JJ Vincent asked 12 men, ages 18-68, about gender, identity, self-expression, and what defines a man.
Over the past 12 weeks, I have asked 12 men of various ages and backgrounds 10 questions about gender, from how they think the word should be defined to whether it should be discussed in schools.
Two things stood out to me. One, most of the men had no problem with girls playing with “boy toys” or vice versa, and didn’t feel the need to push them towards one or the other. Two, a person’s physicality had nothing to do with what made someone “a man”. What did come up over and over in that question were traits like responsibility, loyalty, kindness, keeping one’s word, all traits that I think most of us would be proud to live up to, male or female.
This is the list of the core questions. 8 were identical, and 2 were different for each man, depending on what came up in other answers. What would you say? Please feel free to comment, email your answers, pass this among friends, or just take a moment to consider gender and how it affects us. Links to the full series are after the questions.
Q: The dictionary is being rewritten. How would you define gender?
Q: How would you identify your own gender?
Q: What do you think makes someone a man?
Q: There’s a lot of current discussion about children being raised without gender. If you had care of a very young child, how would you approached gendered issues (toys, clothing, activities)?
Q: Most forms and surveys have boxes on them for M or F. Would you change this if you could and if so, how what would you put instead?
Q: Do you think topics of gender identity and expression should be discussed in schools? Why/why not?
Q: A question about relationships. If a person identifies themselves outside of the traditional M/F, should this be a early topic of conversation? Should it be a topic at all?
Q: Last question. You have the chance to display/show your gender identity. Anything goes, no questions asked. What do you wear?
The Full Series: 10 Questions About Gender
A King’s Answers: 10 Questions About Gender
Perception, Environment, Tradition: 10 Questions About Gender
Princess and Ninja Are Not Mutually Exclusive Concepts: 10 Questions About Gender
About Those Expectations: 10 Questions About Gender
A Role of Their Own: 10 Questions About Gender
So Let’s Talk: 10 Questions About Gender
Protector, Provider, Comforter, Confidante: 10 Questions About Gender
Commitments, Challenges, Character: 10 Questions About Gender
Not Better, Not Worse, Just Different: 10 Questions About Gender
Suit, Tie, and Tolerance: 10 Questions About Gender
Stripes, Queer, or Houndstooth: 10 Questions About Gender
Check M, F, or Other: 10 Questions About Gender
Want to send me your answers? Email [email protected]
Photo courtesy of interviewees, used by author with permission