest of this entry

Do Men Want Women To Ask Them Out?

woman asks man outSome guys wonder why women don’t ask men out. Some women wonder how men would feel if they did. So I asked guys in my women’s studies class for their thoughts.

Out of a class of 46 I’ve just got nine men (this is women’s studies, after all) — and only seven of them showed up in time to take the survey, so this is a very small sampling. And between a willingness to take that class and living in the Bay Area, they may be more liberal than most.

Here’s what I asked them:

Has a woman ever asked you out? If yes, what did you think and why? If no, would you like a woman to ask you out, or would it make you feel uncomfortable? Should it be socially acceptable for women to ask men out?

And here’s what they said:  Read the rest of this entry

Women Get All The Good Emotions, Says Cross-Dresser

HAY FESTIVAL 2004.I think it’s quite hard for men today, because there’s an increasingly narrow bandwidth of behaviors which are seen as exclusively masculine. As women have quite rightly encroached on what used to be seen as male territory, all that’s left is the negative things. There’s less scope for a sensitive man to feel at home. What kind of men do we actually want boys to become?

That’s British artist and cross-dresser, Grayson Perry. We met him earlier in a discussion on “Men Who Wear Frocks.” He wears dresses, he says, because they help him get in touch with the feminine side of his humanity, which is blocked by a culture that suppresses male emotion.

imagesHere’s how Perry explains that process of female “encroachment” into (so-called) male territory:

Until the later part of the 19th century, cross-dressing in ordinary life was an overwhelmingly female to male activity. Typically it tended to be a woman just trying to get on in a man’s world. But in the Victorian age, the traffic started to switch direction. Since then transvestism has become an overwhelmingly male to female behavior.

As the Victorians increasingly corralled all the softer emotions, vulnerability, innocence, gentleness, beauty into an exclusively feminine realm, men were cast as stoical, butch, practical providers, and dressed accordingly. Is it any wonder that some men started to want to cross over? For me, what the Victorians wore is the most striking example of how clothes can come to symbolize complex emotions.

So women started out more apt to mimic men in order to grasp greater opportunity and self-expression. Not to mention, gaining the status and privilege of the masculine world.

These days, women commonly express a whole range of so-called masculine traits and activities without being seen as crossing gender boundaries. They’re just doing “people-stuff.”

But men have not taken on feminine traits and activities to the same degree. Not because they can’t, but because they mostly won’t.

Why not?

Read the rest of this entry

Girls Get Friend-Zoned, Too

friend-zone-2Think only guys get friend-zoned?

Well, I’ve been interested in men who saw me as “just a friend,” too. One particularly can’t-take-my-eyes-off-you gorgeous man comes to mind. It’s not that I asked him out and got rejected. He just never asked me out. So we stayed friends when I wanted more. Leaving me in the friend zone.

So even women who don’t ask men out get friend-zoned. Unless every man they are interested in asks them out–which is hard to imagine.

Yeah, being “friended” in a not-so-wanted way happens to women, too.

True, the friend-zone is more in-your-face for guys since they’re expected to make the first move. So it may be more hurtful for them in that way. But we all end up in the same place: outside the arms we want to be in.

Of course, it’s possible that some of the men that women are interested in simply don’t make that first move because they are shy or don’t realize we find them attractive. So that brings up another topic. Girls often don’t feel like they can ask guys out.  Read the rest of this entry

It’s Not Easy Being A Man

self-madeManCoverweb[1]Norah Vincent passed as a man for a year and a half. She wrote a book about the experience, Self-Made Man, which was published in 2006. When one gender visits the world of another it can be eye-opening, so let’s take a peek at one part of the woman-turned-man experience.

Turns out, it’s not easy being a man.

Norah had thought she’d love joining the privileged man-club that, until her transition, she had only glimpsed from the outside. Instead, she felt strangely inadequate.

For instance, as a lesbian, she’d expected dating to be the fun part. But it was arduous. One of the most difficult parts of her research. In her new man-role she felt an expectation to lead, take charge. This made her feel small in her costume.  Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: