E.C. “Girls Will Be Boys” – Tom Sawyer & Chandler Bing

In Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the titular character is a feisty young boy, “typical” of that time period. He follows the gender binary, as shown in chapter 3 when he becomes infatuated with Becky on sight. He takes one look at her and “pretend he did not know she was present, and began to ‘show off’ in all sorts of absurd boyish ways, in order to win her admiration” (Twain). This falls into the stereotype of boys having to go out and impress girls while still “looking cool”, assuming the girl will automatically fall head-over-heels for his obvious act.

In modern times, this is one of the most common gender binaries to be “messed with”. An example would be one of the most memorable episodes of “Friends”, when Chandler can’t propose to Monica because he’s crying too hard, so Monica kneels down to propose to him. They eventually end up doing it together, with Monica initiating the surprise and Chandler finishing the proposal, thus messing with the traditional “man proposes to woman” approach. I’m attaching the clip below for reference.

Crane, David, and Marta Kauffman. “The One with the Proposal: Part 2.” Friends. Dir. Kevin Bright. NBC. Los Angeles, California, 18 May 2000. Television.

Twain, Mark. Adventures of Tom Sawyer. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Project Gutenberg. Gutenberg Press, 20 Aug. 2006. Web. <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/74/74-h/74-h.htm>.