One of my female friends from high school, Brittany,has many male-type qualities–similar to Alex Karev in Grey’s Anatomy or Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother. They included a relationship-phobia, a similar “hit-it then quit-it” attitude (but only when it came to making out) and she had to absolutely be the dominant girl in any group, regardless of whether or not they are male, female, or both. If the conversation would stray away from her, she would cleverly direct the topic back into her direction. She would constantly compete with everyone using her car, being on the soccer team, and even when it came to style and schoolwork. She was loud and assertive, you could hear her talking clear across the cafeteria.
What was always interesting to me was that she is strikingly feminine as well. She could be pretty sensitive when you got to know her and she was constantly insecure about her looks, like a majority of us girls out there. She loved to take trips to Short Pump and she loved to make people feel comfortable in the conversation. She’s listen to your problems, as long as you weren’t being too dramatic: she absolutely couldn’t handle that–consider it the “guy” part of her. I met her mom at the “Basket Bingo” for the cheerleader’s fundraiser, and they couldn’t be more alike. This completely goes with the whole notion about learning from our parents, obviously. I also think that we definitely learn gender from our “parents, caregivers, and others (Gamble, 2003, p. 31).” I think Brittany also relates to my story about my mom and I, too, because her mom had also been divorced and was single for awhile. You could definitely tell her kind of mentality ran in the family.
Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.