Androgyny is Hot

Androgeny hottieby Madeline Iva

Don’t you think so? I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, but I know a number of people feel uncomfortable with it. I was at a dinner the other night where this guy was talking about his son who wears pink shirts, has painted nails, but also has had a girlfriend for the last two years.  Dad was not happy.  If he’s gay, the dad sad, he can support him 100% and walk that walk, talk that talk.  Having a son something short of gay is what is making daddio unhappy.  He doesn’t know what to do with that middle ground.

1 TiresiaI have a single gal friend who shared the story of the guy she met at work and how he seemed to be letting her do all the work, but he did seem to like her.  She didn’t know though. What was his deal?  Was he too passive? Shy? Uncertain? It was turning her off by the minute, but you know, if she were a guy, she wouldn’t necessarily say that about a woman.  So is she sexist? Or is she stuck in a fog of gender uncertainty.  I’ve seen a certain kind of metro guy play the come-hither card.  And it works in a smooth, sensuous way, though it requires a woman who’s sure of herself to go-hither confidently.

Welcome to the gender wars.  I’ve been wondering where we are with gender in our society.  Mostly because I saw this CRAZY movie called Tiresia.  It’s about a French prostitute who’s transgendered (chemically), then kidnapped and deprived of her hormones so she starts turning back into a man. (It gets pretty gruesome from there.  The film is all about duality – unlucky vs. lucky, male vs. female, handicapped vs. blessed.  And it’s kind of like a play too—talk, talk, talk.  Those wacky French.)

2 tiresiaAnyway, I was FASCINATED just looking at the main actress (actor?).  Androgyny can be totally hot, I think.

But I’ve also kind of wondered about androgyny and attraction.  Is it meant to be a part of our world growing up? Like in high school, I would perseverate on this popular boy who dated this popular girl who practically was a boy herself. She was a track star, completely flat chested, no hips, boy short hair.  I had to wonder if he was dating her because he was popular, or because he was attracted to her—and if to her then was he attracted to boys? I just couldn’t stop wondering.

HansonsTweener girls often crush out on boy-girls.  Take the Hansons.  I used to wonder about them too.  Did they feel odd about growing their hair out, wearing lipstick? I always felt squeamish looking at them.  Like as boys made to look like girls, did they like it? Were they made to do it? Were they resigned to it?

Then there’s the Beibs. I swear the first time I saw him, I was confused and thought he was Hilary Swank. But like, on a good day.  Really I did. You know what I mean?

BeibsI want to go out on a limb here and say that androgyny is in it’s own tiny way sinking into the romance world.  Quelle horror you say.  No, how could this be? Romance? Where men always have massive tools, and women have curves for days, etc?

Well but if you think about it, the men also tend to have a ton of hair—often long gorgeous abundant hair.  I think I’ve only read one story—one where the guy had the suggestion of a receding hairline or was bald.

And romance is often about attractive men who can mind read, anticipating the wants/needs of his partner. (Like women do.)

Check out the hunched Japanese-Korean actor at the bottom right.  Androgyny bliss! So hot!
Check out the hunched Japanese-Korean actor at the bottom right. Androgyny bliss! So hot!

Romance is often about men who are tender.

There’s a whole line of romances devoted to secret babies.  We’re basically talking about are men who are good fathers (nurturing)

Then there’s women in romance.

Women who are sassy (assertive)

Women who are kick-ass in urban fantasy (aggressive)

LegoWomen who are dominant sexually, (older women, dominatrix women, and pro-slutty bad girls)

Even historicals are full of tomboys these days– Young women who can shoot guns, arrows, swordfight, read Greek, do tricks on horseback, etc.

At this point I have to bring up go-to favorite movie character Legolas.  Face it, he’s androgyny on a stick.  In Peter Jackson’s world, elves are all about long hair, amazing cheekbones, and are kinda interchangeable.  The boys are lithe, the girls all seem to have low voices and can fight and ride like men.  I myself would not mind joining into an elf dog pile with any of them, truth be told.  Even with Legolas’s dad who’s a total wanker.

Male modelMaybe this is because I never really embraced the whole beefy male thing in a way – massive thighs, super hairy chest, and big powerful ass – (although I will confess the covers of Laurann Dohner erotic romances makes me eat those words every time.)

I notice the model world is embracing androgyny.  It can give certain models celebrity status (examples).  Perhaps in their biz anyone who makes you give a double take is valuable.

It’s like androgyny is this attractive third gender where everyone embraces that middle ground of boy-girl pretty.

Stav Strashko (4)Just for fun I took the Bem test, which is supposed to tell you if you’re masculine, feminine or androgynous.

I actually scored -7, which is androgynous.  (Shocker!)

What about you?

There are bold souls in our pop world marching off into androgyny territory. Lady Gaga, etc. Psychology today talks about them here.  Check it out!

