From a very young age, we are socialized to behave according to our sex. Boys are taught to be “masculine” and girls are taught to be “feminine”. But are there any biological differences between a man and a woman which makes them that way? No. Studies have shown that sex has no bearing on our personality, cognition, problem-solving, or aptitude. Then why are we conditioned to behave in that particular way?
Feminine is generally defined as kind, caring, pretty, soft, delicate, graceful, fragile, etc., and Masculine is supposed to be aggressive, strength, violence, logic ambition, etc., Now, were we born this way with these qualities as a by-product of our sex? No. We are just taught to behave that way, through social media, family, and general conditioning. Even the images associated with femininity are make-up, flowers, pretty clothing like bows, pink frocks, and shiny and flowery jewelry. Not only is this inaccurate, but also sexist as women are discriminated against, saying they are weak and delicate.
For a really long time, women have been working really hard, toiling in fields, cooking, hunting, administrating, earning, GIVING BIRTH, and even ruling great kingdoms. There are countless great personalities who have set great standards and are taken as role models. Then why does “feminine” still mean something so fragile and immature? That is because molding women to fall into meek and forgiving traits actually benefits the patriarchy. Women become very easy to control and suppress, are taken less seriously and only the rich or rich presenting are treated as real women, as they would voluntarily follow the norms without questioning.
There is a very popular strategy used by patriarchy: Calling women goddesses and declaring that femininity has always been above masculinity and that womanliness is way better than manliness. They say women by virtue of birth are above men because they are kinder, forgiving, mentally stronger, and emotionally intelligent than men. PLEASE DO NOT FALL INTO THIS TRAP!
Not only does this let men get away with a lot, but it also means that any woman who doesn’t have these qualities and doesn’t meet the criteria isn’t a real or true woman.
But, why do almost all cultures make fun of women? Notice that they aren’t making fun of the humans with those genitals, but they are mocking the way women are “socialized” to behave. This is why it is very easy for women to act “manly”, because, for us, those are the traits that help us succeed. But men would rather die than act “womanly” because doing so would be an insult to their self-respect and intelligence.
But this is not at all the biological nature of any gender. The personality we have isn’t a ‘by-product’ of our sex and wasn’t determined at birth, but instead is a by-product of the brainwashing we went through. Even men can be shy, gentle, and sensitive, just like how women can be harsh, straightforward, or aggressive. Here we should notice that this is all Social Conditioning. In this society, our personality largely depends on our class/status, and the way we were taught to raise. It’s not our sex that decides our personality, but how we were treated because of our sex.
Even the clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, and all which once used to be gender neutral, are now segregated into genders. And the blame could partially be thrown onto European Capitalism. They created the system of over-consumption segregated by gender to increase their sales and changed our perception of us completely. It’s after that, that we follow blue for boys and pink for girls. Tough for boys and Delicate for girls. All the women’s cosmetics can be seen with taglines such as “Dream Flower”, “Glow and Lovely”, “Flawless Finish” and men’s cosmetics can be seen with taglines such as “Acno-Fight”, “Deep Impact”, “Power-White”, etc., Fragility and delicateness are seen in women’s cosmetics and power and durability are seen in men’s cosmetics.
Let’s take a small example: A couple has a daughter first. They buy her soft and shiny pink dresses with bows, pretty shoes with flower patterns, attractive small jewelry, and lots of Barbie dolls and dollhouses. Then they have a son. Now they would NEVER think of using their daughter’s dresses, toys, or jewelry for him. That would be such a big scandal. All the relatives would make fun of him for wearing pink and not wearing blue and his friends would go away from him because he plays with barbie dolls instead of action figures like Iron Man or Bat Man. So now, the parents have to buy a completely new set of clothing, and toys meant for boys.
So, how would we put an end to all of this tosh? First of all, we MUST remove the ideology of “Masculinity” and “Femininity” from our heads. These are just pseudo concepts forced onto us and sadly, our previous generations have blindly followed them without thinking if it’s right or wrong, just naming them as “traditions”. And now, it’s up to us to step out of these irrational norms to make a better world for ourselves and our future generations.
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