1. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Switching Gender Roles

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by MilesTro, Apr 10, 2013.

    How would a male character act if he is in a girl's role, and how would a female character act like if she is in a boy's role? Think of the most stereotypical roles that genders do in daily life. And if they go on a date, how will it be different from normal romantic moments?

    I think the male in a girl's role would be metro sexual and emotional. And the female in s boy's role would be a tomboy. What do you think?
     
  2. Lorravan
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    Lorravan Member

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    I'd image the guy would probably take forever getting ready. He'd probably change his outfit like 09270923 times before leaving the house.
    The girl would probably show up in casual clothing, realizing that she's probably under dressed.

    Is this the kind of stuff you're looking for?
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not clear on what you're asking. What is the context for this set up? What, exactly, do you mean, and why are the roles reversed?
     
  4. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    It can be in any context, and the idea is just reversed genders.

    In the creative writing class last year, we did something like this in a written play. It is about a doctor who stops at a highway to help a real estate woman. The woman acts kind of nosy and seductive who is trying to take control of the doctor. The doctor tries to avoid her control because he is late for work. My writing group were given an assignment to switch their gender roles, like how would a man act in the woman's situation, and how the woman would act in the man's situation.
     
  5. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess this is hard for me because I don't really see "traditional" roles in dating anymore. I never much cared for dating anyway, so I was glad not to do it much. Other than the standard woman would pay and try to get guy to invite her up to his place afterward, I'm not sure what else would happen. It's so much just about two people getting to know each other, and so many people don't exhibit gender-based roles while at a dinner. Maybe the man only orders a salad? The woman selects a wine from the wine list? She waits for him to sit before sitting? He orders first? She has driven her car, picks him up, and drives him home. She pauses and hopes he invites her up. He does, so she gets out of the car, walks around the car, opens his door and takes his hand while he gets out? Once they're inside his home, she kisses him.
    I don't necessarily envision this scene with the woman as a tomboy. On the contrary, when I imagine it, I picture her dressed in a very feminine and sexy manner.
     
  6. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Sounds like the girl will do all the work, and the boy will only admire her. Plus she might enjoy the boy's looks as the boy study her personality.
     
  7. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the boy would still enjoy her looks. Really, to both genders, both personality and physical attractiveness are something they're assessing, especially on an early or first date. I'm not sure I agree with "only admire her." He'd be trying to figure out his level of attraction, just as she is.

    Maybe, instead of focusing on personality, the boy might be trying to gauge how much money she has. And she might be trying to make it seem like she has a lot.

    He notices what car she's driving.
     
  8. Lorravan
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    Lorravan Member

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    The girl would do the cheesy arm stretch thing and put her arm around the guy if they were going to a movie or something.
     
  9. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    What about asking out on a date, or first meeting and becoming attracted to the other. If the typical male and female psychology are switched, how would this scene be different then the typical boy meets girl. Like a girl, how would the boy interact, and like a boy, how would the girl interact? They can still wear the usual oppsite sex clothing; boy wear suit and girl wear dress.
     
  10. Lorravan
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    Lorravan Member

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    Maybe the girl would say some cheesy pick up line? She'd buy him a drink at a bar and ask if he'd like to join her for dinner or coffee or something? The guy would be in a group of other guys and there'd be a fat guy that had this look about him like "we came together, we're leaving together!" so their conversation is cut short or something?
     
  11. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    I view "girls roles" and "boys roles" as a social construction that does not always have any truth in reality. For example: There are boys who spend more time in front of the mirror than any girl and there are many girls who don't want the boy to pay for the meal.

    To be stereotypical, "switching the gender roles" would mean:

    - The girl would pay for the guy's meal.

    - The girl would make the first steps. The boy would be shy and reluctant, while the girl would be the first one to initiate kissing, caressing etc.

    - The girl would do most of the talk.

    - The girl would follow the guy home.

    - The guy would be extremely insecure about whether the girl would like him or not.

    - The guy would spend more time in front of the mirror than the girl.


    This is the opposite of the stereotypical view on how a man/boy should act. The boy should be the "active part" and the girl should be the "passive part", according to traditionalists.



