I was talking to one of my stepdaughters on Skype yesterday, relating a minor spat I’d had with some person who had accused me of being ‘sexist’. Being, as my wife often tells me ‘an unreconstructed male’, I am happy to put my hand up to this thoughtcrime. I am biologically and culturally male, within a given set of parameters, but also a gentleman. By the same token my wife and stepdaughters are wonderfully female, for which I am alternately very grateful and highly perplexed, but hey, that’s my problem. I celebrate their strengths, and offer my own up where theirs are not able to cope, on the very rare occasion that this is necessary. In their turn they offer crusty old me the occasional hug when I’m feeling less than masterful. It all works out. Closer to home I open doors for people, particularly young mothers with their hands full of children, because I understand that they have their work cut out with these little not-quite-housetrained little humans bouncing around like manic pinballs, and need all the help they can get. Does this make me a bad person? I’d like not to think so.
Being male of course, I also can’t help my biological programming not to look at any passing young female of pleasant proportions or parts thereof, but I do try not to make them feel uneasy by staring overmuch. Although this is sometimes very difficult and requires much self control. So yes, I’m ‘sexist’ and unapologetic with it. My girls (Wife and stepdaughters both) like grouchy old me this way. Now kiss my cosi fan tutte.
Now what my stepdaughter actually said made me sit up and think; “What on earth is that?” I’d just recounted that in a minor online spat with someone who seemed to have left their masculinity in their sock drawer that morning, I’d been accused of being ‘sexist’. My stepdaughter remarked with an acid laugh; “Sounds like a right mangina to me.” before changing the subject and going on to talk about her next job move, possibly to Australia.
Afterwards I wondered ‘what is a ‘mangina’?’ So I looked it up and burst out laughing. From the Wiktionary entry:
mangina (plural manginas)
- (slang, derogatory) A man with a pronounced feminine side, or a weak masculine side.
- (slang) A homosexual or bisexual man’s anus and rectum
Or perhaps a nominal male who thinks that being falsely ‘non-sexist’ will up their value to a certain radical feminist mindset. It’s a submissive attitude which, if the student politics coming out of academia is any guide, owes more to sexual insecurity and immaturity than anything else. However, the sad truth appears to be that many young women hold this mindset in the roundest contempt. Hence the pejorative.
We males often let our limbic or ‘reptilian’ brains do our thinking, but as women have a similar, but not identical biological structure and often do the same in their own idiosyncratic and erratic fashion, I think with a little give and take we can all rub along together just fine. Apart from those on the extremes of the sexual bell curve who should not be seen as spokespersons for the majority, or anyone else apart from themselves.