I think about masculinity and gender a lot, no surprise there. Â With Butch Voices approaching, that thinking is gaining a little focus since I need to work on the workshops I’m going to be doing there.
Now that I’ve secured space for both of my workshops, I can confess that one of them is only half-baked. Â My Intentional Masculinity workshop is an outline in my head, and so I’ve been thinking of how to fill in that outline.
Also, I’ve been mulling a lot of things that I’ve read in discussion groups and blogs around trans issues, Â masculinity and gender expression. Â It’s got me thinking about my own motivations in claiming my maleness. Â Am I moving toward masculinity because I want to benefit from male privilege? Â Am I doing it as a statement against femininity? Â Is this authentically me, or am I acting under the power of a cultural assumption that to be male is to be superior? Â Am I doing this to be superior to those who express femininity, who strive to be feminine? Â Am I at war with my own femininity?
As I said, I’ve been thinking a lot lately and I haven’t come to any conclusions yet. Â I do know that some of the things I read on discussion boards and comments on blogs make me a bit embarrassed to be embracing masculinity, because of the way it’s defined by a lot of other people. Â I seeÂ chauvinism, sexism, misogyny treated as synonyms to maleness, as the assumed characteristics of a person embracing their masculinity, whether those people are cis-males or trans men or butch dykes. Â That assumption makes me sick, to be honest. Â Those are not characteristics I choose to embrace or reinforce. Â They are not part of my intentional masculinity — my consciously chosen expression of the male within.
So, even though I haven’t answered all those questions I’ve directed at myself, I’m definitely working on them. Â What about you? Â What characteristics would you choose as your top 3 or 4 ways of expressing masculinity (and you can have any gender identity, I’m sure you’ve got an opinion and I’d love to hear it). Â If you are a person who expresses masculinity in some way, do you feel intentional about it? Â Do you feel like you’ve made conscious choices about hair styles, clothing and body language, verbal language and behavior, or do you feel like the choices were made less intentionally? Â Only share if you feel comfortable with this kind of disclosure. Â I’ll be grateful if you do, you’ll be helping me develop the guts of my workshop. Â At the very least, you’ll be giving me more to think about.
And, lord knows, I need more of that 😉
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