Questions I Have for the Male Species - Response
As requested by @lfried, who I don't know at all but she had good questions. And I'm on hiatus, so why not answer them?
- •What's it like to have a penis? Does it get caught places?Yes, one zipper incident as a kid. As for what it's like having one - I've got to say, I like it.
- •"Do you worry about aging and becoming obsolete too?"Yes, because I work in Hollywood and don't really have any other skill set to fall back on. Most shows are about people in their 20s and 30s, and I'm already in my 40s. I worry about supporting my family long-term and sometimes feel like Los Angeles is Las Vegas, you know?
- •"Do you think about your 'masculinity' a lot?"Think about it a lot, have talked to therapists about it a lot, am tormented by it a lot, have made a lot more peace with it in recent years. Enjoy it more now than I ever have. (And @fisackerly, I was an "arty" teen in Kentucky, so I had "fag" screamed at me every other day, too! I relate.)
- •"Do you have less emotional noise? Or do you simply not check in with it?"Tons of it. It requires plenty of maintenance. Meditation helps burn it off. I did not "check in with it" until my 30s, when ignoring it finally made life unmanageable, and I was forced to pay attention. I think that's a fairly typical arc (at least among men I know).
- •"Does feminism scare you? If so, why?"Sometimes. My Mom was first-wave feminist. She was dealing with her own traumatic past, and channeled a lot of her rage into shaming me for being male - i.e., an "inherent abuser." It's taken me many years to unravel the hurtful messages about gender that I grew up with. Also, I have to admit - I think my upbringing left me with an attraction to the Andrea Dworkin school of feminism, which is SUPPOSED to scare me.
- •"How would you suggest that women support each other better than bros seem to be able to?"I guess I would say, commit yourself to the most heretical notion in our culture: That you're going to give more than you get. Just show up for your friends and say, "How can I help and support you" - with no concern for what you get in return. (This is gender non-specific, of course.)
- •"What about intimacy is so scary?"1) "Being seen"/ having all those layers of shame exposed. 2) The terror that as soon as you get it, it will be yanked away. 3) The inherent "ridiculousness"/ embarrassment of it. Intimacy reveals that you're simply human, which isn't that impressive. And we all must be impressive, all the time, right?!