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Girls and boys

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

Girls and boys

Andrew Ryan

I’ve generally gotten along much better with men than women. In high school, I was more than content to hang out with the boys on weekends, drinking beers, smoking bongs and playing pool, than to sit around with the girls and natter about some annoying girl we knew or how hot some guy was. I tried the girly thing a couple of times as a teenager, and while I definitely had a few close girl friends, as soon as you got a group of them together in a group, it all went wrong. That movie, Mean Girls, is pretty spot on with how teenage girls tend to interact, especially if they don’t like reading books.

Now that I am a little more grown up, I’ve come to realise that while certain attributes may be associated with a certain gender, it is a little more complicated than just male and female. It’s more like this: masculine man, masculine female, feminine female, feminine man.
My favourite kinds of people are the inbetweeners: masculine women and feminine males. One of my favourite new people, for example, is a boy who rides BMX, smokes lots of weed, likes John Wyndam, listens to punk and hip hop, and studies fashion design. At first glance, he seems to be some sort of skinny tough guy BMX badass, covered in tattoos and scars but he’s actually incredibly sweet and caring. This is not what is generally considered to be a masculine quality.

On the other side, the housemate of a friend of mine is described as the “most man-like girl you’ll ever meet”. She is gorgeous, passionate and career driven, and when it comes to relationships, it just isn’t in her nature to do all the little girly things: subdued flirting, giggling, eye flutters, touching, none of that. She’s straight to the point, and will do things for people as a sign of affection, rather than telling them. That’s a classic masculine trait, and one that is refreshing to find in a girl.

As for myself, I have no idea where I stand in this masculine feminine thing. I know that I am definitely of the woman variety (well, maybe not just yet. I still feel like a kid), but I seem to display both masculine and feminine qualities equally, based on the research I’ve done.

The other interesting thing I’ve noticed is that if there is any sort of lack of understanding of where someone is coming from (in personal disputes etc), the first response is to attribute any unknown factor to the stereotype of that person’s gender. “Why is she being such a crazy person? Because women are over-emotional, she can’t help herself.” Fucking dummies. With all the information we have at our disposal these days (see: internet is the best), it’s completely within our reach to learn about the differences between people, why certain kinds of people act the way they do, and what we can do to help reduce the amount of conflict and drama in our lives, thus potentially working towards make the world a nice and more peaceful place. Yeah. IT’S POSSIBLE AND ALSO VERY EASY. Look up “Gender Differences” on Wikipedia and have a little read, it’s that fucking simple. Women aren’t crazy and men aren’t stupid. Femininity equals more sensitivity, and masculinity equals an inclination towards logic.

But then again, maybe it doesn’t matter so much if we do all sort out our differences. The only reason we care about them is because we require the other gender in order to reproduce. If technology carries on progressing the way it is now, it’s possible that women won’t even need men for babies any more. Or men won’t need women, WHO KNOWS?! Then we can all live on separate islands/planets and never have to bother about getting along. But that probably wouldn’t be as fun, would it?