send comunications to
Public Service Googlebomb: Don't register with Verisign.
Last Diary Update: 05/09/02
My Political Compass:
Who Links Here
Friday, April 25, 2003
Shredding Gender Stereotypes.
Last night on my way home I passed a heterosexual couple twisting a map around in their hands (well, his hands), clearly trying to figure out where the hell they were going. I asked them if they needed some help finding something, and they spoke at once: She said "Yes!", he said "No." I confirmed for them that they were headed in the right direction for Hayes Valley and we went on our way.
The difference in their reaction reminded me of this gender test that Jeff linked to yesterday. I'm a little skeptical of the test—why do women add different numbers than men?—but I got a pretty middle of the road 87: a low score, a typical male. I felt a little offended, somehow. Not because I do or don't feel that I behave "culturally male," but because whatever the topic, I generally would prefer to consider myself atypical.
The continuing saga of male control and domination,
If I took the test again, I would probably end up with an even lower score; I found myself later yesterday evening with my failing paper shredder in parts, strewn across my bedroom floor. I've been trying to get inside the thing for years now, so when the cover finally came off, I thought I was going to cream my boxers. Turned out I was *cough* using the wrong kind of screwdriver all this time. Really, I'm more mechanically-minded than you might think.
There's an oft-repeated family story about my father's failed attempt to fix a toaster one afternoon—I'm not sure what happened in that metal case, but in very short order, we were at the store buying a new one. While it's fun to tease my dad about this, admittedly the toaster was failing already, and may have been beyond the skills of a non-professional already. If nothing else, I learned not to try to fix something that you're not willing to replace. And to conceal the evidence if you fail. I did manage to get the shredder operational again (except for one distressingly damaged plastic tooth which had to be removed violently, inspiring some particularly sadistic dental fantasies as I twisted and pulled.)
In some ways, yes, I am carrying on that American-culturally-male expectation of mechanical curiousity. This is supposed to be symbolic of a larger difference between being male and being female? And as a gay man, this bucks the cultural expectation that I am likely to be "feminine" or "nelly." Frankly I resent either expectation. It's this binary, either/or view of gender and, by extension, sexuality, that does society a disservice by setting the stage for the misguided and self-righteous. Viewed on this "Straight-Acting" scale, I will always a gender traitor, a loser in the gender "war", regardless of how I behave, of whether I grow up like my father or my mother—or like neither one at all.
Please excuse me while I run some Freud through my shredder.
I've got no grand insights to provide, except to remind myself to just keep Living My Life ("As hard as I can / as long as I can / as much as I can / as black as I am.") But me, a Typical Male? Hmph, I (doth) protest. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be on the toilet reading the newspaper (a lá Al Bundy) for the next few hours.
06:27 PM PST (link)
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
He Sees Things From Under Glass.
I don't normally get out during the week, but Monday night I got out from behind the glass of the monitor and met the charming and handsome Glenn, who's visiting this week from New York, and his friend D. I was surprised at how familiar D. looked, but San Francisco is a pretty small town in some ways, so there's nothing unusual about that. We met at the Hole In the Wall Saloon for beer and debauchery.
It was soon clear that the only debauchery happening was the man standing behind us touching himself, so D. figured it was time to leave. Though, you know, it's the Hole in the Wall. Isn't there always supposed to be someone there touching himself?
The funny thing was discovering why D. looked so familiar. Turns out he had been in one of the user testing sessions at my work last week. I'd spent an hour watching him from behind one-way mirrored glass. No wonder he looked familiar. Actually this is kind of what it's like meeting people whose Websites you read—you've watched them for a while and might think you know what they're like, but when you come around from the other side of the glass, you might not even recognize them.
Just to further bludgeon the metaphor, the next few weeks are going to bring a lot of out-from-behind-the-glass activities, starting with Dining Out for Life, a fundraiser for AIDS charities in various cities across the country. The Boyfriend suggests that if you can't make it to a participating restaurant here, just eat out somewhere and then write a check to the Stop AIDS Project. That'd work too.
06:28 PM PST (link)
The Houseguest Who Wouldn't Leave.
While our weekend houseguest was very nice, he seems to have left a little something behind. He used one of my black towels while he stayed here. And he wears patchouli oil. While I know some people have a strong reaction to the smell, I'm don't entirely mind it. It reminds me of a sweet guy I went out with for a week when I first moved to the city. But I thought it would come out in the wash.
It did—onto everything else I washed with it.
The t-shirt I'm wearing today has enough patchouli on it for two, or so it seems. I suppose it's also a lot closer to my nose than our houseguest was. But everytime I look down, I get a whiff of old Haight Street. I'm really unused to wearing fragrances of any kind, so I'm even more self-conscious about it. And this office is really not the appropriate place for my Kundalini to rise. Anyone have any suggestions what to do with these clothes, besides burning them?
10:40 AM PST (link)
Monday, April 21, 2003
I Will Not Be Obsessive.
...on the other hand, does anybody want peaches?
05:14 PM PST (link)