On Being Male


The other day, someone came up to me and said, “You look like a girl.” I considered taking the opportunity to launch into a lecture on the speaker’s gender-normative assumptions but it seemed a bit excessive considering that she was a ten year-old girl. So I just said, “Some boys have pink hair.” And she replied, “It’s not just the hair.” Ah, youth…

Still, it got me thinking. I’ve heard similar comments often enough and mostly, I think it’s funny. But I’ve related those comments to other people and some think it’s insulting. To me, it only seems insulting if you think that women are somehow inferior to men. Although, I’m sure a lot of women would also feel insulted if they were mistaken for a woman. So maybe there’s more to it than that.

In any case, there are definitely expectations on what it is to be male or female. And sometimes, I wish I fit that a little bit better. But mostly, I think it’s funny.

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