Monday, June 13, 2011

Estrogen and testosterone.

During a feminist studies class I took in college, there was one day when our professor made us sit in a circle, and decide where each of us would be placed on the Gender Spectrum.

On one pole lay the ALL FEMALE behavior, and on the other end lay the ALL MALE behavior.

We went around the room, and as we made our evaluations out loud, our teacher wrote our names on a hand-written spectrum she drew on the chalkboard.  The point was to see how we've all got a little male / female in every one of us, and that gender, like sexuality, isn't a this-or-that endeavor.

Still.  I was pissed off when my name was written squarely on top of the ALL FEMALE pole.

"But, but ... I can jump a car!!" I protested. 

"And, um ... I totally dressed up as Rodney Dangerfield once for Halloween, you guys," I said, meekly.

My classmates giggled at me.  "It's ok," a Joan Jett look-alike said, patting my shoulder.  "No shame in being girly.  You always have really nice toenails."

I thought about that this past weekend -- girliness, manliness, man, woman -- while Rot Rally was going on in Austin.  Have you ever experienced, or heard of, Rot Rally?  It ranks on the ALL MALE side of the Gender Spectrum.

I know I know, that's a reductive statement.  What I meant to say is, Rot Rally is a virtual PARADE OF TESTOSTERONE.

For one weekend a year, Harleys take over downtown Austin, Texas, leaving a cloud of diesel fumes in their wake.  Hipsters don't stand a chance.  Neither do polished-toenails girly girls.  It's 48 hours of revving motors and non-ironic do-rags.  I snapped this picture above on Congress Avenue, right before a man's single bicep blocked my camera lens.

But on Friday night, I had a gang too, you see.

A gang of estrogen.

You may have seen these pretty ladies before on my blog.  Note the pixie-haired beauty in the pink dress above?  That is Nina, and it was her birthday.  We went to Second Bar + Kitchen, ensconcing ourselves from the bikers outside in lounge music and chardonnay.  

As I've gotten older -- now at the ripe old age of 29 -- I've become ever so slightly more hermit-like.  But while I don't go out as often, my girlfriends are a constant in my life for whom I am incredibly grateful.  Pardon the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants moment, but it's true!  Everyone deserves friends like these.

(There's another set of pictures we took last weekend that will never see the light of day on the Internet, but in short, we had an Ugly Face Competition.  Basically, it's a game where you make the worst expression you could possibly make, and direct your camera-person to take the shot from the worst angle.  In case you're wondering, I totally won.)

Alright now, estrogen night, that was Friday.  But Saturday, at the Chinaski / Happen-Ins / Bright Light Social Hour show, I found myself once again surrounded by my manlier brethren. 

Here are some shots of The Happen-Ins.  The crowd was relatively stable at this moment.

These are The Bright Light Social Hour boys, and this was when all hell started breaking loose.

At some point, the audience crossed the threshold from excited to Lord of the Flies.  I was with my friend Megan, and the reason you aren't seeing her pictured here is because we were too busy surviving: A fight broke out behind us, one dude had a literal seizure, I felt a sneaker in my face, then looked up to see some guy sailing away on a crowd surfing sea.  All activities that wouldn't surprise me at a metal show -- or an anarchist rally -- but, a rock show?  In hippie Austin?  

I blame it on all the excess testosterone in the air.

What I'm saying is, it was an intense show.  But also incredible.  Even me -- toenail-painted, girly me -- still gets a rush from a throbbing crowd.  Maybe it had just been too long for this little hermit. 

A very shiny me right afterwards.  Note the lipstick selection -- that's the power of ColorStay, my fellow girly girls.

hope you had a fun weekend!


Annette said...

How funny, I've totally been thinking about estrogen lately! Since starting this book, The Female Brain (if you haven't read it, you should!), I've been seeing the affects of hormones EVERYWHERE and talking Nathan's ear off about it! That's so girly of me! =)

Marie said...

May I just say that I'm in love with your little life? And that story you told at the top, about the Gender Spectrum?

I'm a girly girl too ... and I like that we girly girls can still rock out with all the boys!


Austin Eavesdropper said...

Thank you, Marie! Hey, it's yin and yang in this world. We need those Harleys, as well as those tubes of toenail polish -- and everything in between.

Welcome to my end of the spectrum, you fine lady you.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@Annette -- The Female Brain! I gotta get it. My Dad once told me that, on average, females use 3x as many words as males do in a single day. Then my Mom explained that it's because we have to repeat ourselves so many times to men who aren't listening. ;)

Dad said...

You did it again. Pegged my chuckle meter. If there was a law against having fun you would be in prison.

shelby said...

I've lived in Austin for almost 10 years now and I never knew about the Rot Rally until this year. I went and watched the parade on Friday night. It's so funny seeing all the bikers in place of where the hipsters usually are.

Courtney said...

sounds like a perfect weekend. there is nothing wrong with being girly :)

Austin Eavesdropper said...

Dad, I love you. :)

Austin Eavesdropper said...

Shelby, I find Rot Rally somewhat terrifying. The bikes are cool for about 2 seconds, and then my ears hurt and I start frowning. Haha. But yeah, isn't it funny to see all the little one speeds replaced by humongous Harleys?

Courtney -- THANK YOU! See, I agree with you. I bought some new lipstick last night and put it on immediately (to model to ... my husband? My cat). It's fun to get your girly on.

Sophie Neutron said...

HOORAY for estrogen and 5inch heals and lipstick...!!!

I was considered All Male by most people for most of my life. Even by "experts". Except for one of my lecturers at art school. Who's also a psychiatrist

Look at me now!
(okay, I'm still kinda butch...shhhhh!)
oddly, I learned how to be more like a guy by my tween-aged female girly girl friends.

My point is - car jumping (even pretend car jumping) TOTALLY gives you Dude Points! ;P

Austin Eavesdropper said...

Sophie, I love this -- that your tween-aged female girly-girl friends taught you how to be more like a guy. :)

I'm so glad you dropped by, friend. I just swung by your blog too (and read that nuts story about the police. WHOA. Talk about grace under fire!).

Anyway. Yay lipstick. :) As I mentioned earlier, I celebrated my paycheck with a new tube last night.

Sophie Neutron said...

haha...I love it too!
But I'm sure it was only so I could pretend to be their bf, without embarrassing them, when needed!

Thanks for heading over, Tolly! :)

xx Sophie xx

THE Monk said...

The fight at the show only broke out because the testosterone was fighting over all of the estrogen in the crowd. A modern hippie attempt at attracting a mate I suppose.

And what would the Rot Rally be without "non-ironic do-rags"?

All in all, if you're girly or an ultraman's man, it matters not as long as a good time was had.


Austin Eavesdropper said...

@The Monk -- I love your attitude! And it's true. What WOULD Rot Rally be without non-ironic do rags? Not nearly as badass. That's for sure.

Also true about your gender behaviors mattering (<---real word?) not, as long as fun is in place. Double cheers to you, sir.