Why is There a Line Drawn Between Femininity and Masculinity?

Masculinity and femininity are traditionally very rigid images. This is expressed through what societal trends depict as masculine (boy) or feminine (girl) features and behavior. Especially if a girl or boy is expressing her or his masculinity through what they wear. A person may simply just like the clothing and wear it like their opposite gender would and people see them differently than just for who they are beyond the image. Girls are considered feminine by nature and boys are considered masculine by nature. Whether or not there is a biological component is disproven by the fact that the lines that represent girl or boy are blurred every day, because we all possess masculine and feminine traits. Biologically we may appear different but what we wear and how we present ourselves intersects and is highly conditioned by social constructs and norms of what is accepted in each generation.

For instance, if a girl expresses her masculinity in any way, the fact that she intersects with masculinity is obscene and disapproved as not masculine enough by society with how she is treated or acknowledged. An example would be with someone thinking that, “she wants to be a boy.” Rather than accepting that she has masculine ways and that she just embraces it regardless of societal norms. She is still a female human biologically, but socially she embraces the masculine image.

Courtesy: Brian Kyed on Unsplash

Femininity takes many forms. Once you are born a female, you are a girl and anything apart from that is considered being a tom-boy, dyke, stud, or stem. This means girls cannot just be masculine without a negative connotation, such as “dyke” or male nuances attached to it, such as tom-boy, stud or stem. Their masculinity is invalidated, as if being born a female automatically means you should aspire to be feminine or you are placed in a category, “appearing partly as a boy.” Why is it that girls are assumed to be feminine and boys are assumed to be masculine? These social constructs limit us and how we are complex human beings with multiple layers and attributions that make up our species.       

Courtesy: Florentine Pautet on Unsplash

On the other hand, masculinity is considered to be a man’s nature. So, when a man has any form of feminine ways, he is considered gay, faggot, or punk. Instead of just simply accepting that he is a man with feminine ways or that he just simply likes the feminine aesthetic for himself.

In conclusion, heteronormative standards limit us all in embracing all sides of us without acknowledging that we do not have to fit into the stereotypes of feminine or masculine to be a girl or boy. It is all a part of our conditioning and the line is not there realistically, it is only there in our minds.

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