Action Movies and Fashion Mags

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There’s an anecdote which I like to tell because it amuses me as an illustration of the gender divide. I was at a BBQ a few years ago, and despite the fact we were all nineteen or twenty, we had managed to group into girls and guys, with me between the groups. I had gotten tired of the girls conversation about fashion and travel while they drank their vodka cruisers (a pre-mixer which, in my opinion, tastes like soft drink without vodka) and ate their cake and lollies. I was eating hotdogs and drinking beer like the guys – who’s conversation, incidentally, sounded much more interesting then fashion and travel. So I joined in the debate about which Terminator movie was better and I impressed the boys by being able to rattle off the names of all the Terminators. I’m not exaggerating, they looked at me in absolute awe, like they had never before see a woman who had a beer in one hand, a hotdog in the other, being able to discuss the merits of a scifi-action trilogy.

And then it stopped being an amusing anecdote when I realised they probably hadn’t.

And then it just got sad when I realised that, far from being the only woman I knew who would rather drink beer and watch action movies then drink lolly-water and read fashion magazines, I’m just the only woman who will fess up to it.

I’m not criticising the women who drink lolly water disguised as alcohol and read fashion magazines; I’m criticising the women who do this when they would rather be eating hotdogs and comparing action movies. Because it’s led to a situation where the girls feel they have to stick with the girls talking about fashion magazines and drinking lolly water, no matter how good the alternative looks. And it takes a woman who doesn’t particularly care what people think of her for eating the damn hot dog and joining in the boy’s conversation.

The even sadder thing is I’ve gotten more flak from the girls because I’d often rather hang out with the boys and talk about things I find interesting then be bored shitless with them then I ever did from the boys in joining their turf. Apparently it’s not done.

Or maybe they just wish they had the balls – so to speak – to join in whichever conversation sounds the most interesting, gender be damned.

I find it disturbing that there are so many women who are otherwise intelligent and well-adjusted who are too scared to do what’s the most fun and not what the rest of the sheep consider is “˜right’. I used to consider my attitude towards my friends – that I don’t care what gender they are, so long as they’re fun to be with – a healthy, normal attitude. But I’m beginning to think that I’m actually ahead of my time. And that’s really sad.


  1. sbg says

    And then it just got sad when I realised that, far from being the only woman I knew who would rather drink beer and watch action movies then drink lolly-water and read fashion magazines, I’m just the only woman who will fess up to it.

    The last boyfriend I had just about fell off his chair when I would just let out with a burp rather than trying to hide it. I know it’s not ‘ladylike’ to burp, but damnit, it’s unhealthy to NOT burp. Once he got over his stupefaction, he was quite charmed by my open appreciation for his cooking. ;)

    There does seem to be this assumption that all girls only want to talk fluff (and all guys want to talk about sports and violent movies), when I think there’s really a lot more room for compromise on both sides.

  2. Jennifer Kesler says

    I think both genders are under enormous pressure to restrict not only their mouths but their brains to topics deigned appropriate for their gender.

  3. Gategrrl says

    When I was in High School in the early ’80s (1980-83) I was one of two girls who knew anything at all about SF – or, like you said, fessed up to it – and the geek-guys were amazed that I didn’t really care who knew what I liked and read.

  4. Jennifer Kesler says

    When I stood in line outside a theater to see The Phantom Menace on opening day with two female friends, some guys behind us started asking us why we were there without guys. It was like we’d shown up without clothes: it was that logical to them that we could only possibly go see the movie because a boyfriend dragged us to it. Naturally, I started quizzing them on the original films, and comics, and novelizations, and action figures, and they couldn’t keep up. They still refused to believe us, though.

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