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Basically the same

A major tenant of my feminism is that I believe that men and women are basically the same, with more variation between individuals than between the two groups at large. By nature, at least. Any overall differences you do see I believe are largely the result of socialization. We receive very different messages, both deliberately and implicitly, from the culture in which we live. Because socialization is powerful, a lot of the trends we tend to see of “how women are” versus “how men are” come to being as a result. It can’t really be proven, I guess, because there is no way to remove the effects of socialization, but I still maintain that outside of that, men and women are basically the same.

When I was in high school, I remember the first time I ever felt annoyed when somebody told me that “men are just more visual than women.” Meaning that it was just in men’s nature to respond more and be more invested in the physical appearance of potential romantic partners. Even back then I responded very negatively to the implication that men and women were just naturally different. But at the same time, I was annoyed— because at the time, that seemed to fit with my own experience.

At that point in my life I was not particularly invested in the physical beauty of men. I didn’t have much interest or take any enjoyment in checking dudes out. In fairness, I didn’t really experience much in the way of attraction to other people until I was eighteen or so. But even then, what was even theoretically attractive to me only sort of lined up with being good-looking. So I only reinforced the stereotype. And that really annoyed me.

A number of years back, however, I experimented with something. I decided, consciously and deliberately, to give myself permission to ogle men. To care about, check out, and enjoy the physical beauty of men. Not that I wasn’t “allowed to” before, but I made a point of telling myself that if I wanted to do it, I could. There was no reason that if I ever wanted to, I couldn’t look at men the same way we expected men to look at women. If I’d absorbed any social conditioning that had told me I couldn’t do that or that I shouldn’t want to, I was consciously letting go of it.

And you know something? It was like a switch got flipped. Suddenly I got what the big deal about pretty people was. It was FUN to check them out, ENJOYABLE to look at them. Now boy watching has become a favorite hobby! And as I’ve said before, it feels powerful to think that sometimes things need to appeal to my eye, that what I want to see is worth delivering on. FEMALE GAZE IS EMPOWERING, Y’ALL.

Now, I’m not saying this is uniformly a good thing to start/discover in myself. Sometimes I go overboard. I do tend to get a little bit stupid over it, and I have on some occasions crossed a line where it got absurd. Like, grow up, Phoebe, you sound like a frat boy. Objectifying people is not a great habit to be in (even if I’d argue it has it’s time and place.)

But the fact that this happened seems like pretty good support for my theory. I was able to decide that it was okay for me to do it if I wanted to. And in the absense of any restriction, real or artifical, I found that I wanted to. Not much different than a man would.

Of course all people are different. Some people are interested in this sort of thing and some aren't. But more men don't than we generalize, and probably more women would if they felt like they were allowed.

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About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

April 2017


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