Why are feminine traits frowned upon in society?
A young writer from Pakistan shares her views on feminism and toxic masculinity.
Manaal is a self-motivated individual from Pakistan who brings attention to issues relating to betterment of every living being. She finds the inter-personal relationships of culture, individual rights, and the dynamics of the evolving world fascinating. She represents a community of shared respect, religion, ethnicity, and culture.
"Why are feminine traits frowned upon in society?"
We have lost touch with the true and profound meaning of Feminism or being a Feminist. We are wrong to blame everything on the masculinized attributes. Instead, our actual challenge is exterminating toxic masculinity. Failing to recognize the problem does not take us anywhere. Yes, awareness is spreading, but the real questions we should be asking are:
Why are feminine traits frowned upon in society?
Are we actually making any progress?
Through feminism, are we preaching femininity or promoting masculinity?
Is femininity being degraded because of the measures taken?
This is something that needs to be highlighted and understood. People often misinterpret the actual cause whether it is intentionally or unintentionally, the approach is wrong. Hence, we are standing where we initially started and spoiling more minds as we go.
A human personality is comprised of both feminine and masculine traits, and gender differences are formed when one of those traits dominates the other. A healthy balance in both can lead to a normal and happy mindset. However, if the masculine traits such as rationality, sense of power, and emotional numbness are too overpowering, it suppresses the other traits resulting in toxic masculinity. Society, whether Eastern or Western, believes that in the workforce or political handling, one needs a steady hand, i.e., an immediate resolve which sets the emotional behavior aside.
The dispute is not among the genders; rather, it is against femininity. Whether it is a male or a female, the femininity among genders is disregarded. People on top of the hierarchy are often emotionally numb; they are constantly suppressing their emotional needs to the point where it may be harmful; this is what we define as “Toxic Masculinity”. Henceforth, these individuals fill up the positions of higher authorities in an institution, resulting in a toxic system where more individuals are encouraged to suppress their feminine side and be “rational” and “quick to solutions,” creating a mass that is suppressing the emotions of upcoming generations. Unfortunately, these systems are so vast and widespread that people are willing to give up their emotional health without hesitation in order to advance in their careers. They are trained for most of their lives to fit into these systems, and by fitting in, I mean learning to be emotionally numb.
Toxic masculinity is the deeply rooted cause; people are unknowingly attracted to these systems like a moth to a flame, hoping that they will be able to live a wealthy life. In other words, by giving up their mental health, they are gaining physical wealth. In many instances, people then impose the restrictions they face at their jobs onto their households - expecting their family members to sacrifice their healthy mentality in the name of stoicism.
Moreover, here comes the Feminists’ Movement, raising their voice for the rights of women, equal opportunities, basic security, etc. They encourage more women to join the movement by making them realize that society’s rules and regulations are against them, and in some cases, they are not even being given fundamental rights. Some women feel they need to fight to get the bare minimum. Feminists gave a wake-up call to all the females around the world that the behavior that is normalized because it is deeply rooted in our cores is unacceptable.
Unconsciously, this movement is preaching masculinity while rejecting femininity. In some ways, the movement brings positive change. It brings women forward, gets them out of their homes, and encourages them to stop accepting restrictive cultures and get their rights back. But asking women to abide by their masculine traits and suppress their feminine attributes is also something we should be fighting against. We Feminists are also unconsciously falling into the circle, hence using the wrong approach to fix the issue. That is the reason why we are still stuck in this loop, not making any progress. The problem is much more convoluted than we think it is. Praising femininity should be our major goal - not telling women to suppress it. We should not just be praising feminine traits in women but men as well. That is how we will shake the minds of those at the top of the hierarchy, disrupt the system, and then finally influence the individuals who make up the society.
This is how you can access the problem: step by step, obviously it might be at a slower pace than other solutions, but when we are aware of the root cause it is easier to go about fixing the problem effectively. Eliminating Toxic Masculinity has to start from the very top of the hierarchy, so the influence can have a larger impact on the individuals working in the system. The cause is so deeply ingrained that it is difficult to take any action against it because many people are unaware of it. That is why it is crucial to understand where the roots of the problem lie.
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