What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of yourself or another woman as being a ‘strong’, ‘independent’ woman? What traits do women generally revered by most females in society as role models, someone to look up to in their own journey of following a path of their own as a woman?
Generally speaking, these traits will include being aggressive. Being dominant, a bit of a trail-blazer versus simply doing as told. Being confident, fully competent of completing the task at hand with little to no assistance being needed, and possessing a powerful demeanor that would convey a bit of ‘I do whatever the fuck I want because I know it’s the best way’-type attitude.
In other words, strong, independent women have become women who are brave enough to display traits typically seen as exclusively masculine.
...is it just me, or are both of these maps of how men vs. women are wired both kind of demeaning? With the main focus of the female brain stressing how dependent on men we are (need for commitment, jealousy, sense of direction neuron, etc.) , and the male brain seeming like it belongs to someone belonging more in the hunter-gatherer days than one who's able to juggle multiple professional issues in addition to a relationship?
Anytime a guy or a girl displays traits commonly seen as or associated with femininity (ie. Submissiveness, asking for help, showing any indication of possessing emotions, etc..), they’ll be seen as inferior. A ‘beta male’, a ‘damsel in distress’.
I can’t remember a single time when a woman was called ‘strong’ or ‘independent’ because she was displaying classic traits of femininity such as cooking meals for the family, looking after someone who wasn’t feeling too well, someone who was hurt, or the likes. Heck, there are advertisements on the regular that feature men trying to typically female-chores like vacuuming, folding laundry, etc.. Men making complete buffoons out of themselves at being incompetent at household chores is all ‘fine and dandy’. If they even complete, them that is. Whereas a woman ever featured as incompetent in the workplace (even if it’s done in a comedic light) is a ‘typical woman’. One who probably only got where she is by sucking off her boss or male colleagues, anyway.
“It’s almost scary to realize how deeply many women — especially those who are pushing the boundaries of what’s traditionally been considered feminine — have internalized the message that toughness and feelings don’t go together…There’s pressure to prove that you’re just as capable as men are, which can turn into pressure to ignore your emotional responses and downplay the tendencies you have that are traditionally considered ‘feminine.’”
Men are presented as hard, tough, independent, sexually aggressive, unafraid, totally in control of all emotions. Above all-in no way feminine.
Women? Well, women are generally presented as characters that embody females’ dependent on the male population for their own identity. Hell, a perfect example of that can be witnessed by children as young as 5 in The Little Mermaid. A movie where a mermaid falls in love with a man, and chooses to give up her identity with little to no hesitation in order to be fully accepted by her human lover.
In any case, the gist of what I’m trying to get at is why can’t men continue being respected for their own masculine traits (be they dominance, assertiveness, or otherwise), and women begin to be respected for traits that may differ from ones traditionally possessed by males, but ones through which they can continue to stay true to their biological gender?
Why can't we be celebrated for our gender differences, versus society always thinking that one reigns over the other...
When will women stop being taught to leave behind their femininity in pursuit of power? When will women stop feeling pressured to stick to the developmental course of embracing their ‘more masculine’ side, with it conveniently being framed as a sort of liberation?
I hope that soon, women will stop feeling the need to separate themselves from the essence of who they are. Stop themselves from desiring to be something which they, plain and simple, are not. To stop them from associating their innate desires of nurturing loved ones, bearing children, or supporting those in need as weak. That we’ll be equally as celebrated as men for being open about how we, too, have a libido of our own, and that it doesn’t make us any ‘less of a woman’ if we want to take charge once in a while.