Wednesday, November 19, 2014

There's Just No Denying it Karen? Or Is There?

Makes you think, doesn't it?

Made this one for Anne Oni Mouse on the Haven. I often wonder about body language and if it's a learned behavior or innately female and/or male, and how much is societal, depending on race or other external stimuli. In truth, its probably a bit of both. We probably pick up things just from seeing adults and emulate them, and some might have to do with the pecking order from top to bottom.

I know a bit about this just from doing Halloween a few times in a dress and/or other feminine attire. I differentiate between doing Rocky Horror and dressing up like a female as they are two separate things, though doing RHPS made me a much better walker in heels. When you are in heels, there is a different posture that must be taken, and it makes you take smaller steps, thrusts out certain body parts, and can keep you on the lookout for potential trips. As with the clothes, they tend to be thinner and make you feel more exposed. Without pockets, all your belongings are in a bag hanging off your shoulder which can be easily misplaced. Lastly, people are judging you all the time, a few male friends of mine were sort of embarrassed as they were looking at me without realizing it was me (from behind) and was like "look at the legs of that woma .. oh God! It's Damien!"

I wonder if all the things that women do in regards to that also influence their body language. I can't tell you how many time I had to smooth out a skirt or pull it down as it was showing too much leg, and as I was flirting with a female, I actually rubbed my hosed ankle and brushed away fake lint off my skirt and ummmm, dangled my heels.

Anyway, those experiences plus the body language we use, either consciously or subconsciously, made me write up this caption. As I wrote in the post in her trading folder:
I think you are going to be like that for awhile. I mean, my theory HAS to be peer reviewed, and there could be some effort to say that heels place females in a subordinate position, at least as an underlying principle, etc ...
The way the experiment was set up, there doesn't seem to be a control subject to balance it out, so the data is bound to be flawed. What really would have to be done is a videotaping of the month prior to the change, then say 3-6 months in the female body, THEN another month or two to film Karen becoming male again to see if any of the behaviors linger (perhaps he acts in a feminine manner, a la flamingly gay man?) and then lastly, a decision to let him remain male or go back to Karen.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: So, what do you think of the theory itself? Is it more social and societal, or innate? Did you enjoy the actual caption?


  1. Nice cap Dee! I've often wondered where certain mannerisms come from. Society/culture, gender, situational? There are distinct ‘male’ and ‘female’ mannerisms, but I’ve seen far more people (both male and female) fall into a middle ground. For example, the female nurses I work with don’t move about in any real ‘feminine’ way. If they did, they’d be an obvious target for our patients’ attention. The male nurses also don’t move about in an overt ‘masculine’ way.

    If I had to guess, I’d say that most natural mannerisms that people learn come from their social circle. As children (and young adults) it’s most defined by their friends rather than their parents. I recall a time while playing in the college’s Jazz Band being questioned about the way I kept count with my feet. Most of the band were tapping along with their foot hitting the floor ‘on’ the beat, while I tapped along in the opposite fashion. My toe was up ‘on’ the beat. I’m sure the person sitting/standing next to me was curious as they saw my tapping and it threw them off, but the question itself made me change my own system simply because it was pointed out as different. I didn’t want to be different and therefore changed my own mannerism to match up with the current group’s mannerism.

    Just picture kids walking to school together. A simple question of ‘Why do you swing your arms like that?’ or ‘Why do you take such small steps?’ could enforce societies norms on a child. Thankfully I don’t believe we live in a society that enforced gender based mannerisms. Boys aren’t expected to walk/talk/act like men and girls aren’t expected to walk/talk/act like women. Only overtly opposite gender behaviors are frowned upon… boys shouldn’t act like women, girls shouldn’t act like men. Both can act in the middle ground ‘non gender’ based way.

    And of course some behaviors are based on situations like you point out in the caption. The way a woman handles her skirt will always be looked upon as feminine as there is no male version of smoothing out his skirt or stretching his feet in his heels. About the only male action like that I can think of is a man adjusting his tie.

    Anywho… great cap (yeah… I upgraded it from nice to great!). It really got me thinking about mannerisms and I know for the next few days I’ll be watching how people move and act a lot more closely.

    1. Perhaps its changed a bit, but I still see much in the way of, "don't worry Becky, just let it out and you'll feel better" when she skins her knee, but "suck it up Barry and be a man!" to the boy playing with her at the park. I also remember making sure I carried my books by my side when I was in middle school, because, "only girls carry their books against their chest or in a bag." Hell, due to that, I didn't use a book bag or backpack at all until college!

      Interesting musical gender thing. In college, one of the voice ensemble classes was pretty much spent listening to the sopranos fuck up their parts. At the end of the time slot, he dismissed us and as we were leaving, I sang the soprano part perfectly .. and the conductor said, "who sang that? Its exactly what I wanted!" and I sang it again for him, and he was screaming at the girls, "Why can't you sing it like Damien does, and he's ONLY a tenor!"

  2. Great cap Dee! Sexy pic..
    On the topic of mannerisms I will agree that clothes help bring out what's truly inside. I'm sure some things are learned but I think we all have our ideas of how to behave socially for gender roles.
    For instance, working in jeans, boots and a flannel would make the prettiest women feel more masculine and rough. And provided its actual work and not a photo shoot for "Binford tools" on "Tool Time" (regardless what Tim or Al say, lol), the women wearing the rugged attire will probably not act as girly.
    On the other side of the coin, if a real rugged manly guy were to shave his entire body and go to the salon for a complete make over. Put on some sexy little black dress, pantyhose heels and makeup, I'm sure he'd. Have a hard time acting tough and manly when appearing so feminine.
    I know depending on how I'm dressed it sort of finds my personality. It has a lot to do with it.

    Then there are certain traits I think come natural to males or females. Probably instinctively passed down over thousands upon thousands of years. Some were probably unaware of and only our primal sub consciousness picks up on. :)

    Fun topic Dee, thanks for bringing it up.
    xoxoxo Katie