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For reasons that don’t make a ton of sense, except for the fact that people are quick to judge a book by its cover, a lot of people (especially on the Internet) seem to think that I fancy myself “one of the guys.”
There could be a lot of reason for this: I love football. I wear plaid. I’m often seen with a trucker hat atop my head. I don’t always put on makeup. I can be slightly crass, although I prefer “inappropriate.” I snowboard. I don't take myself too seriously. I’m scared of feelings.
However, what’s most interesting to me is the fact that women assume I want to be seen as “one of the guys.” That there are people who somehow believe that I think being associated with men is better than being a girls’ girl. I mean: AS IF!
I started really thinking about this few weeks ago, when I read an article about a woman who faked being one of the guys.
“I showed up to beer pong nights in khaki shorts and a tie dyed t-shirt, not a skintight bandage dress. Rather than flirt on the sidelines, I called next game. I hoped that by being myself – dressed down, drinking beer, being rowdy – a man would appreciate that I was a girl who was more like one of the guys.”
Now, I can see doing all of those things -- but not because I want to be appreciated for being more like one of the guys. Rather, I can see doing those things because, well, it’s more fun. Who wants to be a cheerleader when you can be in the game? And who wants to suck in your tummy all night long in a bandage dress when you can be comfy in jeans and a T-shirt?
As far as drinking beer goes, I mean, sometimes I like beer. Sometimes I like wine. Sometimes I like vodka. I don’t let gender expectations dictate what I drink. Just my alcoholism! (Although I do let the occasion guide my decision. For example, you’ll never catch me ordering wine at a baseball game. Those people are The Worst.)
What perplexes me is why the author of the article thought that pretending to be one of the guys would make dudes fall for her. If anything, it’s the exact opposite. (Although, again, I swear I’m not one of the guys. I don't even have any very many close guy friends because everyone knows they always abandon you when they get a girlfriend. Which, to be fair, is totally fair, although also: super annoying.)
Take this scenario, for example: Tahoe 4th of July. My friend and I are hanging out at a crowded outdoor bar. I'm wearing cut-offs and a baggy T-shirt. She's in a red bandage skirt and a bustier top. I look comfy. She looks super sexy. Do you want to guess which one of us was completely invisible? Exactly.
Mostly, I’ve just never had a guy like me because of the things I love that are stereotypically male. I mean, sure, I love football and that makes it easier to chitchat with other football enthusiasts, but I’ve never had someone try to bang me in the bathroom after I threw down some stat about how many yards so-and-so rushed for last season.
And yeah, I like to snowboard, but not because guys pick me up on the mountain. Any guy who likes snowboarding as much as I do isn’t going to want to waste the time. Especially on a good day. Sure, I chat with people during “après,” (I love how obnoxious it is to call it that), but the only people I’ve ever exchanged numbers with were ones who wanted to ride together the next day. None of them has ever even attempted to put his tongue in my mouth. Or my vagina.
Truthfully, the only thing I can think of that I used to do that was pretty bro-centric was surfing. Fact: any time you paddle out, the guy to girl ratio will be overwhelming. And while most of the time, they left me alone, there were a few occasions where I found a secluded spot only to look up a few minutes later and realize I was suddenly surrounded by boys. Even then though, they were mostly just super friendly guys who didn’t give a shit that in an hour, I’d be standing nekkid in the parking lot with only a towel around me.
Eventually, the author of the aforementioned article came to terms with the idea that pretending to be “one of the guys” wasn’t for her. That she wanted to be someone’s girlfriend. Wanted to get flowers. And wanted to cook together. And all of the other things she pretended were gross because she thought that's what guys wanted to hear.
And I say, good for her. I just wish she felt she could have those things AND play beer pong.
Ultimately, it’s a little ridiculous that women feel the need to categorize themselves by gender stereotypes. It’s even more ridiculous that women feel the need to categorize others by those same criteria. Who cares if what we do for fun is seen as more masculine or more feminine? Why does that matter in the slightest? On a personal note, why do some women feel the need to trash talk me because they perceive my interests as falling in line with the generic interests of men?
I mean. Yeah, as I said, I love football. I like to play in the snow. If you ask me to go camping, I’ll probably say yes. But I also subscribe to Us Weekly, watch tons of bad reality TV, sleep with a stuffed animal, cry during romantic comedies, and love to brunch with the girls. In fact, nothing makes me happier than ordering pizza with a girl friend and playing Phase 10 for three hours. Having a boy there would ruin it!
Perhaps it seems obvious, but I’ll say it just in case: We don’t need to take sides when it comes to gender roles and stereotypes. There’s room for us to love and be all kinds of things. Boy things. Girl things. Gender neutral things! Didn't we all listen to “Free to Be… You and Me” when we were kids? Wasn't that book/record The Best? (Seriously: all of my important life lessons come from that book. If you have children, it's A Must.)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do some research for my Fantasy Football draft. And right after that, I’m getting a pedicure and meeting my girl friend for wine and gossip. Cheers!
You can follow @daisy on Twitter if you wanna.