Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This is a really important sentiment. We have a society that devalues the things that we deem feminine like sensitivity, understanding, vulnerability, and empathy. When society writes these things off as unimportant, when we say that these qualities are “girlie,” when we overemphasize the importance of “masculine” qualities like aggression, assertion, strength and confidence we make it so much harder for ourselves.
When we devalue the qualities that are deemed traditionally feminine we are devaluing women. When we say that these things are less important or just “nice” to have, we are making it that harder for men to express them. 
There is no one person who embodies only qualities that are traditionally viewed as masculine or feminine. Each person is a mix of these things, and everyone needs both.
When we continue to use these archaic boxes to describe people, we don’t give them their full credit. When women are strong and assertive, it’s not because they’re trying to act like men or embrace masculine qualities to get ahead. They’re just being humans. When men are caring fathers or are understanding boyfriends or subvert gendered expectations in any way they are not “getting in touch with their feminine sides.” They’re just being humans.
It is not in spite of my gender that I am a person who is assertive and strong while being understanding and compassionate.  It is because of my humanity that I can express all of these qualities and not because of my gender or anyone else’s gender. Our responsibility in life as humans and feminists and friends and role models is to nurture this sentiment in other people and allow them to express themselves in a way that is unrestricted and natural. We cannot begin to live in a society that is good, understanding, and open if we cannot embrace these things within ourselves and other people. 

Originally posted on Foxjuice

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