Guy Talk: Men and Gender Expression

Welcome to Guy Talk, a serious space to discuss masculinity, good and bad. This week’s discussion will be on “gender expression”.

Gender expression is the way that a person communicates their gender. How we cut and style our hair, what clothes we wear, how we move and position our bodies as we go through life – all these things are part of gender expression.

We often express our gender subconsciously, men more so than women as we can usually conform with less effort. Today though, I want us to think hard about all the different ways we show the world that we are a “man”.

An example to get you started: one day in school, I was examining my nails, holding my hand up with the palm facing away from me. Another boy told me that this was how a woman looks at her nails; I should instead turn my hand over and clench my fist.

One more thing: please remember that “man” is a gender category, and not dependent on the sex we were assigned at birth – having a penis does not automatically make you a man.