The strengths of masculinity and femininity
Do you need more femininity in your life or would you prefer a sprinkle of masculinity instead? And what do both these gender traits of these energies bring to the table? Let’s discuss this intricate topic with Joey from Concealed Voices, who’ll
The current gender struggle
Many of us have seen the term ‘toxic masculinity’ on the internet. On the other hand, in many circles, men that are emotional or sweet, which are generally seen as feminine aspects, are seen as weak and stupid. And women who present somewhat more ‘tough’ and direct are immediately painted as lesbians or bitches. Feminists are often painted as extremists and any man defending it is seen as a ‘beta male’.
However, focusing on these negative traits in both genders forces us all to stay away from ‘the other side’. This is such a shame! Masculinity and femininity both have amazing aspects that we should all embrace. That’s why Joey from Concealed Voices and I teamed up again to talk about the positive aspects both feminine energy and masculine energy can bring when used correctly for all genders.
What does ‘femininity’ mean? And why does everyone need some feminine energy? From a female’s perspective.
When you look up the meaning of the word ‘feminine’ you get two types of words. The first category you’ll find is that feminine means anything to do with females. These are words like ‘girly’, ‘womanhood’ or ‘ladylike’.
The second category has more to do with traits you can have as a person, female, male or anything in between. These are words like ‘expressive’, ‘compassionate’ and ‘gentle’. Generally, these feminine words describe the emotional or creative sides of people, but also the elegant and the beautiful.
On top of that and probably the most known side is the side of femininity that describes the nurturing, caring, warm and social side of people.
Feminine attributes for men
And what is wrong with a man having these qualities? I think that it’s applaudable for a man to be a great, caring dad. That does not and will never make you a ‘simp’. And it’s even a necessity to the mental health of a man to express his emotions! In my book, that’s just what being a grown-up means and it has nothing to do with gender.
The true definition of a man from the viewpoint of a man, Concealed Voices.
What is the true definition of a man? Is it how we conduct ourselves in the presence of women and children, or how we go above and beyond to support and protect our family? Is it determined by our physical strengths and toughness, or how much respect we get from our peers?
Over the years I started seeing the term “Toxic Masculinity” float around but I didn’t think much of it. I knew it was a negative connotation so maybe that’s why I distanced myself from it. I actually thought it was a derogatory term by feminists against men for no reasons other than being born as a man. However, I couldn’t be further from the truth.
Toxic Masculinity is a defined set of attributes, behavior and roles associated with boys and men. In essence, it’s a profile of males who judge anyone as weak if they don’t abide by their image. They have a culture, albeit a dying one, of living with a “men don’t cry” motto. If you show signs of weakness through emotion then you lose your identity of what it means to be a “real man”. I find the whole concept very damaging and divisive. I don’t need any factual evidence to prove this has a detrimental effect on men’s mental health.
Alpha male is another term I read quite often about nowadays. I place it as a sub-category under the toxic masculinity umbrella. It’s men who have power, money and influence which they gained through mostly intimidation. Alpha men tend to prowess a combination of characteristics that propels them up the social hierarchy.
However, I don’t view their values to be any better than mine or men they perceive to be below them.
I don’t need to be labelled as any specific type of man – I’m me and that’s enough. You’re not better than me just because of the size of your wallet or how you might have more success in attracting females than I do.
These types of men maintain a fake image due to their insecurities. The fear of being judged by so-called better men. A competitive internal battle that destroys a man’s soul without him ever admitting his struggles because he refuses for help. Insecurities can lead to aggressive behavior such as domestic abuse. It’s dangerous how many men are bottling up their emotions and yet could explode at any moment.
True masculinity is leadership, strength, courage and ambition. All vital attributes that can take any man as far as he wants in life if he chooses to use them wisely. Men who prowess these skills only think about themselves and the people who matter the most to them such as family.
He focuses on his dreams rather than pleasing others. That man doesn’t care about negativity and isn’t afraid to show signs of frailty. He combines moments of doubt and sadness into positive outcomes through rational decisions and learns from experience.
Eradicating toxic masculinity probably won’t ever happen, however we can limit the damage it causes to vulnerable boys and men. It starts with the education system. Young boys need to learn that it’s okay to feel differently to others. No question should be left unanswered and we should be encouraged to express our emotions without being labelled as weak.
