Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

A Gender Meme

There was this time in college when a guy I didn’t know and I were paired as a team for our Physics Lab class. On the first lab, I started doing what I usually do: I grabbed the experiment instructions, read them for myself, and started manipulating the mechanical object we were supposed to work with. I was having a hard time setting it up correctly, when suddenly I saw these hairy arms gently take the object from me: Let me try.

Not looking up, I continued to observe the action of the hairy arms and hands… They were twisting bolts and nuts, with confidence, with strength… I was mesmerized by the vision. For the first time in my life I had this very concrete sense of “masculine”. I was watching it, feeling it, thinking It is so cool that men are men, and women are women. I have a lot of traditionally masculine traits in me, but that day I was happy to sit back and let my partner be the man. That day I got a different appreciation for “Señog Patiño“. It’s funny that this inconsequential character in my life gave me one of those few experiences I’ll never forget… Mandarine started this meme, and I can’t resist:

Three things I do that women usually do

  • I show visible excitement, skip my breath, and drool all over myself whenever I see or hear Russell Crowe, Viggo Mortensen, Daniel Day-Lewis, or Vincent Perez.
  • I am DEEPLY bothered by the stubborn habit of men to leave the fricking toilet seat up.
  • I insist on drying my hair straight and fight rain and humidity, clearly against nature’s wish to make my hair curly.

Three things I do that men usually do

  • I’m the engineer and chief for all home projects Joey and I embark on. I’m boss, and I am good at it, and I usually yell at Joey several times while working together on home projects… Poor bebe.
  • I attempt to fight feelings with logic.
  • I say “no”… without guilt.

Three things I do that women usually don’t do

  • I refuse to act like “the baby” (any baby) is absolute king of the universe and most precious and important thing on earth. Clearly, I still haven’t met my baby.
  • I burp after dinner. It came with age… Can’t do anything about it, so I’m starting to have fun!
  • I develop a suspicious, weird, sudden urge to poop when I’ve been shopping at a store for quite some time. The urge forces me to abort the shopping plan, and get back home. I suspect this phenomenon has to do with an unconscious aversion to spend too much money.

Three things I do that men usually don’t do

  • I cry at movies, and sometimes, on days 25-28 I cry at TV ads too.
  • I avoid pool parties, specially if they’re with co-workers. As if!
  • I think Paris Hilton is hideous. I do.

Three things I don’t do that women usually do

  • I don’t cook all meals, every day, for my husband.
  • I don’t wish I had bigger boobs, a smaller nose, or blond hair. I have never considered getting breast implants or a nose job, and I have never colored my hair.
  • I don’t accelerate with bitchy resolve to block the way of the poor person trying to get on my lane.

Three things I don’t do that men usually do

  • I don’t dream of driving a sexy and fast car. Can’t care less.
  • I don’t drop fart bombs all over the house. It actually took me a loooong time to let one lousy teeny tiny peíto in front of my husband.
  • Along the same lines… I don’t take shits in public bathrooms. EVER.

Three things I don’t do that women usually don’t do

  • I don’t let a potentially juicy gossip walk free, ignored and unquestioned.
  • I don’t hold juicy gossip from my husband (physically, I can’t.. He’ll squeeze it out of my throat)
  • I don’t suck it up. If I’m pissed at you, oh, you will know.

Three things I don’t do that men usually don’t do

  • I don’t organize surprise parties for anybody.
  • I don’t easily express feelings of love for others verbally… like “I love you”… Gosh! What a HARD thing to say.
  • I don’t side with you just because I love you, if I believe that the other person is right and YOU are the one who screwed up.

This was fun!… Any takers?


  1. On , mandarine wrote:

    So funny to read what this meme tells (in negative film) about what people think of the other gender (and also theirs).

  2. On , Marla wrote:

    Not me. (saying no as a woman)

    I loved reading this, but this is too close to writing my yearly review self-assessment that I will decline in honor of the potential payback my accurate and every so positive self-assessment can net me. (looking out for my personal gains and not feeling guilty about it)

    Love ya! :) (expressing love openly)

  3. On , Maria wrote:

    I’m proud of you!.. That was two nays in a single comment. Good Lord!

  4. On , Marla wrote:

    Maria is proud of me.

    Has anybody written a book on “Saying Yes and Meaning It?” Wondering why saying “yes” is equated with not being assertive.

    I’m assertive dang it. As long as it doesn’t hurt your feelings.:)

  5. On , Maria wrote:

    OK, fine. I’m not (condescendingly) proud of you.
    Just saying: That was a very assertive comment.

    (Notice I had to look up “assertive” in the dictionary. New word for this poor barefoot girl from the Andes)

  6. On , Petie wrote:

    I’m too girlie – I fit the stereotypes too closely for it to be interesting for me to fill in. The only thing I do that is masculine (that I can think of) is mow the lawn. I love doing that.

  7. On , Maria wrote:

    Yah… That sounds very macho-man.
    But, except for the physical effort, I can see why you would love doing it… Kind of like cutting hair.