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Be careful what you wish for, unless a world full of Jerry Seinfelds appeals to you :) I know, priority one, a guy who'll keep the apartment clean. I wouldn't miss losing machismo from the worlds males immediately. I can live in a world without bullfighting and the Calgary Stampede. At least our society allows people to use their intelligence to modify or reinvent their behaviour, we're not bound to any tradition. Fawning submissive women are of course equally annoying, although they don't usually assault you.

Well, I don't want all men to change; just for people to be free to be themselves! I have never fit nicely into the feminine mold.

Also, I was thinking more about it and even the idea of two genders is really socially constructed. We are seeing more and more people identifying as transgendered and some insisting that they don't identify with either.

Deconstructing gender is a tough topic. While some aspects of gender specific behaviour have biological roots, other aspects are socialization.

Sadly, our society today is so strongly rooted in a "masculine power" structure that it gives males a very limited range of "acceptable" behaviour.

Women who are "a bit masculine" may be looked at somewhat in askance, but a feminine male will find themselves subject to much harsher social penalties. (Stigmatization, isolation, etc.)

Feminism's long demand for equal treatment has been ultimately rooted in a recognition that social gender roles are based on a masculine notion of hierarchy which subjugates women on the basis of "physical strength". Social equality cannot occur without significant changes in "acceptable" gender behaviour.

The emergence of a growing visible group that are identifying as transgendered is a combination of awareness, and the changes wrought by the rights revolutions of the 60s and 70s. Yet it speaks to the notion of gender as much more subtle than either simple biological or socialization models are able to express. (and further underscores, in my view, why rigidity in gender roles is ultimately unhealthy because it forces people into behaviours that are not reflective of their core identity.)

I think I agree that men face greater penalities in society for exhibiting feminine traits or behaviours than vice versa.

Although, people seem to give me a very hard time about my so-called masculine behaviours...

Has anyone being following the discussion over the new Survivor which groups teams by race? Just have to add that it drives me crazy that there are always "boys versus girls" in shows like Idol, Survivor, and no one questions it. I think the CBC just did a series called "War of the Sexes". Ugh.

Women have always complained about the unrealistic expectations that society places on their physical appearance. Men, I would argue, have an equally tough time when it comes to society's expectations in terms of our emotions, behaviours, and attitudes. From difficulties in dating (ie. figuring out what the hell women want - and why "nice guys" really do finish last) to Grog's excellent observations, I think men are hamstrung almost as much in these terms as women are in terms of their appearance.

I totally agree that men are given a very narrow range in terms of behaviours and emotions. Personally, I would accept a wide range of emotions from any man who agreed to do all the grocery shopping, the cooking, and the vacuuming.

Here is a link that some of you might be interested in to a website called XY: men, masculinities, and gender politics.

I agree with Grant that the rigid gender roles affect both men and women, just that the impacts are along different lines.

Where males are emotionally and behaviourally placed into a straightjacket quite early in life, Women are allowed more "emotional and behavioural latitude", but are constrained heavily in terms of their physical presentation (the so-called 'beauty myth').

The radical in me wants to throw the entire notion of 'gender role' out the window. Yet, I also see some value in it as well.

The fact is that the majority of the population are not psychological androgynes. Most males are emphatically masculine, and most women are emphatically feminine. (That is to say, few of either gender will admit to behaviours that overlap)

What we need to lose are the remnants of the tribal hunter-gatherer structures that have been part of society for millenia. While the men went out hunting (taking maximal advantage of their greater body strength and mass), the women had the gatherer roles, searching out berries and roots as well as tending to the hearth. In today's world, (especially the urban world) those differentiations are quite irrelevant. (The fact is that most urban jobs are equally well done by men or women)

In the last few years, the composition of middle management in my company has gone from almost gender balanced to being predominantly masculine. The result has been a drift towards a 'hockey team' management style and away from a collaborative management style. In my view, this has not been good for the company as a whole.

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