Rachel McNeil

The Land of the Unknown: Masculinity

My experience of “gender bending” in our psychology class was interesting and thought provoking. Since my result on the BEM test was “feminine,” I dressed as the opposite, masculine. My outfit consisted of a backwards polo cap, sunglasses, a t-shirt, saggy basketball pants (with boxers showing), a huge watch, and calf high black socks. After putting on our outfits, my friend (dressed in a similar outfit) and I started to test our skills and attempt to act like men (masculine). I was shocked by how I acted. I didn’t even realize it, but the majority of the things I was saying was repulsive and degrading toward women. I would “hit on” every girl I saw and make unnecessary catcalls at them while they walked by. I would even start conversations with people about an imaginary girl I had slept with the night before. Not only was the way I talked about girls gross, but also my language in general was terrible. I started cursing in every sentence and even talking about the male genital area a few times. I realized that the male I was representing was extremely stereotypical and nowhere near how most guys act in public. I over exaggerated every action I made. I think men would be offended if they saw the way I portrayed them.

            Going out in public in my attire was an experience I’ll never forget. Some of the looks that I got from other people ranged from heavy laughter to disgusted and repulsed. People were thrown off by the fact that I was dressing in a masculine way, especially girls. I felt like I was disappointing all girls by choosing to dress this way. Girls who gave me a negative look made me feel that there was only one way to dress like a girl (and consider yourself a girl) and I had failed that task. Society has engraved it into our minds of how we should and shouldn’t express our gender identity. This assignment definitely opened my eyes to a wider range of options on expressing oneself. I am excited to see what new opinions I will make in this class and what all I will learn. 

Stories from Rachel McNeil

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

My experience of “gender bending” in our psychology class was interesting and thought provoking. Since my result on the BEM test was “feminine,” I dressed as the opposite, masculine. My outfit consisted of a backwards polo cap, sunglasses, a t-shirt, saggy basketball pants (with boxers showing), a huge watch, and calf high black socks. After putting on our outfits, my friend (dressed in a similar outfit) and I started to test our skills and attempt to act like men (masculine). I was shocked by how I acted.