    Difficult to say...........
    Individuals are very different, no matter what their sex is. I believe there is more difference within the groups of men and women than there is between men and women. I don't believe much in the concept of "inbuilt gender behaviour/psychology".
    But if you want to write about a stereotypical boy meeting a stereotypical girl, and you want these roles to be switched, the girl would have to take the "active part". She would be the one to ask the boy out and the boy would probably act shy and red around the girl.
     
  12. Lorravan
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    Lorravan Member

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    Sorry, I hope I'm not offending anyone with my replies to this thread, I'm only posting stereotypes that I see in TV/movies and reversing the roles.
    I agree with everything Drusilla said above ^
    If the roles were reversed, the girl would definitely do most of the talking while the guy would probably be really quiet and shy most of the date.
     
  13. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    That's sound funny. It reminds me of a book I read about being a player. I would imagine the girl coming into a bar and checking out the guys based on their looks. When she finds a handsome guy, she will approach him and use her techique to get him interested to her. I don't know much on human psychology, but I know how most typical people act.
     
  14. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    The problem I have here, is that rather than coming across as pre-defined gender roles, it comes across merely as a bad date. For one party to be doing most of the talking while the other is quiet and shy, means that there's not a real meeting of the minds or natural flow of conversation. They're not 'clicking.' There should be a lot of give and take, and a lot of smiling and laughing. That's where you get two people who are on the same wavelength. Even if one person is shy, he or she will open up if they're with someone they can talk to and with whom they can share common interests, as well as a similar sense of humor, and ideas about what's important.

    A potentially more interesting, and thought-provoking juncture is when the couple is back at his place, after she's brought him back to his home. Maybe they're having a glass of wine. Maybe she takes it from him and kisses him. But what happens next? Where do we go with this idea of what is typically male versus female? Does the female have to be the more aggressive person? What does it mean if she's the one who wants to have sex? Is it un-female like to want or desire sex? Does he have to remain passive? What does that mean for him? Does she have to start removing his clothes, seeing how long before it takes him to stop her? There are a variety of scenarios here -- he can get really into it, also, and again, what does this mean, as far as our expectation of stereotypes? He could resist and tell her to stop. What are we to make of this? Is he physically aroused? Does he stop her anyway? What is it that he wants at this point, and what does that say about his masculinity or femininity?

    We could also arrive at a middle ground, which is dangerous territory, and a situation where in the current world, even a guy who would be horrified to be thought of as a rapist could potentially become one. If one party is passive and neither says to go ahead or says no, what do we make of that? And what might happen in a rape trial? Would the guy's erection be evidence that he really wanted it to happen? What about orgasm? What about the idea that it'd be next to impossible to force the guy if he were passed out drunk?

    All of these pre-ordained sex roles fall apart once we get to a certain level of the relationship between the two particular people and once we get into sexual issues. At some point, the lines can be very blurry and we can't say for sure what behavior would be appropriately masculine or feminine.
     
  15. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Well how about the guy is full of feminity and the girl is full of masculinity, but not based on their looks.
     
  16. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Again, I think this falls apart once we reach a certain point. If he is "full of femininity," does he have to not want sex? I'm not sure how he's supposed to act at this point. Again, I think this area makes for an interesting examination of what we consider masculine or feminine.

    As for the rest of the evening, I'm not sure there's much else to add beyond what's already been stated -- the paying of the check, ordering of wine, picking the guy up and bringing him back home.

    With respect to the initial asking out on the date -- I guess she'd approach him, ask for his number, he'd wait for her to call, and then she'd call him and ask him out, planning the date herself.
     
  17. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    If he doesn't want sex, he will try to be careful of what girl he intereacts with, unless he gets drunk. And like a lazy person, if interested, he will allow his date do everything.

    I guess this does help for us to understand more about the oppossite sex by switching the known roles of man and woman.
     
  18. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, but you can't always tell. If she's not physically stronger than him, it would be very difficult for her to force him. And unlike a woman, if the man in this scenario gets drunk, it would be almost impossible to get him to have sex, so the danger is no where near as great as it would be for a woman in that situation.

