"She walks like a man!"
That's what i heard when i passed four teenagers on the street today. Back in my 20's when someone addressed me as "sir" i might joke about it but it was pretty offensive. The red-necks in Illinois who sneered at me and said i was trying to look like a man only confirmed for me the stereotype that red-necks are stupid, parochial, and a waste of carbon. Now that i'm middle aged it's more amusing than offensive--but it still strikes me as pretty weird. I suppose it's better than someone saying that i'm walking like a three-legged terrier.
But it still isn't clear to me what it is they mean. My gait is rather wide and tends to be quicker than that of many people. Except for those periods of my life when i've been limping from an injury there is a tendency for me to bounce; but i've never noticed men as a general group to bounce. If anything i'd be inclined to say i walk like a cross between an android and a pogo-stick.
So, how does a man walk anyway? Or perhaps the more interesting question would be: why do people expect folks to walk a certain way depending on their gender?