Cross-posted at What We Said
It’s about time that I do Mandarine’s meme; it’s been on my mind for quite a while, but I haven’t been entirely sure I’d have answers to all the categories — I’m still not sure. But I’ve had a couple of conversations with the Hobgoblin lately about some stuff related to gender, specifically, about hearing a LOT of talk at parties and around work about home decoration and repair, a topic that provokes eye-rolling and sighs of boredom from me, and then makes me feel inadequate for not caring a whole lot what my house looks like. I mean, I’m supposed to, aren’t I? Caring about home decoration is part of being a good American consumer and part of being acceptably feminine, isn’t it? Anyway, here’s my attempt:
- Three things you do that women usually do:
1. Shave my legs (although I prefer to think I do this because I’m a cyclist, not because I’m a woman. Since, as a cyclist, the Hobgoblin shaves his legs, wouldn’t it be funny if I didn’t? We’d really be messing with gender stereotypes then);
2. Try to take care of other people’s emotional needs;
3. Enjoy nice long conversations about feelings.
- Three things you do that men usually do:
1. Compete in athletic events;
2. Feel uncomfortable and out of place in a kitchen;
3. Pride myself on my big muscles.
- Three things you do that women usually don’t do:
1. Let the dishes pile up in the sink without feeling guilty;
2. Eat a ton without feeling self-conscious about it;
3. Be willing to get dirty and sweaty on a backpacking trip without thinking about it too much.
- Three things you do that men usually don’t do:
1. Cry regularly.
2. Discuss my feelings openly;
3. Talk on the phone for lengthy periods.
- Three things you don’t do that women usually do:
1. Wear makeup;
2. Care what my house looks like;
3. Wear skirts (I will if I have to …).
- Three things you don’t do that men usually do:
1. Know anything about car maintenance or repair;
2. Watch sports on television;
3. Feel at home in hardware stores.
- Three things you don’t do that women usually don’t do:
1. Show my temper in public;
2. Disagree sharply and assertively with others;
3. Show competitiveness.
- Three things you don’t do that men usually don’t do:
1. Enjoy shopping;
2. Spend hours on grooming;
3. Know domestic secrets like fancy ways of removing stains from clothing.
There, I answered everything. That’s an interesting exercise because I can’t help but draw on stereotypes as I answer the questions, but, of course, I’m talking about ways I undermine them too.