I Smell Like a Dude

I’ve got short hair, I wear a lot of flannel, and I wear men’s cologne. By all means, I must be a man.

Seriously though, throughout my whole life I’ve always done things “wrong.” I’ve always been just a bit too masculine.

Once, when I was young, my father yelled at me for trying to dribble a basketball in and out of my legs. He told me that basketball was for boys, and that I should go stand on the side and root for my brothers– “like a cheerleader.” My dad has rarely discouraged me from doing anything, especially on the basis of gender, but this time was different and memorable. I was so hurt by his anger and confused at what I had done wrong. I didn’t want to cheer; I wanted to play ball like my brothers.

Now I realize that my Dad had probably yelled at me because I was wearing a dress and no underwear– not a suitable outfit for the types of mad b-ball skillz I was showing off that day. Oddly, that obvious bit of logical sense didn’t occur to me then at age 6. Instead I thought that my Dad had been embarrassed because I had tried to do what they boys were doing. Maybe I’ve subconsciously been rebelling against those gender stereotypes ever since…

But seriously, half of this gender stuff just makes no sense to me. I mean, most guys expect a lady’s legs to be smooth, right? So let’s do some math:

Having female genetalia = feminine = soft, gentle, cuddly, etc.

So if that’s the case, then why should I have to shave my legs with some shitty, ineffective 2-blade lady bic? Hell no, give me that Gillette Fusion Pro-Glide. 4 blades baby. I want those hairs to scream when they see me coming, which is NOT going to happen as long as I’m wielding some friendly looking pink piece of lady crap.

But my problems go beyond shower time. See, in general I’ve found that I really prefer men’s or unisex colognes. They tend to be much crisper, muskier, and as a migraine-sufferer I am thankful for anything that’s not too potently floral. So today I went to Sephora today to try on scents. After smelling around for a bit and resisting the urge to gag at most of the female scents, I decide that I’m really into Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue pour homme. I go ahead and ask the saleswoman for a sample (which I always do before I commit, just to make sure it’s not going to wear off differently or give me a headache). I was already standing in the men’s fragrance section, clear across the room from the women’s, yet the sales associate helping me seemed subtly convinced that I was confused.

“So you would like Dolce & Gabbana… for men?” Uh huh. “Ok so I will get you a sample of Light Blue… for men…” Yes, thanks. Her comments go on like this for a moment longer until I say “Yes, I like the men’s, I find it smells better with my chemistry.” After that she let it go but I could still see that she was dying to suggest that I try out the pour femme.

It’s actually quite funny to see how bothered some people get when you step out of the binary gender system. It’s as if you’re coming after their own gender identity. Unfortunately, I’ve found in my dating life that having masculine associated qualities often translates to being emasculating.

I was at a bar last year on my birthday and beat a bunch of dudes in foosball. One of them went to buy me a shot, and hoped he could rack up some dude points by showing off his knowledge of scotch. Well, scotch and whiskey are my favorite types of liquor so I was really interested in what he was saying. I got really into the conversation and told him about the rare Balvenie I’d had the other night, and also that if you roll a drop of scotch between your palms, you can sometimes catch the scent of the barrel it was aged in.

Really that was the extent of my knowledge, but he looked at me like I had just sprouted a penis and publicly wacked him in the face with it.

I should have offered him some Dr. Pepper Ten.

Unfortunately, this wonderfully marketed drink hadn’t come out yet, and “Yeah, that was really emasculating” is what he said to me. Then he whipped out his daddy’s credit card and bought me the most expensive glass of scotch that this bar offered, and literally admitted to me that the only way he was going to feel better was if he spent a lot of money on me.

In my opinion that was actually more embarassing but he was getting me drunk so I didn’t ask questions or make fun of him out loud like I was doing in my head.

But let’s get real for a second. This gender stuff drives me crazy and it really is quite fucked up. For one thing, why on earth does having a penis equate with one’s affinity for the color blue? Why is female genitalia an indicator that I probably like to bake? Obviously the answer lies in socialization, but that is where the problems actually worsen. Not only is genitalia NOT a scientific indication for most personal preferences or personality traits, but the idea that it is is also flawed because there are enough people in this world who don’t even fit into those categorizations of sex either. What about those who are intersex? Our need to fit people into gender categorizations is why newborn hermaphroditic babies end up with some of their genetalia cut off before they are even old enough to give permission– losing all sensitivity forever. It is why some of these people grow up feeling that a part of them is missing, or that they have the wrong parts: because their parents were in a rush to make them a normal boy OR girl…

All I’m saying is, some of dis shit be cray and we should probably give it a second thought. I’m not saying we get rid of genders, I’m just suggesting we not be so rigid with it. I mean, right now I smell like a man. I smell like a man but I smell damn good. Every day I get up and I put whorey amounts of makeup on my face and then I spray myself so I smell like a man. Why fix what isn’t broken?


2 thoughts on “I Smell Like a Dude

  1. Jasmine says:

    I…completely agree with you. I wish I could word this as well as you.

    • Kelsey says:

      Jasmine I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from… well not glad but at least I’m not alone! Hurrah for badass chicks like us 😉

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