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The Emergence of My Masculinity

July 7, 2012

Questions around the emergence of my masculinity have popped up in my head more than once. I’ve often pushed it aside because I just didn’t feel like giving thought to it or because I knew that it would require me to delve and dissect and like most, I sometimes run from the reflective work. GASP! Yes, even me…sociology on legs. So I finally sat down and thought this through after watching Episode 2 of The Peculiar Kind. And so far (as this thought process is in its infancy), I am realizing that, for once, the absence of a plethora of male role models in my life has actually been a gift. I was raised in a single parent home with my mother. Next door lived my grandmother and uncle. He was so busy chasing a bottle of Pepto Bismol with a pint of Wild Irish Rose, he hardly had time to notice anything. Sure there were some men at church and a male family member here and there, but like many of us, I had few males in my immediate life. In analyzing ‘how I learned to be masculine’, I’ve realized that the absence of males in my life was of great benefit. For, it allowed me to create versus model. I really have no clue ‘how to be masculine’ in the socially, stereotypically defined way. My ‘doing gender’ is an amalgam of perhaps television and myself; moreso myself. I’ve always viewed masculinity quite differently from ‘most people’. And I never understood why, until just now. I would listen to conflations of and expansions of masculinity described in ways that I just couldn’t connect with. I wondered if it was because I was raised in a single parent home or because I just had never peeled apart the layers of gender presentation/expression in a way that revealed to me just where I learned to ‘be masculine’ from. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. But unlike the crux of most conversations, I felt something positive in my connection with masculinity and its creation and ultimate expression.

I’ve been having these thoughts surrounding the concept of choice that i’m sure will evolve to a blog post, but regarding being masculine, I am noticing that in that space, I felt like I had choice. I didn’t have the language to say that then, but at 32, I realize that I’ve pretty much always created my ebb and flow inside and outside of gender. Sure there were moments where I tried to fit in, but they lasted bout as long as a pizza in a boys locker room. I think it took me so long to pinpoint this benefit of having limited examples of men in my life because I am human and I am conditioned. And some of that conditioning can be found within the framework of what’s been coined as ‘doing gender’. I knew that I was always ‘weird’ about gender expression. I knew that I never felt much pressure to be like everyone else. But I didn’t know where I got my masculine aura from and how I ‘did’ it. I’m often told that I’m inspiring because I’m very unapologetic in who I am which is humbling. I am glad that I devoted thought to this finally. I am also glad that for once ‘not having a positive male role model’ was actually of benefit. As I am typing I am also seeing that being from a ‘broken home’ has been of benefit as well as it provides me the blank canvas that allows me to ‘create my dream relationship’. I don’t have a (fucked up) blue print by which I’m expected to model.


(c) The Ignant Intellectual, 2012


From → Masculinity

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