When Women Are Blamed For Their FemininityMay 5, 2020
Women have to face the societal expectations, the need to be nice and gentle as the society expect from them. Meanwhile, feminine traits are considered bad and unwanted. Women are required to be tough or develop behavior associated with ‘masculine’ in order to be accepted from the society. They need to work harder in order to achieve their goals, be successful, be accepted and get paid as much as men do. Moreover, women are also required to wear less accessory, less make up, and dark color suits in order to be taken seriously at their jobs. Is it okay for women be be blamed for their femininity?
What is Femininity?
Femininity refers to a set of traits or characteristics typically associated with being female. It does not imply to just only about gender, but it refers to behavior, preferences, and traits. Traits that considered as feminine include emotional, collaborative, nurturing, vulnerable, caring, and humble.
In ancient time, people interpret Femininity and Masculinity as gender classification and you can be one at the time. Whereas now, In the modern era, modern perspectives defined them as two things that can come together, a person can have two behaviors at the same time, without considered being abnormal. Actually, Femininity and Masculinity are the component of everyone’s mental, according to the individual preferences.
“A complete human being is in equilibrium between the masculine and the feminine”Sadhguru
Feminine hold less cultural value
However, cultural values tend to favor the masculinity over femininity because men are more likely to be accepted from society more than women. Traditionally, things that women like or feminine traits are looked down upon, not just in men but from the society as a whole. People view fashion, make up, gossip (girly or traditionally feminine things) as unimportant, not intelligent, and superficial. In addition, Entertainment marketed towards girls such as girly pop music, movies with cliche and cheesy plot, typical romantic-comedies, they are considered as ‘girly’ in negative way. Because some people use the word ‘girly’ as an insult and it does offended women, especially teenage girls.
“ What does it mean to do some thing ‘Like A Girl’ ”
Always, the menstrual hygiene products brand, has published ad campaign telling story about people using the word ‘girly’ is an insult. The interviewer asked people with different genders and ages to do some actions, e.g., run, fight, and throw like a girl. The results came out that people were imitating the ‘girly’ stereotype, where women are weak and shallow. They did things terribly and ineffectively. Why being girl means that you can not do things seriously and master in those things?
While things that men like such as sports, super heroes, and fighting, are considered as cool. Also in professions, men are considered more valuable than women. According to the salary differences between male and female registered nurses in the US research, male nurses get paid more than women over 5,100 $ per year. These things are because women hold less cultural values.
Another case that shows female hold less values than male was on Thai TV show named ‘In Family We Trust’. It tells story about drama in typical Thai-Chinese family along with the homicidal plot. The shows is fictional based on Jira-anan family, a wealthy family drove in chaos after the grandfather of the family died. We can se in the story that as usual Chinese culture, they favor sons over daughters because men are stronger and in capable to carry on family’s name. Hence, parents provide more great opportunities to sons and even more legacy when they pass way. While the daughters were left regardless and be treated unequally.
Culture Devalues Femininity
It is undeniable that cultures and society we live in, they devaluate femininity in so many ways. And it has affected girls all over the society. People devalue femininity by insulting feminine preferences. Many girls are refuse to admit that they like typical girly stuff such as wearing skirts, make up, admit that they like twilight. I was also embarrassed to tell my friend that I was very into twilight movies, because I did not want to be associated with basic girl stereotype. I also pretended to #notliketheothergirls so I can be a cool girl, by rejecting things that makes my happy. When it comes to boys, liking boyish things is cool. Why teenage girls do not get the same treatment as boys do? People should not be make fun of other people for enjoying their preferences no matter what their genders are.
On the other hand, women have prejudice toward men enjoying feminine things and can not do without questioning their sexuality or their manliness. Therefore, men have a narrow range in preferences. It also indicates that feminine men are weak and they are lowering themselves. For example, when a woman wears pantsuit, she tends to look more empower and professional. However, when a man wears dress, people are questioning about their sexuality.
we are living in a society, where people are more well aware of gender equality. However, gender equality does not require everything to be epicene. What we want is people to see all the insult about ‘girly’ things as equal to the masculine things. People deserve to be treated equally and not be judged by their gender.
There are many campaigns about promoting the importance of femininity, e.g. H%M – She’s a lady advertising campaign in 2016, about encouraging women empowerment and be able to express her selves freely careless to the ‘Lady Like’ stereotype society expected them to be.
It is okay to be feminine because it is not an insult. I believe women are capable of everything they desire to do, and they can be successful as much as men are. Do not take ‘Femininity’ as an insult, take it as a compliment. And you should be the best version of yourself , because you should be able to express yourself the way you wanted to. Eventually, you are the only person that can make yourself the most happy and do not let anyone stop that.