The second is to confront potential harmful behavior. For example, some guys need to be spoken to regarding their misogynist bullying towards women. We can’t continue to remain silent and let insults slide under the carpet. Intervention is key to any progressive society.
The third, although not the final as there are many avenues, is being the best role model to yourself. All our actions have consequences, but they can also be used for a greater cause. Be a man who is known in his local community as someone who respects, love and inspires everyone around him. Be an example for young boys to look up to.
As you hopefully agree, there are many beautiful sides to masculinity and femininity both and we should try to learn from each other, instead of spreading hate. And, as I’ve always learned, you need to lead by example. This is why Joey and I decided that this post isn’t nearly enough and we needed to discuss further. On Joey’s blog Concealed Voices, you can read our responses to each others parts in this post in two weeks.
But before you go there, I’d like to hear your thoughts about what’s beautiful about femininity and masculinity! What are the sides you love about both? Let me know in the comments below. Anyways, I hope you liked this post. If you want more content like this, please subscribe and get my free e-book to help you save money. You can also find me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, so you’ll never have to miss a new post.
Lots of love,
LisaHome » All posts »
Really interesting read and I think there’s so much misunderstanding around words like feminine, masculine and toxic masculinity.
This was definitely interesting. I believe that a good balance of both of these characteristics is the best. I never thought low of men who show sensitivity or thought strange about women who are more dynamic etc. I do not think that someone should suppress his/her true self due to other people’s opinions.
Breath of fresh air! It’s nice to see an article that isn’t plagued with cancel culture like ideas and beliefs around masculinity and feminity, but rather is more reflective and honest. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
Thank you so much for beautiful compliments! I hope it has contributed something positive in the ongoing discussion.
@Lisa’s Notebook I couldn’t agree more! Both have their qualities and they need to strengthen each other to really reap the benefits.
@Charity Thank you so much!
I love this post. You really did a great job of outlining the strengths of both masculinity and femininity. Thanks so much for sharing
I know this will sound like I’m sitting on the fence but I believe the best way forward is to have a healthy balance of both – yin and yang. Very interesting post, Lisa, definitely a good debate starter.
Thanks to both of you for sharing your thoughts on this important topic. I think it’s important for each of us to embrace our natural feminine and masculine qualities. I’m an emotional and caring man and I’m proud that I feel comfortable expressing myself this way openly. I wish we all could be so comfortable.
However I see both men and women in the corporate world feeling like they have to hide any emotionality or else be dismissed as a weak leader (by both men and women alike). I honestly think the pressure is even greater on women to “act masculine” to get/keep leadership roles. The best women leaders are able to be themselves despite this pressure.
Thanks again for starting the conversation.
Thank you so much for your amazing response. I see this happening as well, whereas I think the big leadership books funnily enough focus more on ‘feminine’ qualities, like caring for your people.
I’m glad you found a way to embrace both forces inside of you, I think you’ll be a happier person because of it.
This is such a interesting post on a incredibly important topic. I agree, feminism doesn’t need to be about hating men, it’s about supporting one another! I also think it’s important that men are emotional, as hard as it is, I think it’s needed! Thank you so much for sharing this post, it’s a great read Xo
Elle – ellegracedeveson.com
I totally agree with you. We tend to focus so much on the extremes and negatives, instead of positives, that we just end up avoiding almost everything.
I think woman and feminine-presenting people can be just as masculine or as feminine as anyone because those traits do not belong to one sex, they belong to all genders of people. Just like men and masculine-presenting people can feminine or masculine. I’ve been speaking out against toxic masculinity for sure, because it is important to me to do so. I think pointing these things out, helps men and woman. Feminists always get painted unfairly, and I am one. It’s difficult to learn about things that make us feel uncomfortable like toxic masculinity, but It’s always important to push pass that uncomfortableness, the important things are not fun to learn. Thanks for sharing 🙂
All genders definitely should have both sides, I completely agree with you there. And it’s indeed good to be aware on the uncomfortable topics to not make them taboo, I personally just think that we shouldn’t lose sight of the positive sides of both, since discomfort also can make us tired or defensive. Here, it’s also about balancing comfort and discomfort!