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Dolls and Gender Divisiveness

Feb 5, 2011

    1. I hope I'm not lighting a match in a room full of fireworks here, but I'm curious about this. The vast majority BJD owners are women. If you are a man:

      Have you ever gone to a doll meet up and gotten dirty looks from any of the women there or, if in a public place, anyone else?

      Do you hide your hobby out of fear that you might be judged as effeminate, or "gay"?

      If you are a woman:

      When you encounter a man at a doll meet up, or on these forums, does it make you feel uncomfortable or resentful? How do you feel about the presence of men in this hobby in general?

      I look forward to your answers and insights.:aangel:

    2. I love seeing guys in the hobby. Makes meh happy that they enjoy it, too. :)
    3. Seems this question makes a few assumptions. One, that it addresses only straight men/boys (i.e. that there aren't any Gay men on the board), and two, that being effeminate and/or Gay is a negative thing.
    4. This thread may give you some more insight, The North-going Zax, because it's about guys collecting dolls.

      For me, it's a bit weird and possibly hypocritical. ^_^; I wouldn't think anything of it if my husband and my gf's husband started collecting dolls. We're quirky adults anyway. Seeing any other guy with dolls makes my brain short for a second (gender programming) and then I'm okay. I don't feel any resentment towards them, though, and why should I? My favorite doll tailor is a guy so it'd be silly of me to be upset. Aside from the fact that it's their right to participate, it'd be foolish to cut all that potential and creativity out of the hobby becuase they're men.

    5. A lot of straight men suffer from homophobia, and some of the gay men in the hobby may not be 'out' with friends and family yet. It's a legitimate question for both.
    6. I didn't mean to deny that there are gay people on these boards. I certainly don't think it's a bad thing.
    7. Never been to a doll meet but I would be very saddened if such sexism occurred. It's been perfectly clear to me from the beginning that there are guys here of all sexual orientations. You can't tell anything about the gender of a member from their icon or their doll list. A lot of the time it's wrongly assumed someone is female when they're not. Some guys here have little notes about it in their signatures, etc, to remind people. Others don't. I think it's great when I see a guy on the boards who openly loves their doll. I make no assumptions about their sexuality especially since I'm not straight myself.
    8. I've been to a few meetups that have included guys. I don't care if a hobbyist is male or female -- I just like getting to meet people that are interested in the same things that I am (something that doesn't seem to happen so often in normal life). I've never personally witnessed any sexism at meetups I've been to.
    9. I'm cool with guys being involved with the hobby. When I was more actively collecting fashion dolls, it tended to be the guys who were fellow collectors that were closer to my age -- most of the women were a bit, if not considerably, older -- so we tended to have more in common and be more comfortable around each other. I don't really know if it's that experience, or just being around a bunch of artsy and/or creative guys* from my preteen years onward that made nothing about it ever seem strange, but nothing about it has ever seemed strange. Bear in mind, this is coming from someone who the general public does often find strange -- so my personal baseline is not necessarily mainstream.

      *of all sexual orientations; I am not using 'artsy and/or creative' as some sort of abstract shorthand for orientation in any way.
    10. My local dolly play group has guys in it. When I see a guy with a doll, I don't think anything particular about it.

      Well, let's be honest; If I meet a guy with a doll for the first time... I'm going to be staring at the DOLL. :D

      Frankly, I think the concept that dolls are only for girls is BS anyway. Guys have "Action Figures" which are dolls, right? I mean, there are girls in my group who never played with dolls, but loved action figures. Now they're into BJDs, even though they never liked dolls and aren't "Girly".

      One guy in our group told us this heartbreaking story. As a kid, he wanted Mego action figures. They had just come out, and he was fascinated with them. He loved super heroes, and was a big fan of the Planet of the Apes movies. He wanted a Planet of the Apes figure and was told in no uncertain terms, "NO. You can't have that, it's a doll and dolls are only for girls."

      You should SEE his epic action figure collection now. He could start a museum.
      Now he's into BJDs and has been lovingly recreating his favorite characters' costumes from movies and tv shows.

      I'll bet that some of the gentlemen who collect have a similar story. I'll bet that some of them are more like my brothers who cheerfully played with action figures or dolls with me all the time.

