Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The 'Ol Standard Double Standard

I have no idea why, but as I took a break from getting all this paperwork done for tax season, my mind drifted off to a funny thing that happened to me a while ago. It was something that left an impression on me- otherwise I wouldn't have remembered this certain event. I just never thought of it much until now.

I was out dancing with my girlfriends in Toronto, one night (a few years ago). I don't know why, but girls seem to always need to go to the bathroom in pairs or in groups. I never figured out why we did/do that. Anyway, while in the crowded bathroom, waiting our turn to use the facilities, a woman (who looked to be around my age), came up to me and said, "Has anyone ever told you that you have got the lushest, fullest, most beautiful lips?" To which, I retorted, "Uhh...no, but thanks!"...and that was the end of that and we continued to wait and then returned to the dance floor afterward.

I never thought anything of it, other than it was kind of funny that someone would totally, out of the blue say something like that. Then I thought...why is it okay for women to compliment other women and it's not a big deal? If a man compliments another man, it's considered "gay". In many ways, our society is still wrapped up in social norms and mores and by its definitions of what characteristics and behaviours are 'typically' male and female.

Growing up, the men in my life were "manly men". You know..the strong, male authority figure type. In school, there were the jocks, the nerds, the cool kids, the rebels (though I hate the idea of people being lumped into 'groups' or 'types'). Now, I know a lot of males who are metrosexual. They spend a lot of time, money and effort in looking good, wearing nice, expensive, name brands...they even pay special attention to haircare products and colognes. In the past, this would probably have been regarded as a female thing to do, but now a lot of guys I know take pride in their appearance...and they are no less manly or masculine than men who don't take the time to look like they ought to be on a magazine cover.

Hmmm...I think I just went on a tangent. Where was I going with all this? Ohhh...right.
1) Why is it okay for women to compliment other women, and not okay for men to compliment other men?
2)Why is it okay for a woman to say, "WOW! That woman is gorgeous!" and not okay for a man to say that another man is handsome or appealing?
3) If a woman takes pride in her appearance and makes special effort to do her hair, put make-up on, and dress nicely, why is that considered vain?
4) What do you define being a 'manly man'?
Remember, this is not intended for serious debate. I'm just curious.


japanmanpete said...

Mate, do you think perhaps she was interested in you? That's just my opinion.

Doggy Mama said...

This is so true. I have no problem saying to my husband, "Isn't that girl beautiful?" but he would NEVER say, "Wow, that's a handsome guy." Or if I asked if he thought a guy was good-looking, he'd probably say, "I don't know - I'm a guy." It's so funny how we as a society decide what is acceptable behavior!

sharkey said...

Going back to a comment you made on my blog post, it's because: Men are from Mars, and Women are From Venus! :)

waz said...

zat's y it's best to be bisexual! :D

t said...

I like my men metrosexual.

Chrissy121875 said...

Pete: You think??? I'm not sure about that. I think she was just being chatty and liberal with compliments :)

doggy mama: I know! "I don't know- I'm a guy" is the classic male answer to that question. However, if you think about it, if you asked your husband and he replied "Yeah, that guy is so sexy" or "he's got a great butt", then you'd probably be thinking something is wrong...right? Weird.

sharkey: Yes! The Mars and Venus thing! So, has Conne finished reading the book yet? I read it when I was in a bad relationship, hoping to gain some clarity on the relationships between men and women. Since I've been married, I haven't had to deal with any of those issues. I guess I got lucky that I married the right person for me and that he is understanding and communicative. I'm not saying it's always going to be a bed of roses, because I've been told by other married couples that it won't be! LOL!

waz: :)

t: I know you do! LOL!

Curiosity.Killer said...

Oh please. A lot of women live off compliments... they need it... besides, it's usually just another way to make a stranger feel good about herself. It's never meant to make you uncomfortable.

Now men do too - they want to be complimented and be noticed. The manly man is blurring into the metrosexual. I like it like that. They take care of themselves instead of looking like an ape.

But obviously, there still the inferiority when a man compliments a woman -- and that's when the dodginess comes into play.

Chrissy121875 said...

Hey Curiosity. I agree, everyone needs to be complimented sometimes. It gives people a boost to their ego and self-confidence. I didn't think anything of that girl telling me she liked my lips and thought they were sexy. I just thought it was funny. With regard to men, I think guys who take care of themselves are hot. I like the idea of a guy taking time to look good or smell good.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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