I feel emasculated about four times a day. I can't blame the women in my life for this. They aren't telling me how to be a man. It is others.
It is not the daughters of mothers that I know, but others, superseding our mothers and fathers, who decide what a man should act like. It is an act, and we are all in on it. Except for you, male reader. We know you're the one exception. Its okay if you need to leave your body now. Try some deep breaths and come back if you want.
We are the act or we wouldn't say "Act like a man." It is so sexy to think of that real man, out there somewhere, with his giant everything and lack of vulnerability! But why I am supposed to idolize him, and then not want to sleep with him? And why I am so ashamed to confess that I am not him? I'm nothing like him.
I'm a vicious little boy who stays alone, prancing in circles and talking to himself. I want to protest that I've never really bought into the whole act of masculinity. But, then, I've played along for so long.
We get handed this act from on high and the whole point is that it will never be me, its always gonna be an act, but I gotta make it real everyday, somehow. The are minimum requirements for proof of masculinity in the state of California. And this act is handed down by the men who actually do dominate us all. They make me act like I chose the way they define me. On the one hand, we all gotta act like this is natural, that we are are tough but little, chubby but a hero, thin but rude, pretty but sexist.
So all day I gotta be showing I'm a man, I'm acting like a man. I am this thing and I'm pretending to be this thing. Don't trip out, though, cause we are already doing it now.
I do trip out, though. I hate it all, really. I'm beautiful and as graceful as Gene Kelley. I'm a fountain of hot water boiling up through the ocean in a volcanic surge.
I like acting like a man, sometimes. I just don't want to feel forced, or like I'm forcing anyone else. And I want all of us to feel free to be what we are and act out our own roles if we want. And then we can have big picnics in the forest and everybody can be friends.
I hate feeling forced to act like a man. It takes a toll. There are other things I could be doing.
For example, if I was encouraged to and supported in feeling my kidneys as much as I am supported in and encouraged to feel my penis, I would be healthier, live longer, and have a much easier time of things.
Finally, I wish, somehow, they could just stamp me forever as Not a Real Man, then I'd be free to stop trying and just be this body that I am.