The Land of the Unknown: Masculinity

Gender Bending
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. 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.