I particularly remember my year in Japan, where everyone played the gender game more aggressively even than in the US.
"Men are like this, women are like that" is just a common every day conversation, because that seems to be how gender mostly works. And I always always always changed the subject, because these cliches never really spoke to me.
@mykola This is something I wonder about too. I tend to side with "cismale but not invested in that identity". I know some of this is the generational divide I see you discussing with a couple of other people, but I do also think I have two good reasons for sticking to it: (...)
@mykola 1) Anything else feels like trying to disavow male privilege, and my feelings don't change the fact that--especially as quite a male-presenting man--I have that whole invisible knapsack without ever having asked for it.
I think of this by analogy to race. Even though the most actively racist have huge problems with multiple of my identities, I still call myself white in the US racial context, because I still benefit from almost all of the package of white privilege.
@mykola 2) I worry that the choice to only call oneself "male" if one fits a lot of the old school stereotype actually reifies that stereotype. I think there's a lot of value in owning maleness without buying into all the performative crap. I have seen a few instances of my doing this opening a door for other men to see that they could break out of the man box a bit, and who knows how often that happens without me seeing it?
@mykola The "storyness" (to converge your two lines of thought tonight) of gender is so much more visible in cultures that do gender differently than the way we were raised. I think of being in Togo in my 20's - and how as a foreigner I kept being grouped with men, even though I was happiest with women. But in so many ways that didn't compute for my hosts (language, education, presumed status). Meanwhile it was scandalous to speak to men alone. So a "sexual" woman but not a real woman, I guess.
@compostablespork yes! I think this jumped out for me when I was living in Japan. "Men are like X, women are like Y" often a subject of conversations, and while it always made me uncomfortable there were times when it was also just a cultural difference, and I was like, well no, not in america.
but that's weird that I would speak up for America's gender views but not my own, huh?
@mykola Me and my American cohorts did the same. This was the early 90's and we were busy making American sound like the utopia of gender equality and like it was perfectly acceptible to be out gay everywhere. We all knew we were overselling the point but the contrast was so stark it was hard not to.
I also had great fun showing the most sexist guys on our staff I could drive a truck.