Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Androgynous Man

Category Gender, Masculinity, Sex
Words 1400 (5 pages)
14 views

The Androgynous Man At a point in Noel Perrin’s life, he suddenly became conflicted over his masculinity. It was such a breakthrough, that he had to analyze the whole situation. Although it took some years to finally grasp the concept of it, Perrin is now comfortable and understands the logic behind the typical gender roles; not from research and other people’s work, but from his own experience and his own ideas. At an age where you would generally start to develop from a boy to a man, age sixteen, Noel Perrin found himself on a three-day trip from New York to Steamboat Springs, Colorado to become an assistant horse wrangler.

On this trip with him, Perrin brought Gone with the Wind and a handful of magazines that obtained some interesting articles. In a short period of time, Perrin was out of reading material so he then went back and read all the boring articles and all the quizzes that you would find in a magazine at the time. One of the quizzes that really caught Perrin’s eye was “How Masculine/ Feminine Are You? ” The quiz consisted of inkblots that had four options as choices and you would answer the option that you thought the inkblot most resembled.

When Perrin finished this quiz and then found out his results, he was astonished by the conclusion. On a scale from one to ten of masculinity, Perrin was an abysmal 1. 2. Perrin was so confounded over the results that he then went back and analyzed every option. From this, he came up with two basic patterns that he found in the inkblot choices. Perrin claims that males would relate to the inkblots as man-made objects while, females would relate to the inkblots as natural objects.

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He then went on to conclude that the test itself was using limited criteria and that masculinity/femininity is more complicated than this test states. Perrin believes that there are a large percent of males and females who are androgynous or have both gender qualities. Furthermore, Perrin then proceeds to classify the different gender types; specifically for the male. Perrin strongly insists that there are men who are the “he-man” or the one hundred percent man. These men are attracted to physical power and dominance.

Also, these “he-men” are so unselfconsciously at ease that other men try to imitate them. The reasoning for the imitation is that generally men think that they have to be the one hundred percent male. These imitators fail to come to the realization that just like women; men also come in a wide variety of types. Perrin then goes on to say that these imitators spend their whole life trying to play that role that they’re scared to believe in a weakness in them. Admittedly, Perrin strongly believes that androgynous people are growing by the numbers.

He makes a connection with the women’s movement for the breakthrough of androgynes, but Perrin also believes that one mistake women have done is that they think that all men should be androgynous; this would lead to a very “dull” world Perrin states. Perrin subsequently proceeds to give us his ideal or definition of the androgynous man. He uses his own situations such as feeding his kids, how he knows nothing about cars, buying a book called Home Repairs Any Woman Can Do and how some emotional scenes from movies get him all choked up.

Overall, the definition of the androgynous man is having traits of the opposite sex in a casual way. After examining Perrin’s article, The Androgynous Man, I find myself mostly agreeing with his definition of the androgynous man and how their numbers are growing. I tend to agree with most of his ideas except for the fact of how he claims it’s so wrong to be an imitator. When I read about Perrin's version of the “he-man’ or the “one-hundred percent male”, I automatically thought of James Bond. I think the term now would a “man’s-man”.

What’s not manlier than ordering a dry martini, driving a sports car, being a monogamist, or probably the manliest thing of them all, having a gun? What male doesn’t want to have at least one of those things? So when Perrin states that:Partly they’re [imitators] just envious of the he-man’s unconscious ease. Mostly they’re terrified of finding that there may be something wrong with them deep down, some weakness at the heart. To avoid discovering that, they spend their lives acting out the role that the he-man naturally lives. Sad. (Perrin, Page 247-248) I completely disagree with hat. Perrin makes it sound like it’s such a burden to be envious or jealous of those manly qualities. I think it’s human nature to do that and there is nothing wrong with acting out that way. No man is going to say “I want to be that guy”, instead they’re saying “I want to be LIKE that guy”, combining the qualities you have already with the ones that you don’t have. I believe if you’re not constantly searching to be better in life or have better qualities, whether they’re manlier or not, what’s the point of existing in life? It’s human nature to try to be better in one way or another.

For example, if there’s an update for your iphone, are you not going to take it? No, because that update is going to make it better. Same rules apply to human life. Another issue I have with another one of Perrin’s opinions is he also believes that “…they [imitators] aren’t as free as us androgynes” (Perrin, Page 247). Perrin doesn’t really back up his opinion here, as he also states that his “Answer is mere speculation, but not casual” (Perrin, Page 247). Well, if you can’t back this up, don’t state it. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Ford is better than Chevrolet and when you ask, why?

I’m not going to answer, “Just because it is”. No one would respect or acknowledge my opinion then and I believe the same applies to this matter. When Perrin can come up with proven facts to back up this statement, I will act accordingly. In conclusion, Perrin was right about many things such as the androgynous men and women growing by the numbers and how it’s more accepted now a days. Overall, I think it’s the “one-hundred percent man” or the “one-hundred percent woman” that need to stay alive to add balance to the gender roles so that we don’t lose sight of our roots.

Responsibility I think as students, at this time in our lives, we can all agree that at least over the past five years or so, one word that keeps being brought up is responsibility. This word has been drilled into our heads since around the age of 16. When you wanted a job, were you responsible enough? When you wanted your driver’s license, were you responsible enough? When you wanted to go out and party, were you responsible enough? I strongly believe that the more we get older, the more responsibility we take on. Responsibility is a form of trust and accountability.

We all reached a point in our life where we all had to start taking accountability for our own actions. Depending on what the action was, we were either corrected or not. This would be implemented mostly by our parents. For me at least, the form of correction would be punishment. If I went out at night and came home past curfew I would get grounded. So next time if I’m not home on time and know I will be late, I call ahead to confirm it with my parents so I’ll get a lesser form of punishment or best case scenario, no punishment at all. This would be an example of responsibility.

Today, I have countless acts of responsibility. I pay my own car payment and my own car insurance. I also pay for my cell phone bill. Also, the most important responsibility to me is taking care of my own two dogs, Duke and Lola. I think the more we get older the more responsibility we take on and handle. It’s part of growing up. You can’t ignore it. You have to embrace it. If not, you’ll see how hard life can truly be. Works Cited: Perrin, Noel. "The Androgynous Man. " 40 Model Essays: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Jane E. Aaron. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005. 246-49. Print.

Androgynous Man essay

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