Forgive any rambling; I'm slightly in my cups. I just got home from an overall lovely night, full of friends laughing and singing around a bonfire. There was a TIM present who I generally don't have a problem with; I actually relate somewhat to his struggles with gender as a fellow autistic person. Tonight, though, he said something that really bothered me, and I wasn't sure how to react.
Basically, he sang a song that he claimed was his favorite, which was written by a woman from a female perspective. I also enjoy this song, so I kept time and joined in on the choruses. I was happy to share this moment with a fellow human being, regardless of our ideological disagreement. Afterward, though, he started talking about how his longtime enjoyment of this song "should have been a clue that [he] was an egg." This completely broke any comradely kayfabe.
I felt, and still feel, humiliated by the way that he so casually admitted that relating to a song about a woman was impossible for him as a man. I felt like the experience the song described, which I'd always considered something fundamentally human, was being othered by him. I'm only articulating the feeling now as I write this post, so of course I had no idea what to say in the moment. I don't think I said anything. But the other women at the bonfire nodded along with encouragement, which was humiliating in itself. Where is the self-respect? Where is the acknowledgement that female experiences are human experiences, capable of being related to by any man with a brain and a sense of curiosity? Why aren't we holding men to the standard of having those things?