Liberalcynic’s blog-post “The feminine side?” reminded me of a TED talk by Eve Ensler (of the Vagina monologues fame) I had listened to, a couple of months ago. The talk was about how each and everyone of us have curbed the inner ‘girl-cell’ in us. The ‘girl-cell’, according to her, is the emblem of every quality that stems from our emotional side. Superficially, it seemed that the speaker associated love, compassion, and such other sublime attributes with only the female gender, which made men look like ruthless, heartless beings. However, skimming through the layers of her talk, I understood what she really meant. The crux of her talk was the battle against suppression of any quality of any kind and about embracing your own self. Sadly, men have had to deal with a lot more in this department. They have been instructed, commanded, even tortured not to express their vulnerable side or any other side that reflects ‘girliness’. It is blasphemous for a guy to cry, gay to show sensitivity or take overt interest in his appearance. Females haven’t been given a free ride in this regard either. It’s nothing short of a crime to be not able to churn out ’round round rotis’! Females who have less than perfect grace and sensitivity are frequently the butt of jokes too. This, I say from personal experience. I have committed the sin of not being ‘feminine’ enough in many ways (Most of these are by virtue of things I don’t do rather than those I do).
1. I can’t cook to save my life. I don’t enjoy cooking either. I enjoy and appreciate good food……..cooked by others!
2. I am no embodiment of grace. I am as clumsy as it comes……oooops! there goes my teacup!
3. I enjoy trying my hand at new sports now and then and also analyzing their dynamics in depth.
4. I follow political issues keenly and often engage in political discussions.
5. I have an uncanny knack for figuring out the ‘guy’ innuendos. I use the guy ’12 hour clock’ standard to point out to people (surprises most guys!)
6. I know my whiskey from scotch. I can talk at length about their level of smoothness….makes me an instant hit with the guys!
7. I hate ‘chick-flicks’. Period.
8. I would like to pull out my own chairs, open doors, carry my own luggage, thank you! Chivalry is a stone-age concept.
9. I have a good memory for places and sense of direction. I have no problems getting to a place I’ve been to just once.
Emotions do not necessarily cloud logic. Aggression need not translate to lack of compassion. The divide between what is considered ‘manly’ and ‘feminine’ is dwindling gradually. And rightfully so. Cooking- a hitherto female oriented field is seeing a large number of male takers, even as a profession. Women are soaring up in the air in their professional arena, quite literally. Bars are being lifted. Barriers are increasingly ceasing to exist. Its about time we embrace this change and not be surprised to see such a cross-over of stereotypes. In fact the term ‘stereotype’ should gradually become extinct.
I would like to second Liberalcynic’s opinion about individualism in this regard. I believe that our sense of individuality is the most pristine feeling that no one can rob us of. Patriarchy made victims out of many individuals long before. We are lucky not to be part of that time-period anymore. It would be a shame on our part and an insult to such victims’ memories if we do not seize every opportunity to make the best of who we are. We have no barrier to blame but our minds!