Frequently, I find myself being asked
About two groups of individuals:
“You only successfully mentor women?”
“All your running partners are women?”
Implicitly, the missing word is “Why?”
I have thought about this time and again.
Conversing with women is easier.
I saw an article about values
Associated with high quality
Mentoring specific’lly for women.
I found those values resonate with me,
More than just a little—very strongly.
Then, I stumbled upon an online test
That produces “gender coordinates.”
Took the test twice, separated by days.
Both times near forty percent masculine;
Both times near ninety percent feminine.
For both genders it is a list of traits.
The traits are as much nurture as nature;
Definitions come from society;
Still, regularities nevertheless.
I spend mental energy wondering
Whether the traits are in my DNA,
Or did I learn them at some point in life?
I have shown these traits for most of my life:
Including supporting the ERA,
Nearly all my closest friends were female,
And volunteering to go with the girls
In boys versus girls games in youngest grades.
This certainly points to my DNA,
But I suspect helpful reinforcement.
So, what does it mean that I show these traits?
First, I should note these are my perceptions;
I wonder if others see me this way?
Second, I do not have any questions
About my attractions or my body.
I repeat, “What do these behaviors mean?”
First, while “opposites attract” may sound fun,
In the end, I find it much easier
To hang with others with similar traits;
That would help to explain those I mentor,
Those with whom I run, and my closest friends.
Second, I interpret what I have found
As having feminine, heart, mind, and soul,
Yielding gender-consistent behaviors
And traits that do not match biology
As perceived in modern society.
What is the label for this divergence?
Of course, is it a divergence?
Or is it just me being who I am
Trapped by societal gender labels?
Truly, I don’t think I need a label.
I need only my authenticity:
A man leading and living his own way.
Mentoring, running with, and being friends
With those with whom the energy needed
To spend fulfilling moments is lowest,
And the fulfillment received is highest.
I suspect you will find me with women
Until the age of TV’s Golden Girls,
In conversation and in exercise,
And in generative activities.
People will keep on asking the reason.
And I will say, “It just feels easier,”
With the silently unstated subtext,
“With my more feminine coordinates,
Guiding what comes from my heart, mind, and soul.”
-by Kevin Frick (2021-06-02: #501)