A cute boy, exposed as a closet chauvinist

As an adult male, you are no longer cute. Maybe imaginative, interesting, likeable, even adorable – yes, maybe so. But certainly not cute. “He is SOO cute” is strictly reserved for characterizing male dimwits of prepossessing appearance.

Nevertheless, there is no male alive who doesn’t ache for his lost cuteness. Unfortunately, C is an externally observed quality, defined by the outside world, not something you can subjectively perceive for yourself. So trying to become more cute can not be accomplished by engaging in any conscious acts of cuteness – you simply don’t know what they look like, in your particular case. Still, you know what it is to have been cute, because you can mentally look back on yourself as a child and admit that, “Yes, I surely was a cute little boy”.

Increasing the cuteness factor

So enhancing your contemporary cuteness factor chiefly involves telling winsome stories from your childhood. My favorite in this surreptitiously cutifying genre is telling how I, at the approximate age of four, thought that cats and dogs were of the same animal species, with cats being the females and dogs the males. Not only that, but to the four-year-old Me, horses and cows also appeared to belong to the same species, with horses as males and cows as females.

I’ve been telling this cute little childhood story for years, with some success, I think. Until yesterday. “Why, this is a most interesting and revealing account,” the girl said, after having taken one more sip of coffee from her mug. How nice, she has sensed the deeply romantic, animistic side of my inner self! “It really shows that as a child you perceived men and women as fundamentally different creatures.”

Veiled inner inequity

I was dumbstruck. I had always thought of my childhood as an epitome of gender equality. Both the men and women in my extended family were university-educated, both held interesting jobs, both were commended for what they had become, and not for what they were born as. Outwardly, the genders lived in perfect equality. And then this girl had to come along and point out that there must have been something else as well, something deeply hidden in the inner worlds of all involved, a veiled inner inequity that was anything but romantic. Invisible skeletons in all of our closets, you bet.