It's that time of year again, my brothers are going back to college. I'll miss them, as misogynistic and annoying as they can be, I'll certainly miss them.
Wednesday night involved cupcakes, the friends of my siblings, and a viewing of The Italian Job. After the movie I got to chatting with one of my younger brothers, and his friend. For some reason, we started talking about self defense (probably because my younger brother and his friend are oddly obsessed with legal violence). I chimed in, since I work at a warehouse and am occasionally there alone and therefore actually have a reason to think about self defense (although, granted, not much of a reason). The conversation escalated until we were hypothetically choosing weapons to fend of hypothetical attackers. Something about it galled me, but I wasn't sure what.
Then, from across the room a friend of my sister (T.) broke in "do you guys have to keep talking about violence?"
He was genuinely disturbed by our conversation. Then I realized why I was so unnerved, while the conversation had disturbed me as well I felt that somehow I could not back out of it. I was having a man-off with these two dudes, and you don't back down from a man-off. I had to defend my manhood (womanhood? Whatever) or else admit to dishonor. I held on for a few more minutes, then decided that defending whatever the hell I was defending by not being the first one to leave the conversation wasn't really worth my time. I went across the room and talked to T. about musicals. It was much more edifying.
Manhood and manliness are weird. For some reason my younger brother has always treated me more or less like "one of the guys" perhaps because of my intense disgust with "girly things". In fact, we talked about what actresses we found most attractive way back before I even considered coming out. He's given me a glance into the world of manliness, and I don't really like what I see. The whole thing seems overly complicated and constricting. Gender roles are confusing, I think I'll stay queer.