It just dawned on me that we never use the word flaky or flake to describe a man’s character, but it’s perfectly acceptable to use it about women.
What would be the equivalent of flaky for a man, if any such parallel exists?
Just off the top of my head, words like stoner, or spaced out, come to mind as second-class so-called equivalents to the term flaky. Though, to me, they are not the same as calling a woman a flake.
If a man is called a stoner, or behaves as if he’s stoned, it’s still not the same attack on his character like if he were to be called a flake. If he’s not actually a stoner, just permanently elsewhere, then it can be considered something funny. If he is actually a stoner, it’s a badge of honour to him. The same can be said about the term spaced-out. Saying someone is spaced out doesn’t mean they are unreliable, the way a flake is.
If you say ,“Sven is so spaced out all the time”, it might mean that Sven is absent-mined; a bit forgetful, dreamy, and inward. We forgive Sven for being absent-minded, and still feel him a competent person. However, if you say, “Sven is such a flake”, this is a total attack on his character. He is not just a bit forgetful, dreamy and inward, he is seen as always harried, bubble-headed, stupid, perhaps “artsy” and “airy-fairy” two terms I especially can’t stand, weak, irresponsible, unconvincing, dishonest the list can certainly go on.
I suppose we feel it’s ok to connect women with the term flaky because it seems to conjure up ideas of people who “dabble” , but don’t commit to things like art, new ideas, healing arts and the paranormal. Women often times connect to these areas.
I’m going to start calling men flakes, with aplomb.
Here is a list I’ve made up of “famous” flaky men:
1. Antonio Banderas- If a woman had gone from Almodovar films to doing to voice of a cartoon cat we would have lambasted her.
2. Johnny Depp. He’s a grown man, who now uses an effected faux-British accent and still calls himself Johnny; he’s almost 50.
3. The hairy ugly guy who was married to Katy Perry. He seems like a big flake, wearing leather and telling the world he’s a vegetarian. Also, has he not heard of tweezers?
4. Prince. Or is it %? Or, the artist formerly known as %. Who can keep up, but we all “respect” him, and god forbid would we call him a flake.
5. Joaquin Phoenix. What the hell was he doing with that big beard?
6. Tyler Perry, because I for one am not sure how continuing to depict people as stereotypes is positive. He falls under the ‘stupid’ aspect of flaky artist
7. That guy from ‘Friends” who played Chandler. How obvious was it that he was a bloody addict, but still, he got to keep his job, and his career.
8. George Dukakis. Yes, I remember him. When he lost the election, he went off to try to drink himself silly.
9. Anderson Cooper, A) What the hell kind of name is two last names? B) His really “hard-hitting” questions, are a really big joke, C) His stupid white hair.
10. Prince Charles. Now sure, I dig his whole talking to plants vibe and the organic gardening, but come on, if he were someone else the word flake would have become synonymous with his name. Lastly, lest we forget the whole creepy cheating scandal caught on tape thing, as well