Friday, February 20, 2009

Missed opportunity.

Back when I had short hair and a defiantly unattractive fashion sense (as opposed to now when it's just accidental...), people asked me quite a few times if I was a boy or a girl. At the time I always got seriously miffed, because, well, because that's really not a question you're allowed to ask no matter how ambiguous the situation.

In retrospect, however, I wonder how long I could've gotten away with it if I'd said "boy."

Hm. I probably still could. All that's really changed is I've grown my hair long and accepted gender-appropriate clothing, and with the aid of a baseball cap and an ass-ugly outfit I could fix that. I'm not sure why I want to be a small effeminate man, or who I'd really sell on it, but it seems like it could be an interesting experience. A "social experiment," yeah, that's the ticket.

It sure will be fascinating to live a few hours as a member of a repressed underclass who are cruelly deprived of their basic human right to have constant no-strings-attached sex with multiple attractive partners. I can't even imagine. It'll really open up my eyes.


  1. Have you read "Self Made Man"? It's Norah Vincent's book on experience passing as a man (as a gay woman). Mostly, she reveals herself to be utterly clueless about men, for example enthusing over the opportunity to hit on straight women.

  2. Holly, I LOVE you.

    I used to get mistaken for a man when I was a teenager.. I had LONG curly hair (I thought it was pretty), but I wore a man's blue jean jacket (becuase the sleeves were actually long enough, I'm 5'9"). Retail ppl were all the time calling me Sir. :-/

  3. bruno: I thought Self Made Man was overrated .... mostly because Norah was nuts going into it.

    For a semester in high school I amused myself by passing as a boy. It was an interesting experience ... What I found was (basically) that teachers expect more out of girls and that the world is easier for just about any type of male than it is for a non-attractive female.

    I recommend doing your little experiment. Take a drive/trainride to the next town over and go out and about for a day. People will treat you completely differently, although most of it is subtle.

  4. I was also going to mention "Self Made Man." Nora Vincent WAS totally clueless about men, had no clue about male socialization--I'm surprised she didn't get into fistfights. She also spent WAY too much time on lap dances.

  5. I thought Self Made Man was fairly interesting; but I thought some of the choices Norah Vincent made were kind of odd. Bowling league? Really?? And she seemed to spend a LOT of time in tittie bars. Sorry, but I, and most guys I know, don't make a habit of going to topless joints. A week as a monk? Ok, interesting, but definitely odd. (I did think it was interesting that she still seemed to get laid on most of the dates she went out on as a 'he', even after she had revealed her real gender. I don't think it would work the same the opposite way around.)

    ANYWAY what I'm coming around to in a very long-winded sort of way, is Holly, what specific things would YOU do if you decided to live as a male for a while?

    If I were to pass as a female (unlikely, because I would make a deeply dubious female: I'm big and bony and have a persistently scruffy face), I would:

    Visit the Women's locker room at the gym. (well, duh!)

    Go out on a date with a man.

    Work with the ironworkers. (I've known a few lady ironworkers in the past. Tough chicks. I think it would be really interesting to be a female in such an intensely male work environment.)

    Work in an (shudders) office/corporate situation. (I think the sexual dynamic would be very different from anything I'm used to)

    Go rock climbing with an unsuspecting female climber friend. (Climbing between two male partners tends to be very macho (not necessarily in a bad way, but there you are) Climbing partners who are male and female have another dynamic entirely. I think the dynamic between two female climbers would be interesting to experience)

    Go to a lesbian bar.

    I might go to a strip joint, but they really creep me out even as a male, so I'd probably give that one a miss.

    Sorry for the novel Holly, I sometimes get carried away. But I'd be interested to hear what you would do.