Tilda Swinton is my fav. androgynous actress.
Tilda Swinton is my fav. androgynous actress.
Tilda femme
Check her out in Orlando–best androgyny movie evah!

Tilda prettyAnd to improve your own locks and cheekbones, don’t forget to follow gender bending Lady Smut today.

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  • Post authorSofie Couch

    Love this post, Madeleine! I’m especially intrigued by the whole conversation around gender, androngeny, transgender and homosexualty. I think the Dad you described is not so uncommon any more. Being in possession of a vocabulary for discussion is how we build understanding and while the vocabulary for what it is to be homosexual is in mainstream culture, the vocabulary for what it is to be transgender or androgenous, or hermaphroditic – those are not discussions that have permeated our culture – yet. And there is no one set of vocabulary linked to any one of those gender-bending roles. Thus, a friend who identifies as homosexual totally does not get what it is to be transgender.He walks a very male line, is attracted to men, yet does not understand what it is to be a woman trapped inside a male body or vice-versa-transgender.
    The young person sitting beside me right now commented that it’s equally difficult to identify as male or female without the accompanying stereotypes that we all associate with someone either male or female. (She may be getting too deep and gender fluid for me this morning… before my coffee.)

    Reply to Sofie Couch
    • Post authorMadeline Iva

      I think there are communities where people are playing all this out–creating vocal, etc, but they’re rather secluded online, and it’s only gradually that things slowly seep out into our culture. We’ve got these movies that come along every now and then — The Crying Game, Orlando, etc.

      Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorC. Margery Kempe

    Tiresius is a fascinating character in mythology. Surprised it’s taken this long to explore the fun in that concept.

    Tilda Swinton is one of my idols. If I could be anyone else — seldom a thought I have — it would be Tilda. Not only would I get to stay in Scotland, but I could look as feral as that. She is an amazing chameleon. Can’t wait for Only Lovers Left Alive: Tilda and Hiddles — whoo hoo!

    Reply to C. Margery Kempe
    • Post authorMadeline Iva

      You’d like/find this movie interesting, CMK. And if not that movie–another by the same director: House of Pleasures. REALLY good and also fascinating and well done.

      Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorLizEverly

    Orlando is one of my favorite movies! I think we are in a kind of cultural paradigm shift when it comes to gender and sexuality, which is a very good thing. 😉

    Reply to LizEverly
    • Post authorMadeline Iva

      You know, I’m going to rent it out again. Just cause.

      Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorMisty Dietz

    This is so interesting! I love gender bending and I like certain traditional gender roles as well like chivalrous behavior in men. I think it’s all about taking things in context. And when it gets right down to it, people need to be who they are and fuck what society thinks. 🙂 I took the test and scored androgynous as well. Great topic! 🙂

    Reply to Misty Dietz
    • Post authorMadeline Iva

      Ha! My fellow androgyne. Hi five.

      Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorC. Margery Kempe

    And I am “nearly masculine” O_o per that quiz. Ha!

    Reply to C. Margery Kempe
  • Post authorElizabeth Shore

    Really fascinating post, Madeline. You raise some very interesting points about gender definitions and perceptions in society. In all honestly, I don’t find androgyny hot, particularly when it comes to men. Long hair I can do and, as I attested to yesterday in my post about manscaping, some trimming is a good thing. But if a guy’s features are too “feminine” it ventures into creepy territory for me because they start to seem almost childlike.

    Reply to Elizabeth Shore
    • Post authorMadeline Iva

      The child like thing is pretty creepy, yes. I do see very much what you’re saying and agree–not hot.

      On the other hand, I — who always admit to going for that cold distant lover type — see the androgyny thing as cool and distant or dispassionate.

      I want to topple that dispassion, is what I want to do, and make the formerly cool-collected person all uncertain and full of quivers.

      Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    Androgyny is hot — my spelling is not! So sorry to my fellow Lady Smut gals for making them stare at a misspelling in the title all day. 🙁 Thanks Elizabeth Shore for pointing it out.

    Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorIndia Drummond

    As a bisexual woman, I’m not surprised that I got +1 on the test. Smack in the middle! 😉

    I discovered my own affection for the androgynous look when I saw Mod Carousel’s parody of Blurred Lines. You might enjoy it:

    Reply to India Drummond
    • Post authorMadeline Iva

      I am checking it out right now–thanks India! 🙂

      Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authordanijace

    Great meeting you today Madeline and what a great post! The Beibs comparison – too funny! And let’s not forget forerunner, David Bowie, if you’re old enough to remember him.

    Reply to danijace
    • Post authorMadeline Iva

      Yes, David Bowie is the best! Great to meet you too yesterday, and thanks so much for stopping by the blog. 🙂

      Reply to Madeline Iva
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