Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Talk Thursday: Masculinity and Testosterone

I love me a good Talk Thursday topic that I know nothing about. Gives me a great excuse to display my ignorance to my legion of screaming fans (both of you). But first, let me explain something. There's this popular notion that lesbians hate men. I don't know how that got started, but it's a pretty wacky idea and I'd like to put it to rest right here, right now, please. Lesbians do not hate men. Why should they? It's not like they have to live with them.

Having said that, I now must admit that except for my father, I've never lived with a man, or even shared close quarters with one for more than a day or two. I did have a boyfriend (!) in high school and early college, but I never lived with him. Which, in retrospect, was a good thing, as I'd rather munch pita bread at Afrah than serve 20 years to life.

So maybe if I'd hung around men more, I'd get some of this stuff, but I suspect you just gotta be a man to understand certain things. Such as why a guy works his way up into a lofty position of power, like governor or Presidential candidate or person-in-charge of some huge 20,000 member megachurch, and then throws it all away to chase seventeen-year-olds in skirts. Honestly, is there a thing about positions of power that makes this happen? And if it is, why are only men affected? You never see screaming headlines that say things like, HILLARY CLINTON CAUGHT IN LOVE NEST WITH 20-YEAR-OLD COMBAT PILOT. (Ooo, but you should. What a delicious scandal that would be.) I posed a similar question on this blog a while back and got what I think might be the only honest reply; a guy telling me that no red-blooded American male would bother becoming governor or a Presidential candidate or a person-in-charge of a huge 20,000-member megachurch if he didn't think, at least on some level, that it was going to get him laid.

Something else I don't understand about the whole masculinity/testosterone thing: What is it about being a guy that switches your brain off when you get angry? I don't mean everyday, garden-variety angry, but when you pass that level and head toward homicidal. Something about being a guy means once you've reached a certain level of being angry, you must kill something or the world will cease to spin on its axis. Again I look to the ex-boyfriend for inspiration. When we were in college, we were walking across the lawn one day when a bunch of kids (and they were kids; the oldest one was probably ten) started throwing oranges at us. I doubt they really meant any harm--maybe it was just a great day to throw oranges; I dunn0--but one of them glanced off his shoulder, and he went from zero to homicidal just like that. Did he listen to me when I told him to leave them alone, they were just kids? No, he did not. He was going to kill somebody and to hell with anything I had to say on the matter. I even tried getting physically in his way. He knocked me down and just kept going. Eventually I ran into a building and called campus security, but as it turned out, he couldn't catch the kids. He was still mad when security got there -- at me, for getting in his way. If I hadn't done that he'd have caught them for sure.

So, okay, I don't understand men. I'm sure I'm not alone among women there. The thing is, though, I don't have to understand men. I'm not trying to live with them. I live with a male cat, and he's strange enough, but he's also thirteen pounds. If there's an argument, I can win by picking him up. Women who have to understand men because they live with them are in a whole different ball game, and sometimes I think they're playing with weighted bats, as it were. (Yes, it's baseball metaphor time around here again. Is it my fault the Rangers made it to the postseason?)

I will tell you, though, that I seem to have a little testosterone reserve of my own. A couple of years ago, Joan was being harassed by a colleague. For various reasons, she wouldn't rat him out to Personnel. Every time she came home with another story about what he'd done lately, I started to feel this urge to drive down there, wait in the parking garage, and then beat the snot out of him when he showed up to go home. How did Joan talk me out of it? She kept saying, "Jen, that's something a man would do." Ouch. My inner cave man fell right into line.


Anonymous said...

I'm really appreciating the comment from your reader about the American male running for office! CLASSIC!

Cele said...

Ack I hate the thougth of being in touch with my inner male, I am too proud of being a woman. And I'm with Angie, I appreciate the power play comment. Thanks for sharing.

Jen said...

Alas, ladies, it wasn't my comment - It came from a friend of mine. But thanks, anyway.