Society Tossed Out Femininity For Feminism?
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Politics and Activism

Society Tossed Out Femininity For Feminism?

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Society Tossed Out Femininity For Feminism?

Before we can have a conversation about femininity we have to ask what it is.

Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, “the quality of being feminine; womanliness.” As expected, this definition literally uses the root word to describe an abstract concept, completely free of nuance or observation of social construction. Here’s my perspective: Femininity is an expression of feminine energy. Femininity is often conflated with feminine energy, but it is not innate. That is to say, femininity is largely a social construct. It is a manner of attire, behavioral patterns, and strict expectations. Granted, this construct is based on biology in some part, but generally, men and women are not the antithesis of each other. These concepts imply that and I wholeheartedly disagree. Masculinity and femininity are conceptual opposites but to imply women should always adhere to the standards of femininity is unrealistic and stifling. Let’s probe deeper.

What I advocate is conflated with femininity – it is feminine energy.

If you look up “feminine” online, all you see are expressions of femininity to the extreme. I saw a lot of rose petals and obnoxious amounts of pink and purple. Thank goodness Google Images is not an authority on gender. Feminine energy can be soft, but I would describe it as closer to nurturing. It is warm and creative, appreciative of sensual pleasure. Emotions are definitely key to feminine energy. Are any of these traits bad or wrong? No. Are they typically attributed to women? More often than not. This is usually to the detriment of men, which leads us to the paradox of feminine and femininity. There are plenty of women that have a more masculine energy about them, yet choose to wear skirts and dresses. There are also men who love sports but are in tune with their emotions.

The problem with confusing expression with innate behavior is that it limits the individual to the groups they were placed in based on sex organs alone.

Men get the short end of the stick in this exchange, as they are told to be more masculine and to eschew the feminine. So that means more emotional problems and harmful views of sex and intimacy. Heck, men are treated as if they aren’t as creative as women. Think about it – women are assumed to be better chefs than men! It’s a skill but we assign it more meaning than it should have.

Society has to achieve that balance of feminine and masculine energy. The idea of “yin” and “yang” is that they are equal and necessary. One cannot exist without the other. They are not total opposites in the way we would like to think because they exist in all of us, in varying degrees. A man can be incredibly masculine and in touch with his emotions. A woman can supervise a team of mathematicians and still retain her feminine energy – it isn’t mutually exclusive. In western culture, we are obsessed with everything masculine to the point it threatens those of us with feminine energy. Women are expected to have feminine energy and are shamed if they don’t express it. A lot of women who have a drive to be successful may feel threatened if they are overtly feminine – it is not respected in the work force. As a result, masculinity gets a bad reputation.

Masculinity is not bad, but too much of a good thing can have negative consequences for all parties involved.

When I see articles about “embracing your feminine energy” it is almost always in a dating context. Feminine energy is important not only in our love lives, but in our culture. The modern woman wants career longevity, material success and perhaps a partner to share it. Sometimes they don’t though, and that is perfectly fine too.

Feminism is about the preservation of feminine energy.

As feminists, it is our job to protect those who appreciate the feminine spirit, no matter what sex they are. It is essential to provide balance in an overly masculine society that devalues what being feminine actually is. Like I mentioned earlier, women don’t have to ascribe to gender roles, which forces them to adhere to the standards of femininity. What we need is to accept ourselves as complex individuals with both energies inside of us.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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