When I logged into Facebook this morning, cup of coffee in hand, I already knew what I was going to see. Mary changed profile picture, John shared this post, My spirit animal is a wolf, take this quiz and find yours! Standard, run-of-the-mill content. I continued passively scrolling, still groggy, only half regarding headlines announcing things like ‘Was that fight between those two famous people fake?’ and articles like ‘The Kardashians did something completely unremarkable, check it out!’, the whole time willing my brain to wake up so I could start my day. Then, something caught my eye.
Someone’s status stood out to me. It stated: ‘Today was the 7th time this week someone came up to me thinking I’m a woman and then freaked out and embarrassingly apologised…’ Reading only the first sentence, I was sure he was going to begin ranting about how disgusted or angry he was at being confused for a woman multiple times, so I sighed, braced myself, and read on.
He continued: ‘I just wanted to say that there is no reason to apologise because I’m honoured that “you” could think I’m even close to being as incredible as women are. To me being mistaken for a woman is a huge compliment, even though I am a man and identify as one. #loveforwomen’. I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the ground.
Obviously, I knew that this was the appropriate reaction, but as I would imagine it is uncommon for men to have such an open and accepting disposition in such a situation, I was not expecting it. He acknowledges that you can, indeed, identify as a man and have feminine qualities or characteristics and it’s truly inspiring.
The fact that I was shocked, even just momentarily, highlights how, despite acknowledging these stereotypes as wrong, society has subconsciously impacted my expectations. This got me thinking about society’s standards, the gender stereotypes they impose, and the moulds we try to fit into as a result. Given this, I applaud him for transcending what could be considered the ‘macho male’ stereotype I feel like most men are pressured into upholding. More men should have the courage to at least accept, if not embrace their feminine side. After all, balance is key.
I hope you find this status as inspiring as I do.