Manly Girl

I wrote this on Sunday but I don’t know why I didn’t click “Publish”?

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Hmmmmmmm gender. Sex and gender.

Last night we had the annual campus cross-dressing party, one of the biggest parties here. I thought it was supposed to break down the gender binary (other than just being another excuse for people to party), but if anything, I think it actually reinforced traditional gender roles.

All that make-up, tight skirts and sock-stuffed bras on a guy, and all the girls on the dance floor grabbing their non-existent balls.

So gendered sia!

Ball-grabbing! So stereotypical also!

I think it would be super interesting to study this is sociology class.

Last night, wearing an oversized guy’s dress shirt and with my pants precariously hanging low on my hips, I moved, walked, sat and danced like a guy. Not like I did it consciously even. At one point, during a round of “Never have I ever”, I was actually sitting with one of my legs up, Phua Chu Kang style. If my mom were to see me, I know she’d go, “Are you a construction worker?!”

And my friend who wore a mini skirt and tank top, he walked in a straight line (like catwalking?) so his hips moved slightly. He said it was ’cause the skirt was too tight for him to open his legs and walk like a guy, but still! Can you see how we are reinforcing the conventional gender roles?

Males are expected to act a certain way, girls are expected to act another.

One of the girls wanted to remain “pretty” that night, so she didn’t go full out on dressing like a guy. Then one other girl went, “Why are you wearing that! You don’t look like a guy!”

And her comeback was way cool. “So? Why should I attempt to look like what people think a guy should look like?”

Interestingly, just two days ago in my Self and Society sociology class, my professor commented on how gendered the human figures are in science books. Especially biology-related books. Like, female figures are always in such a “womenly” pose, etc.

He also suggested that maybe that results in health professionals adopting such a gendered male-female way of thinking, and how it might affect people who don’t conform to that binary in getting health care and advice.


It was also really funny to see guys finally sort-of understand what girls have to go through in the name of beauty.

My friend said that that night, he learned:

– how to put on a bra

– how it feels like to wear a bra

– how to walk in heels

– how it feels like to walk around in the cold outdoors in skirts, dresses and heels

Then he asked me how to remove his make-up. I asked him if they were waterproof. He went, “There’s waterproof make-up?!”

Oh man.

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I wanna share a story with you guys!

Last semester, when I took the psychoanalysis class, we talked a lot about the formation of gender.

One of the girls in my class (who has short, bright pink hair) told us that her mom lets her little brother wear skirts to school. Her mom would say, “You can wear whatever you like. If you choose to wear a skirt, kids in school might give you a hard time for it, but you don’t need to bother about them.”

How cool is that!

I look forward to the day when women don’t need to put on make-up to feel more beautiful and empowered, or when men can comfortably wear skirts (outside of Scotland!).

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