This is a comment by Morgan on the post “Bushmaster Rifles Has Been Running The Most Evil Ads I’ve Ever Seen“.
“I think it’s whoever you’re worried about judging you, really. The guys in the locker room. Your wife/girlfriend. God. Anybody and everybody. It’s one of those beliefs that doesn’t make much sense when you look at it, but it’s taken so completely for granted that it rarely gets examined.
“The fear of losing one’s identity is a very basic, primal fear. I’m reminded of a post that I saw on this site (I think) quite a while back. I’m not sure who wrote it—it was posted very shortly after I started reading GMP. The author talked about how boys (and men) insult each other by calling each other girls, and posed the question, ‘If being called a girl is such an unforgivable insult, what does that say about men’s attitudes towards girls and women?’ I spent a lot of time thinking about that question, because I had the ‘girl’ insult directed at me many times over the course of my childhood and adolescence, and I found it very hurtful and offensive.
“However, I’m about as far from misogynistic as a man can be—most of my close friends have been female, and I’ve gotten along better with women than with men for most of my life. I don’t view being female as a bad thing at all. However, being called a girl still really bothered me. I eventually came to the conclusion that what was so hurtful about it—for me, at least—was having part of my identity negated by someone else. Being told, in effect, ‘You’re not the person you believe you are.’ I suspect it’s similar (although smaller in magnitude, I’m sure) to the way that a transgender person feels when being told that their biological sex determines their gender, regardless of how they feel about themselves.
“I think the effect is compounded by the fact that being a man is a privileged social status. So when men worry about not being men, they worry not just about losing their own identity, but about losing their place in society.”
Photo credit: Flickr / apdk