play to his masculinity

was part of an ad I saw on YouTube. Tips for

“getting the guy,” standing out, making him notice.

He wants to feel powerful, the ad informed, and if

he feels that way around you, he’ll want to be with you.

So remind him, its advice ran, how strong he is:

let him know that “I feel so safe around you.”

Play to his masculinity.

 

But some women, including me, wouldn’t feel comfortable

taking that advice, and this issue is much deeper than some ad

promoting a company’s product on YouTube. I don’t feel comfortable

letting a guy believe I want him to protect me—and I don’t like it

when boys will hold open the door for me, or try to pay,

or pick up my bag to carry. I know they aren’t implying that I’m not able

to do these things myself. But as they try to take the “heavy work,”

they’re also taking an affirmation of their masculinity—

at a cost to us, as they reduce our sense of independence and force us

to defer to their masculinity.

 

Most men don’t even seem to realize this is an issue, but a lot of women

aren’t able to honestly “play to their masculinity” in order to let them

feel strong, without losing through it just as much as they’re gaining.

This poem is about: 
Our world

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