      Collect away, guys! Love your dolls and show them off.
      • x 1
    11. I like guys being in the hobby. Once I saw an older guy with a very young, curvascious iplehouse girl and My brain did take an extra second to process it but I would never think negativley about him. I know (living in rural texas) many people who might think differently but I don't see anything of it. :)
    12. I encounter men in the hobby on a daily basis. I live with three. My husband and both of my sons collect BJD's. My mother says it suits my husband more than it suits me. I did not play with dolls as a child, I hated them. I think my sons are so interested in the dolls because they see my husband and I enjoying them so much. I don't like to speak for my husband too much, but while he is a member here he isn't particularly active of late. He is a man who is very comfortable in who he is. He reads shojou manga, yaoi, collects male BJD's, dyes his hair pink and enjoys chick flicks. He is a great guy. He just doesn't worry about people thinking he is gay. I am sure it does help that he is married with children. As I have mentioned in other threads we work to raise our children without gender stereotypes. That is our goal. So if our children want to collect dolls, love pink, have long hair or play sports all of it is fine. Whatever they want to do is fine. My oldest is the only one who collects girl dolls. He is really into Lolita fashion for his dolls. I love seeing men enjoy these dolls as well. I have always found it easier to make friends with men than women and most of my hobbies were considered guys hobbies so I'm used to being in a group of guys. Being at a doll meet up and surrounded by women is really a first for me.
    13. My brother introduced me to BJDs after finding some pictures of them. He's a sculptor and action figure collector/photographer, so he thought they were interesting. He hasn't bought one (he'd prefer to try sculpting and casting his own), but since both my sister and I are doll collectors now, he's been interested in getting a first-hand look at how their joints work. He comes along to doll meets at times.

      So I guess largely because of that, I don't have any problem with seeing guys in the hobby. Also, I have a whole lot of guy friends-- probably more than I have girl friends. Some of them are action figure collector-type dudes, and some of them are effeminate but straight, some are gay but not effeminate, some of them are effeminate and gay... So yeah, I tend to not assume that one equals the other...

    14. Gender discrimination really annoys me, mostly because as a girl-gamer I often recieve a lot of negative comments because 'girls don't play video games'. (Yes, I do, and I'll kick your butt in Pokemon any day of the week. >_>) I think this is a similar thing to that, and should be treated in a similar way. Guys can play with dolls. It's just as acceptable for me to see a guy with a doll as a girl with a doll.

      As someone who has been to a meetup where male collectors were present, I was absolutely fine with it, and enjoyed their company and collections as much as any other.
    15. I always find it amazing when people mention that their boyfriends/spouses collect BJDs. It's not something I can see ever sharing with my boyfriend - he has no interest in dolls, or anything that could be considered ~*girly*~. I like it that way - this is mine, my thing, my indulgence, something that I don't have to share, while his car and the maintaince of is his.

      Saying all that, I have pretty strong ~*gender role*~ ideals, but encounting a man in this hobby wouldn't bother me, nor would I resent him. Unless he turned out to be a complete jerk and drew all over my doll with a sharpie, then sure, there might be some "resentment". :aninja:
    16. I think it's great that guys enjoy this hobby, too; I mean, the big thing we boast in this hobby is the diversity of dolls, right? I appreciate the diversity of collectors, too. It really does come down to, like Taco said, that we're in the same hobby, so I don't care what gender you are, I just like being able to geek out about this with other people XD
    17. I don't know any men involved in this hobby locally, but would welcome them, straight or gay. It's all about the dolls and having fun. I have met a few men locally who love fashion dolls and enjoyed their company very much. Unless someone makes a point of mentioning it or I have seen a photo of them somewhere, I would probably not be able to guess the gender of forum members I chat with in various threads here and on other doll forums, and anyway, it doesn't matter at all to me. The more, the merrier.
    18. We have a group of greatly creative guys in our circle off doll friends.
      I have never even thought of feeling uncomfortable or resentful towards them,
      I think its great they are there, they can only add to the hobby.
    19. Lots of our local dollpeople are men! A good segment of the GoGaDoll Association is men. At some meetups they're a majority. I'd never thought one way or another about it; it's certainly not strange at all, & it seems odd to me that it should even be an issue in this day and age.

      But then I do live in San Francisco, which has rather a different cultural environment from much of the rest of the country, so I can appreciate that many folks in other areas can't even imagine seeing/tolerating some things that happen openly here. I don't think I could imagine living, or wanting to live, in a place where it's strange for a man to collect dolls... because if the local culture stifles that, chances are it stifles many other things that humans have no business trying to stifle in each other.

      I am also a woman veteran of the gaming industry, so perhaps I have developed a willful (even bloodyminded) blind-spot for gender-hostile signals; I don't even dignify them with a response anymore. ^^ I don't think a group of doll-people (we are ALL seen as fruitcakes by the outside world, remember) need to be bothering with outdated things like sex-discrimination either. It's 2011, I mean, modernize.
    20. I've never met a guy who collects BJD but honestly I think it would be kind of hot.