    Hummm-- this is interesting. What does "like a lazy person" mean? Is it lazy only in reference to a man? Is it lazy if a woman does that? In some circles, folks think that's exactly what a woman should do.
     
  19. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    I think being lazy allows the targeted love interest to see how far the interested person will go. It also deals with experimenting with the person before the love interest decides to accept the person. The girly boy will observe how well the boyish girl will gain his interest to be sure if she is safe or boring.

    And also if the girl tries to rape the boy, she will fail if she is physically weak. The girl boy will escape like a runaway damsel in distress. Although he is stronger, he would be too chicken to defend himself. But in this scene, the manly girl is more like a gentleman who respects the opposite sex.
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think the real problem is thinking there really are firm gender roles, apart from behavior directly related to reproduction. And not all of that is gender-locked either.

    Most so-called gender roles are cultural conventions, and are ephemeral.
     
  21. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    I agree, it's difficult to define gender roles these days. For example in my relationship with my wife:
    I cook every night.
    She doesn't like me to pay for things.
    She spends many many hours playing computer games.
    I actively participate in our relationship. (Something apparently her friends husbands don't do.)
    I have wanted kids for years, she's just coming around to the idea.

    It's a difficult thing to say how would people react if their gender roles were reversed. Simply because often that depends on how people react to things.
    If I spontaneously sprouted breasts and my penis dropped off, I doubt I'd react to most things any differently than I do now, because the person I am determines how I react to things, not my gender.
    Though of course, if I DID spontaneously sprout breasts and lost my penis, I imagine I'd be going through some stuff mentally, which would change how I'd react to some things.
     
  22. Nee
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    I have always done most of the cooking in my relationships: but that's just because I am a pretty good cook. And you can save a lot of money if you can cook these days.
     
  23. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think this is correct -- there's very little that's necessarily masculine or feminine, except for a very few things that are directly related to reproduction, and when you get to that stage, there aren't a lot of different ways to behave. One person could take a more dominant role, but even that is up for grabs as far as which gender does that. I think a lot of what's considered masculine or feminine in some ways breaks down. Other aspects are just not changeable.

    As far as the other minor conventions, a lot of men would find it attractive for a woman to plan and even pay for the date, or to ask him out. Things like cooking, I think, have fallen pretty far off the gender-role radar. There are quite a few male foodies, and I've seen a lot of instances of men cooking for women on dates, or to impress women.
     
  24. Mithrandir
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    Mithrandir Contributing Member

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    Hormones severely affect the way men and women behave. This is a fact.

    Gender roles are surprisingly similar all over the world, even in isolated areas. I trust history and biology over neo-feminism. I.e, gender roles in society come mostly from economic development and biological fact. Does that mean all men and women are stereotypes? Certainly not.

    What does this mean practically? Look at past societies with similar environmental and economic situations to determine gender roles accurately. Women in Roman Constantinople were well educated and freely associated with the opposite gender. Women in both feudal Japan and feudal Europe had similar societal roles.

    (And so ends my nature vs. nurture rant.)
     
  25. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are also some societies, such as some Native American ones that are matriarchal in nature. The economic development/biological fact basis is from the fact that there was no birth control and women often died in childbirth or from pregnancy complications. Because this is no longer the case in advanced societies, there's no reason for most of the roles.

    And the point was made that certain behaviors relating to sex does lead to some differences.

    You quoted my post and then disagreed with it. Do you disagree that some men would find it attractive for a woman to plan and pay for a date? Do you think cooking is or should be relegated to women? Some of these behaviors would be signals, for example from the man, to indicate that he was able to provide- - that he has a lot of money or sufficient money for the woman to live in a way she would find desirable and that he would be capable of providing resources necessary for children. Since this economic issue is no longer the driving factor in most relationships, given that women are able to earn a living, as well, these considerations, while they still exist on some level, don't loom as large as the would have in an earlier time. And there are men, who would be happy to find a woman who was able to provide a lot of money for him and his family.

    I'm curious about where you think my post either implied or stated something that you believe is incorrect.
     

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