Provocative thread at Feministing, which is where I nicked this from (in the comments...). See: http://feministing.com/archives/008165.html#more
Our ideas of masculinity and femininity seem often so confined, so limited that it must be impossible for us to do our own identities and others' any good. How does it help to define a woman as one who is less sporty/ quiter/ less aggresive/ more passive/ more 'bitchy', or more 'chatty'? Or to define a 'man' as protective, strong, sporty, aggresive? None of these things help us, yet we resort to them, right from when a new child is born, and we choose colours as well as labels. Is is actually possible to move away from this? To what extent can we resist the ideas we're handed down? These are things I'm trying, bit by bit, to work out, and things I'm sure will keep me occupied for a long time.