For a long time, women have fought — and are still fighting — to overcome gender roles and expectations. However, it’s important to remember that rigid ideas about what men and women “should” or “shouldn’t” do isn’t just bad for women.
A Dec. 17th thread asked the men of Reddit, “What girly thing do you really want to do or try but it is socially unacceptable?” Responses ranged from cuddling etiquette (“Being the little spoon”) to fashion woes (“Toe socks”) and showing emotion (“Crying in public without getting judged”).
Here are 11 of our favorite answers:
1. Have more stylish clothing options. As bradleynowell252 pointed out, “Girls just get so many choices on nice things to wear and still look good, even in a casual manner.” It’s true that while women can wear “masculine” clothing free of judgment, the same can not be said for men in “feminine” clothing. “Also, fancy hats. It’s a shame that only women get to have awesome adornments in their headwear without any social stigma,” lokiikol noted.
2. Be able to talk about other men being attractive. Kbjami brought up an important point when he wrote: “Talking about how hot Brad Pitt is. I’m not gay but I find Brad Pitt quite attractive. Actually just talking about how attractive males are in general.” We completely agree, men should definitely be able to compliment other men. And Brad Pitt is very attractive.
3. Order “girly drinks.” “For just once, I’d like to get to order yummy pink drinks with chunks of real fruit that guys secretly like but can’t order because they’ll be made fun of,” responded Reddit user Dwarf–shortage. We think everyone should be able to drink Flirtinis, Mudslides and Fuzzy Navels — they’re delicious!
4. Get treated to a spa day. We can all agree that there are few places more relaxing than a spa. So why is it only socially acceptable for women to attend these heaven-on-earth establishments? Euphuist said that he would love to get a “Mani/pedi, face mask, all that jazz. Colour me intrigued.”
5. Carry a purse. Emmy_Bee was one of the first to comment: “Not gonna lie. A purse would be hella convenient.” And Riverchimp pointed out some of the exciting things one could carry around in a purse: “Could you imagine how much beer you could fit in a purse? Probably 8 cans. 8 friggin cans! With you all the time!”
6. Dance like no one’s watching. Sadly, rigid gender roles even follow men to the dance floor. As Charbok wrote, “When I get drunk I love to dance like a girl. I’m a big fan of twerking. I also like to dance with my arms up, like in a girly way.”
7. Wear makeup. Although the politics of beauty culture are quite complicated, and no one should feel compelled to wear makeup all the time, it can be a really fun way to express oneself. Unfortunately, men rarely have the option of wearing makeup without judgment. As RamsesThePigeon noted, “I’m a decent-looking guy, but a little eyeliner and some foundation could still work wonders for me.”
8. Get pampered by women. Chivalry and tradition teach young men they should buy meals and movie tickets, but many responded that they would like to be wined and dined once in awhile. We agree with kbjami on this one, “I also love flowers and think girls should also buy men flowers.” While no one — man or woman — enjoys being ditched after a drink, Radiationshield had a point when he wrote: “Get a girl to pay for my drink, then disappear like a phantom in the night.”
9. Wear yoga pants. Baseballwiz definitely said it best: “Wear yoga pants. I’ve worn them in private before. it feels like kittens hugging your legs.”
10. Have fun with one’s children without being judged. Chairforceveteran put it perfectly when he wrote:
11. Be able to show emotion without being labeled as gay or a “p*ssy.” Whether it was crying over a sad movie or simply relating to a guy friend, an overwhelming amount of respondents felt they couldn’t be openly emotional or sensitive without some sort of backlash. “Sometimes if I’m upset I wish I could just cry and not feel bad about it,” Thee_Gonz admitted. If this isn’t proof that strict gender roles hurt men, we don’t know what is.