Thursday, February 3, 2011

Masculine Gender Role Violation Exercises

This exercise is pretty standard - I think I did it in college. I found this version of it in "Models for Understanding Masculinity," Chapter 2 in The Masculine Self by Christopher Kilmartin.

If you are willing, give it a shot and let me know how it goes - challenging gender roles and their expectations can be quite an adventure.

Masculine Gender Role Violation Exercises:

Choose a behavior from the list below. Evaluate your thoughts and feelings as well as the reactions of those around you as you perform the behavior.

1. Wear colored nail polish to class or some other public place.

2. Spend a half hour in a conversation with a group of people without interrupting or telling a story.

3. Tell a male friend how much you value his friendship (without being drunk).

4. If you are in a satisfying relationship with a woman, talk at length with some male friends about how much you love your girlfriend and how good she makes you feel (without talking about sex).

5. Walk to class carrying your books at your chest instead of at your

6. Share an umbrella with another man.

7. Make a comment about the physical attractiveness of some man.

How did it feel for you to perform these behaviors? How did others react to you? Was there a difference in the reactions of men and women? Of older and younger adults? Of people who know you well and people who do not? What does your experience of gender role violation tell you about masculinity, yourself, and the culture?

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