I went to Dorney Park the other day, and while I was there, I did not expect to encounter the sexist apparel that I did. Now, a t-shirt that reads “You Scream Like A Girl” is not the worst insult to women, but it is still an insult. “Screaming like a girl” means that you are weak, easily frightened, and “feminine”. No one throws out “You scream like a man” or “You hit like a man” and means them to be insults. Our society loves to put an emphasis on what they decide are characteristics of the inferior sex. The thing is that there is no inferior sex. Yes, men and women are both very different, but one sex is not better than the other, and these differences shouldn’t matter.
The definitions our society has attributed to masculinity and femininity widely contrast. In fact, they are the exact opposites. When we think of masculine we use words like dominant, strong, and independent. When we think of feminine we use words like submissive, frail, and dependent. While both women and men do contain a mixture of both of these qualities, for some reason it is only acceptable for men to be completely masculine and for women to be completely feminine. For this, we can blame society.
However, these words, these adjectives, are faulty. They shove men and women into tiny boxes, forcing them to “conform” to these ideals. One is to believe that a masculine man can take care of everything, provide for the family, and never cry, while a feminine woman is weak and must obey her husband or any other male authoritarians. Obviously, these are two extremes ranging from super human to helpless. But if we are to take these definitions so literally, as we generally do, we have to consider the extreme sides.
I have heard many people make the bold “statement” that masculine women are lesbians, and feminine men are gays. When such statements are made, at least to me, it is obvious that these reverse characteristics are meant to be taken as an insult and as an abnormality, which so happens to be considered wrong or disdainful. These claims may be made for various reasons, but the important part is that they are made at all. It appears to be a rather troublesome thing to be “different”, existing outside of societal ideas and/or normalities. It is not acceptable to set ourselves apart.
And although being feminine is an insult for men and women, women are at a disadvantage because masculinity is something they should never ever possess. If they adhere to their given roles as weak and submissive, they are inferior. (I mean, who wants to be told that they’re weak?) And if women are masculine, they are either lesbians (which is a bad thing apparently) or undesirable. Feminine men do appear to be at a certain disadvantage, but in the end, they are still men, men who own everything and rule the world.
To conclude, the terms masculine and feminine are absolutely ridiculous. We do not need to use these adjectives ever. They are insulting and absolutely useless. Humans are individuals. We are all inherently different and we all possess different qualities, regardless of sex or gender. We are unique. We have brains. We have entire thesauruses and dictionaries to provide us with more appropriate and accurate words to describe each and every individual we meet. There is no need to clump an entire gender into one “ideal” category. We’re better than that, or at least, I hope so.
*I decided to write this because of these comments that I have viewed recently:
[“Women aren’t supposed to be too strong. If women were strong, they’d be men (or lesbians).
What man in his right mind would want to have sex with another man? That’s gay. Therefore, women should be slightly submissive. It’s the essence of femininity.”
“A man wants to be with a woman who’s a woman – the type of feminine woman that is rapidly becoming extinct.”]
Well, boys, here’s a little tip: If there is a vagina attached to her, there’s a good chance that she just might be woman.