What are guys supposed to do?

Sonali Kudva

A friend of mine was accused of being gay this week. He’s not. He is not effeminate. He likes to shower every day, has no problems with bad body odor, is polite to old people and likes small children. Oh, and he is single and has been so for a short while. Hence, the perception is that he is gay.

I see a new trend here.

It used to be that if a guy was effeminate, he was labeled “gay” or “poufy.” But all of a sudden, it seems that if a guy is polite, doesn’t swear at women a lot, or dresses with a little more care than the rest of his buddies, we like to label him as gay.

I read an article recently that said more and more women today like their men to be more submissive to them. This signals a gender role reversal. Women are moving out of their traditional roles of being shy and submissive while guys are developing more of their softer sides. So what is wrong with this picture?

Nothing, except it appears to be causing some confusion between the age-old man-woman relationships. It used to be that if a guy didn’t take out the trash, he was unhelpful and uncouth. Now, if he decides he would like to keep the kitchen sink clean and clean the toilet once in a while, women assume he must be gay.

I don’t know whether to be amused, offended on behalf of gay people everywhere, or join most other women in assuming that a guy who likes a little color coordination in his clothing has to be gay. Instead, let me play devil’s advocate.

What is a guy supposed to do these days? What do we women want?

Well, many women would like to be on the arm of a nice guy who doesn’t, in fact, treat her like dirt, takes out the trash and shares the vacuuming chores once in a while. I know I would. Oh, and while we’re at it, a guy who cooks us a nice meal every now and again would be lovely, too.

Then again, all of the above does not fit in with gender roles that have been defined for us by society. The more men become like women, the more women are likely to be like men. Confusion. Who’s on top now? Should we grab the guys by their hair and take them to our pink condos, thumping our chests about our independence? Or should we go over to their houses and marvel over their new talents in housekeeping? I’m confused here and not too keen on either scenario.

I don’t have an answer here. But the short message in the story is this: Not all courteous, well-dressed men out there are gay. Women like their independence just fine but do appreciate some good old-fashioned brute strength once in a while.

My friend isn’t gay; he’s just a nice guy who’s looking for a nice girl.

One last thing: I think both men and women can wear pink. It’s equal opportunity all around.

What do you think?

Sonali Kudva is a graduate journalism student and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].