Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm just one of the girls

Let me tell you something horrible: the other night I was working on a project with some of my female friends from the social work department and they invited me to a “Girl’s Night Out.”

Needless to say I was devastated. Crushed! Shattered! Heartsick! I am not a girl! Don’t get me wrong, though, there’s nothing wrong with being a girl. It’s just, well, I’m not.

And I declare, with whomever is reading and the rest of Internet as my witness, that I am one hundred percent heterosexual (even though some say this is a controversial statement to make) and I totally like girls. I would hang out with other men in the social work department, but I am afraid there are none. It’s just me, swimming in a sea of estrogen.

“I’m not a girl!” I said, stupidly and obviously.

“Yeah, we’re not saying you’re a girl, but you’re cool,” they said, a little too soothingly. “You’re different. We like hanging out with you. You’re not like other guys.”

What the heck is that supposed to mean? I was livid. I think I felt like a dog feels when he gets neutered. It was awful. Somewhere, somehow I had lost something very precious to me and I wanted desperately to get it back.

“So what makes me so different?” I asked defensively.

“Well, for one, you don’t jabber about sports all the time.”

OK, that’s true. I haven’t a clue about sports. I certainly am not interested in watching them. I just don’t see the point. And I don’t like to play sports either. Maybe a little racquetball here and there, but that’s it. This is not to say I don’t like to exercise, because I do. I will gladly bike, run or hike, and I try to do so on a regular basis. But when it comes to angry, yelling, cursing dudes playing basketball and throwing elbows, you can count me out.

“So does that make me less of a man?” I asked brokenly.

“Oh, no!” they said. “You’re very manly, it’s just that you listen and you don’t run around continually trying to assert your male dominance.”

Hmmm. That’s good, I think? But still, I don’t want to get turned into a woman by default. Can’t I be a man and a non-jerk at the same time? I’m confused.

I guess there will always be stupid dudes who want to prescribe what a man can and can’t do, and if that prescription includes sports and guns and being super-aggressive all the time then I just won’t fit in. I guess my father got a lot of grief from his father for helping change diapers and for sharing the cleaning and cooking with my mom because that was all “woman’s work.” I think I will follow my father's fine example and just do my own thing.

As silly as it sounds, I do worry a little about losing some masculinity. All through high school and college I worked at Jiffy Lube and fancied myself a “Man’s Man.” I wore a uniform and got grease, oil and gasoline on me every single day. I lifted heavy stuff and got burned and used power tools. The only subjects we talked about were cars and women and that was it.

Now I’m going to be a social worker, and let’s face it: social work as a profession is pretty much all female. How will I persevere? Am I going to turn into a woman and lose all of my masculinity? What will become of me?

Maybe I can take testosterone supplements or something.


  1. Aww you sound like a really nice guy...hope you won't mind hearing that.
    My husband works in grease and uses massive tools (no rude pun - minds out of the gutter) for a living, but he comes home and irons and cooks with me.
    Yesterday he cleaned the oven. I swear it makes us women love you guys more.

  2. I agree with Kez, you do sound nice. I think the girls in your social work classes just always end up having "girl's nights" together because there aren't many males. And since you were there they invited you along more as a "you're part of social work" than you're part of girls night"

  3. since i'm a girl, and i'm also on a social work program, this was pretty funny to read!
    you have it made as a guy social worker, you're going to be automatically successful...what agency isn't going to want to hire a male social worker? so have fun with it :)

  4. Wow. I had no idea how much you would have fit in with the gypsy-jazz outing I invited you to.

  5. Don't let it get to you. In the end, girl friends can be really helpful... say, with helping you out with other girls? Anyway, times are changing, you don't have to be a stereotype to be a man, at least not anymore.

    And for what it's worth, I think you're hot... and not at all like a girl!

  6. When you "become one of the girls" or conversely for a woman "become one of the guys" really the only thing you lose is the possibility of a romantic relationship with anyone in that group.
    Because in their eyes you are no longer a guy, you are more like a girlfriend.
    So, if you aren't romantically attracted to anyone in that group of people, enjoy their friendship and don't worry about it.
    If you are attracted to someone in that group --- stinks to be you.

  7. Haha! Well did you ever think that one of them likes you? You know, like likes you likes you? That could be the case, you know.

  8. If that is the case, that is a peculiar way of expressing it.

  9. And I don't think that is the case.

  10. There's nothing wrong with not being the aggressively male guy. My boyfriend isn't like that at all. He's frequently invited to girls' nights by people other than me just because they consider him a good friend and want to include him. So don't freak out or worry about it too much. You can overthink these things pretty easily.

  11. Dearest W. Jacob Divett,
    You know you had a good time. All giggly and giddy as you were relishing in our sea of estrogen. Taco bell and scary stories on the NMSU football field at 1am was fun and you know it! Henceforth from now on it will be workers night out.
    The girls
    ps. We'll let you know when our next outing is!

  12. who are these people? you're like a celebrity man - all these people love you and they've never met you. that's pretty awesome, no matter how manly you are.

  13. Stop being such a girl and just go! (kidding) - use this oppurtunity to get the inside scoop on the women, you men have NO IDEA what we talk about - it is too funny! K

  14. Don't even pretend like we didn't paint our toenails and put cucumbers on our eyes that one time!

  15. Ha ha, oh man I don't know what to think of some of these comments. All I can say is I'm out of luck if you have to work at Jiffy Lube to be a man. And sadly, only recently did I learn to change my own oil. Come to think of it, I did always feel a little left out when my face was all talking to Mormons and or Divetts and they were all exchanging their Jiffy stories. I would always be like all, "So... how about them Isotopes?"

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  17. sea of estrogen? priceless!

  18. must be such a sweetheart. Take it as a compliment. Sea of estrogen?! Lols...

  19. hahaha! You're awesome Jacob! =)
    I say forget that fear! Embrace being different... I'm sure you'll find tons of girls who'll like you BECAUSE you don't like sports, you do social work and you can hang out with girls.

    Trust me, because of those your stocks would gain points for me.


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